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Mailing May

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  599 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Nowadays it's no big deal for a girl to travel seventy-five miles. But when Charlotte May Pierstorff wanted to cross seventy-five miles of Idaho mountains to see her grandma in 1914, it was a very big deal indeed. There was no highway except the railroad, and a train ticket would have cost her parents a full day's pay.

Here is the true story of how May got to visit her gran
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Sean
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So, I'm biased. This book is about my great grandmother, and it's a cool piece of family history. My grandmother got to meet and talk with the author, who is a genuinely nice guy. She bought copies of the book for all of her grandchildren, which was also pretty neat. It's a great story, fun illustrations (some of which are almost exact to old family photos, which is strange because the illustrator never saw any photos), and it's all the more fun because it's true.
 Dena
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading Level: 8 years old and older
It is 1913 and five year old May wants so badly to visit her grandmother in Idaho. The train ticket costs $1.55 - more than her parents can afford. May's ingenious parents come up with a plan - they send May as mail for $.55 as there are no rules excluding sending people. She is stamped and tagged on the back of her coat as a 54lb baby chick. Her uncle is the mail car mailman who escorts her safely. The artwork is a wonderful & charming. A perfect capturin
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Melanie Soble
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
1. This book would fall under the category of a picture book, historical.
2. Five year old May wants to visit her Grandma Mary as her parents had promised. The problem was there was no money for a train ticket. She tries to get a job at the local store, but the owner tells her that the jobs are for grown-ups and she is just too little. Her parents decide that they will send May to her grandmother’s house using the US Postal Service!
3. critique
a. The strongest part of this book is its conveyanc
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Phally Pech
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mailing May is a book based on a true story. The book is about a little girl named, May. May's parents had promised her that she would soon be able to go stay with her Grandma Mary. As the day came, May's parents were not able to send her on the train, as they did not have enough money to afford a train ticket. The news greatly upset May, and her parents knew that it would. Knowing how disappointed their daughter were, May's parents thought of a brilliant method to send their daughter to her bel ...more
Claire
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520historicalfic
This true story by Michael O. Tunnell gives life to what it is like to live in Idaho in 1914. May wants to visit her Grandma Mary but her family doesn't have enough money to afford a train ticket. Her father gets an idea to ship her off as if she were a package from the post office. Upon inspection at the post office, there was no rule that said May could not be shipped on the train, she was the right weight and everything! Classified as a baby chick, May travels on the post office train. May re ...more
Jan Polep
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This picture book was mentioned in connection with a photo posted by Ancestry.com of a mailman with a kid in a mail pouch. The US mail discontinued the mailing of children in 1920 (yes, really) but not before Charlotte May Pierstorff was sent by parcel post to visit her Grandma in Idaho (yes, really)...all possible because a clever Dad couldn't afford a train ticket for her. Some company like FedEx or UPS should bring back this needed service for times when you just want to say, "Knock it off or ...more
Charlotte
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it
We used this for a 2-3 grade book discussion. Great book!
Braley Hale
This book is based on a true story. The main character, May wants to go and see her grandma in Idaho, but the train tickets are too expensive for her family to afford. May then decided she wanted to get a job but she was too young. Her family then decided to go to the post office to see if they could actually mail May. They came to find out that they could mail her because she was under 50lbs, but they didn’t mail her like a normal package. They just put stamps on her back and she took the train ...more
Michele
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Great for 3rd grade/4th grade unit on biography. I love how the author points out that the lesson of the story is that which ordinary people find wonderful and creative ways to solve difficult problems. This story, in a nutshell, is a about an non-fictional girl who wanted to visit her grandma far away. Her family didn't have money for a train ride and so her parents thought of mailing the little girl since postage was cheaper. Oh, the love for doing whatever it takes to reunite with family is s ...more
Amanda
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This picture book is genuinely delightful. The story is amazing and told in such a whimsical way that children end up giggling through a lot of it. The pictures are gorgeous and so adorably capture the joy of a bright-eyed young girl. The only thing I didn't like: the front cover. For some reason it made the book look boring and un-interesting to my children, but when they cracked it open, they all ended up loving it. So, don't be deterred by the cover, I guess. ;)
Jessica
I found this little story absolutely fascinating! It’s 1913 and May desperately wants to visit her grandmother, but her parents can’t afford the train ticket. So they find the next-best option.
I love a book that talks about something from history in an interesting, captivating way. My 8 year old was enthralled with the story of May and I think she appreciates that we can just drive to make visits to her grandparents.
Meltha
I stumbled across this one shelved in the wrong place in the library, and as my children's lit text mentioned it roughly a thousand times, I took it out. It's a cute story; May is actually mailed labeled as a baby chick, and the postal service loophole does work. More amazingly, this is largely a true story. The illustrations were nearly photographic in their realism. On the whole, it was cute.
Bexa
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First heard about this as a thing from the podcast "Just a Story" and then an article popped up about this book telling a piece of history in one of the latest library magazines, and I had to pick it up. It's a cute and fun story about a little girl named May getting shipped to her grandma's as a 48 pound baby chick for $0.53. I love history.
Anna Grace
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book at the library today for a quick read. I was fascinated to learn this was a true story and marveled at the ingenuity May's parents had in order to send her to her grandmother's house. I definitely recommend this book. It's well written and the illustrations are beautiful. I very much enjoyed it.
Mike Gunderloy
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heard about this one on a history podcast, and grabbed a copy. True story of a little girl who was sent by parcel post (turns out there were several of them in the early part of the 20th century). Well-told and illustrated, made a good bedtime story.
Anthony
The story of five year old Charlotte May Pierstorff who was classified as a baby chick, and mailed to her grandmother parcel post for fifty-three cents from Grangeville ID to Lewiston, ID. on February 19, 1914. The trip was seventy-five miles, and no decent roads were available to make the trip.
Donna Mork
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great true story about a little girl whose parents couldn't afford to send her by train to her grandmothers. They send her by parcel post instead, classifying her as a baby chick. She arrives and surprises her Grandmother.
Angie Thompson
This was a cute and interesting true story about a little girl who was mailed to her grandmother because her family couldn't afford train fare! The illustrations were great, and the writing style felt just write for the period. Very fun!
Meredith
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm counting this as nonfiction ... wonder if I could use it for a lesson. Maybe the kids could pretend they got mailed somewhere and make a postcard to send back?
James Spears
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting picture book. It's fun and a good read a loud book. I would recommend to young children.
Diane
Based on the true story of Charlotte May Pierstorff, who was classified as a baby chick, so she could be mailed from Grangeville to Lewiston, ID, to see her grandmother.
Jc
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THe little ones really like the pictures and the story of the little girl on the train.
Lauren Hicks
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story! I loved that it is based on a true story, the historical time period is brilliantly displayed, and the illustrations are beautiful.
Amber Bartram
This story follows a girl who is mailed to her grandmother's house for 53 cents. This is a fun book i would just keep in my classroom library.
Valeta
Summary
This book is based on true story about a young girl named May. May wanted to visit her grandmother many miles away. However, her parents could not afford a train ticket. May’s Pa had an idea. In 1914, there was no postal code saying you can’t mail a little girl and Ma’s cousin works in the mail car on the train. So her dad took her to the post office and paid fifty-three cents to mail May to her grandma.

