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The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart--and true friends.

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Kristin Lambert
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautifully written book, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. All the characters are so whole and real, and I wish I could just hug them all! This book made me cry more than once, sometimes just from sheer pride in these courageous young characters. I highly recommend this book for humans of any age, but especially young readers who struggle with anxiety and/or overcoming fears, like Maybelle does.
I have had a lot of trouble with middle grade lately. I was starting to wonder that maybe I was just getting too old, and the books really weren't for me anymore (which is totally fine because they SHOULDN'T be for me!) But then I read this book and I thought FINALLY. The LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is so emotionally intelligent. Maybelle is 12 if I remember correctly, but this book doesn't take her age for granted and really seems to respect the deeply emotional and mature issues that young ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Maybelle and her mother struggle a little to make ends meet but are generally happy. All Maybelle has of her father is the memory of a voice mail on an old phone, but his laughter has stuck with her. When her mother gets a job on a cruise ship for a month making a great salary, the two know she needs to go, but this means that a neighbor at the trailer park (and teacher at Maybelle's school), Ms. Boggs, has to watch her. Ms. Boggs is very drab and set in her ways;
This is a journey book, and I normally hate journey books. Except in this case, the journey made sense, and wasn't the whole purpose. It was a journey of the spirit as well as a physical journey.

Which makes it all sound maudlin, and it isn't, not in the least.

Maybelle has heard her father's voice on the radio, a father she didn't know, and she wonders what he would think if they ever met. So she enters a singing contest in a state two states away.

There is of course, one small problem. How the
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

First of all, lets talk about the cover. Isnt it gorgeous?! It offers a small peek into Maybelles story and gently calls to you to step into her life. When you do, youll find your heart breaking a bit time and time again, but youll also find yourself cheering for every character as each one searches for the courage to face their fears and follow their dreams.

Next, lets talk about the characters. I loved every
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane because the main character-Maybelle-had a fun side of her life, but she also has a sad and emotional side to her life. I found it weirdly similar to Clean Getaway by Nic Stone.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this sweet middle grade about a young lady who goes on a journey to finds her heart and ends up doing it in the most unexpected ways.

Plus, theres a dog and bi rep. Yes indeed.
Cassie Thomas
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A story built on finding the courage to sing even when it causes you to panic; to speak even when it makes you nervous; to forgive, even if it was the most hurt youve ever felt. ...more
Megan Schmelzer
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane was just perfection.

From the moment I picked up this novel, I was entranced. It was heartfelt, it was meaningful, and the characters were ones that you root for.

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Maybelle. Maybelle and her mother are living in a run-down trailer. Life has had its challenges for them lately. Maybelle's mother is working two jobs and doing everything she can to keep them afloat, and
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author and publisher for sending an ARC to #bookportage for review.

I was immediately drawn in to THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE by the first few sentences: "Most people don't think fate has a sound. But it does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." Maybelle collects sounds, and keeps recordings of the everyday ones that often go unnoticed by other people. She's never met her father, but she knows his voice from an old voicemail that her mom had on her
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read an ARC--what a beautiful middle grade book with a tenacious, lovable protagonist. I loved seeing May's journey, both literal and figurative. Secondary characters like Tommy and Mrs. Boggs were vivid and lovable as well.

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE has a lot of great descriptions of music, road trips, and the experience of anxiety disorder. There's even a cute dog! But ultimately it's a wonderful tale about discovering yourself. The book manages to be profound while never talking down
Laura Gardner
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All the Stars for The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by @kloshaughnessy; thanks to @randomhousekids for sharing this title with @kidlitexchange !! Out March 3.
I'm pretty sure this book broke my heart...and then put it back together again. A road trip + three lost, lonely people + one special song = one lovely MG novel that you won't be able to put down. Absolutely must purchase for all libraries serving grades 3 - 8.
Maybelle Lane has never met her father, but when she hears his unmistakable
Lindsay Lackey
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is wondrous, heartfelt, and bursting with the aches, longings, loves, and joys of the middle grade experience.

I was giving the incredible honor of reading an early copy of this book, and I am so grateful to the author, Kate O'Shaughnessy, for granting me the opportunity! Maybelle Lane is my kind of protagonist: she's smart, determined, sensitive, creative, and resilient. In her longing to know her father, who has been absent for the entirety of her life, Maybelle sets out on an
Kate Waggoner
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read

Thank you to @randomhousekids and @kloshaughnessy for sharing an advance copy of The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane which will be out March 3, 2020. All opinions are my own.

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane has never met her father. According to her mother, he doesn't even know she exists. The only memory she has of him is of his voice which she discovered on a voicemail on an old cellphone. Then one day, she hears his voice on the radio. Her mom claims they're better off without him,
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maybelle Dorothy Lane wants to know who her father is. Her hard-working Momma who pursues singing on the side doesnt want May to have this information. She wants to protect her daughter from heartbreak even though May doesnt believe her radio DJ father could ever break her heart.
When Momma takes a job on a cruise ship for a month leaving May at their trailer park she decides this is her chance to find her father. Unlike other stories with similar themes 11-year-old May doesnt go on an
Lee Grant
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is just the sweetest book. I immediately fell in love with Maybelle: she is curious, talented, and hopeful, and also anxious, compulsive and judgmental. I felt myself rooting for her from the beginning, even though her adventure seemed intellectually ill-fated, because it was so emotionally compelling. She is a character you just want to win.
Momma, Tommy, and Alice (Mrs Boggs) are just as lovely, and just as flawed. Kate has a unique talent for making characters realistic in their
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maybelle Lane is a lonely girl who wants more than anything else to know her dad. When she hears about a singing contest her dad is judging, she signs up, but she needs a plan on how to get to Nashville from Louisiana. Her mom is going to be away for a job on a cruise, which leaves her with Ms. Boggs for a month. Ms. Boggs gives Maybelle the solution to her problem and takes her to Nashville for the contest and along the way they end up with a stowaway, Tommy. On their journey, each of these ...more
Carrie Griffin
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I enjoyed Maybelle's journey throughout this book. Both physically and mentally, Maybelle goes through a lot in the course of it. She's trying to meet her dad and along the way, she learns about herself.