Response
This Wide Reading Project has given me the opportunity to read several book
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Lindsay
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell falls into the category a historical fiction based on research. The author provides a lengthy note at the end of the book explaining how she collected her research to tell the story of the young girl May that was mailed to her grandma's when her parents couldn't afford a train ticket. " I learned these facts about May and her incredible adventure from Jim O'Donnel of the National Postal Museum, Lora Feucht of the Nez Peree County (Idaho) Historical Society, Carm ...more
Tammy J
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
Mailing May is riveting and based on a true story. It won both the Colorado Children's Book Award (2001), and Young Reader Medal Masterlist (2000). This historical fiction picture book has humor and depicts images of the past. Michael O. Tunnell gives life to what it is like to live in Idaho in 1914. May tried to get the money herself by asking for a job at Alexanders store. May wants to visit her Grandma Mary but her family doesn't have enough money to afford a train ticket. Her father gets an ...more
Brittany Trinh
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: project-1
APA:
Tunnell, M. O., & Rand, T. (1997). Mailing May. New York: Greenwillow Books.

Review: May is a little girl who loves her grandmother and would like to visit her as soon as possible. It is the year 1914 and May’s family is not in the position to afford a train ticket for May. The cost of a ticket was almost equally the same as her parents’ paycheck per day. There was no way to afford a train ticket and still have food on the table. Lucky for May, her uncle was a mailman in the actual train
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Shanna Gonzalez
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-04-08
Five-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff is disappointed when, after promising her a visit to her grandmother's house, seventy-five miles away over Idaho mountains, her parents tell her they cannot afford a train ticket. But she is mystified the next morning when her father wakes her up for an early trip to the local post office. Taking advantage of the new 1914 postal regulations allowing packages as large as fifty pounds, he pastes some stamps and an address card to the back of her coat and leav ...more
L12 _Lisa
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic


Between May's extended family, local railroad workers and postal workers they came up with the idea of simply mailing May, which at the time would only cost fifty-three cents. Regulations stated that the postal department could not mail lizards or insects or anything smelly. May pasted the smell test and she most certainly was not an insect or lizard. The postal service could though mail baby chicks and that is what they classified her as.
The author and illustrator have most certainly captured
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MCC Children's Li...: Outstanding Illustrations 2 3 Feb 16, 2012 11:28PM  
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