I love found family stories and this was one great example of that. I also, really enjoy road trip books.

This was an emotional book that packed a punch with many topics that just felt so real. I connected to Maybelle, her mother, Mrs. Boggs, and Tommy in so many ways. Their stories, especially
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cute middle grade story about a little girl trying to meet her father. The writing reminded me of the The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. In that story a young girl can feel emotions while eating food, in this story Maybelle has a similar connection to sounds. There is no magical element but the communication of the emotions and connections Maybelle feels are so much deeper than those around her.

The story follows her journey to find her father with a ragtag bunch of acquaintances
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
How do you capture the sound of joy? The sound of love? Of family? Maybelle Lane, collector of sounds, will make you appreciate all the little noises that so often pass unnoticed in our lives.

Maybelle Lane hates to feel alone. So, when she gets the chance to meet her father for the first time, she sees it as opportunity to add one more person to the short list of people she calls family. The only problem: her momma doesn't approve. However, fate conspires to send her momma away for work and
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
"Most people don't think fate has a sound. But is does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough."
That quote resonates and really introduced a new way of listening to the world for me.
I was immediately drawn into Maybelle's story within the first few lines. This is a lovely middle grade novel with so much heart and hope that I think it should become a staple for all elementary and middle school libraries.

Maybelle is searching and takes an incredible trip with Mrs. Boggs and Timmy
Michelle McDaniel
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't read this book fast enough! Maybelle has all the right stuff of an everyday hero. The theme of friendship and caring for one another was so strong in this story. I loved the friendship between Maybelle and Tommy and the fact that it surprised Maybelle. Her and Tommy's adventure with their (also surprisingly) NOT grouchy neighbor Mrs. Bogg's took them on a wild ride. Maybelle was so focused on the destination and her plan for when they got to where they were going that she wasn't ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This charming story of a lonely little girl and her travelling companions, on their way to a singing contest, and secretly to meet her father for the first time, is probably going to get compared to The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and while there are some common themes, Maybelle's story is all her own. When her mother has to go away for work, Maybelle has to be watched by Mrs. Boggs, a teacher and neighbor who agreed to take Maybelle to the contest. While on the road, they discover ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author and publisher for sending an ARC to #bookportage for review.

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is a sweet middle grade novel, sure to charm the hearts of its readers. Maybelle impulsively enters a singing contest that initiates a cross-country road trip with a motley crew of travellers. Each traveller is dealing with their own troubles, but each grows and learns a lot about themselves on their adventure. Filled with many heart warming moments, as well as some heartbreaking
Amy Hodges
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Most people don't think fate has a sound. But is does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." I was immediately drawn into Maybelle's story within the first few lines. Kate O'Shaughnessy has created a middle grade novel that I'm sure will become a staple for all elementary and middle school libraries. Maybelle's journey, along with Mrs. Boggs and Timmy, is full of warmth, heartache, friendship and overcoming fears.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read realistic ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
[I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

This was sweet! Road trip story with a chance to meet a previously unknown parent. It's something I feel has been done before, but the trio of travelers (quartet if you count the dog) at the center of this were a delight. While this is mostly Maybelle's story, Mrs Boggs and Tommy both get to grow and change because of the journey. I loved the epilogue that gives a glimpse
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Part deep-south soul searching and part road trip adventure. I enjoyed the characters but wasn't as moved by the writing/editing as I had expected based on the industry recommendation I received.

Nitpicking: While a POC features prominently as the true heroine of the story, her skin was described flatly as "dark" or "brown". Maybe it's because I am just coming off an intense editing session on a manuscript celebrating skin tones I am being sensitive. However, knowing the lack of diversity in
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
So much heart in this story of Maybelle Lane! When her mother leaves her for a good paying gig singing on a cruse line, Maybelle is cared for by Mrs. Boggs. The two of them, with a troubled neighborhood boy stowaway, road trip to Nashville for a singing contest. Along the way they rescue Pickles, a scene-stealing dachshund. A deeply satisfying ending, with each of them finding the courage to do what's in their heart. A beautiful strong mother-daughter bond, and I love that Maybelle collects ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Alfred A. Knopf Books and Penguin Random House for the advance copy.

A sweet story about discovering yourself. The characters are relatable, yet unique and interesting, and the story contains enough excitement to keep you reading. Will Maybelle find her father? Will she find her voice along the way? And how does her journey intertwine with and impact Tommys and Mrs. Boggs? Well-written, entertaining and thoughtful.
Chasidy Kaye Jones
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's
Knopf Books For Young Readers.
I wasn't sure about this book when I read the reviews and saw it was a children's book. But let me tell you this is not a children's book. This book is for everyone big and small.
It wasn't nearly long enough as I wanted to go on more adventures with Maybelle , Mrs Boggs and Tommy. I just know Tommy and May grow up and get married one day.
This short story was just lovely.
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