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May Bird and the Ever After

(May Bird #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,986 ratings  ·  502 reviews
Most people aren't very comfortable in the woods, but the woods of Briery Swamp fit May Bird like a fuzzy mitten. There, she is safe from school and the taunts and teases of kids who don't understand her. Hidden in the trees, May is a warrior princess, and her cat, Somber Kitty, is her brave guardian.

Then May falls into the lake.

When she crawls out, May finds herself i

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Aladdin (first published August 30th 2005)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,986 ratings  ·  502 reviews

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Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
May Bird and the Ever After, the first book in the Ever After trilogy, tells the tale of a 10-year-old girl named May, her kitty named Somber Cat and the horrifying adventures they have in Ever After, the world of the dead.

This was a truly fantastic tale of adventure and friendship. I've read many children's books and May Bird and the Ever After is most definitely one of the most imaginative books I have read. The author created an entirely unique and amazing world, one that was both fascinatin
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My favorite series as a child. I wasn't a little girl that fantasizes about ponies and rainbows, I enjoyed the dark stuff. This was perfectly dark enough for the age I was, and fulfilled my wishes of a dark, but beautiful other world. Plus, May was pretty relatable.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing

May Bird and the Ever After is one of the greatest books I've ever read. I'll try not to let my personal bias get in the way in this review, but I just want to say that this--and the rest of the trilogy--was one of the most inspirational and impactful books I've ever read in my entire life.

May Bird is a 5th grade girl, and like most protagonists, is disliked by everyone at school. The only one she can really call her friend is her cat, Somber Kitty, who is--of
Barb Middleton
May Bird goes on a quest to get home after landing accidentally in the land of the dead. This is a ghost story and fantasy mix. May Bird is an outsider at school and learns to make friends and believe in herself as she goes on the quest. The end is a “to be continued” type.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this series; it’s one of my all time favorites. It’s such a unique adventure, and I love the themes of friendship, love, and becoming. Also, Somber Kitty is just the best.
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Meet 10-year-old May Bird, who lives with her mother and a hairless rex cat named Somber Kitty at the edge of a woods in a place called Briery Swamp. She spends much of her time with her cat in the woods, dreaming of being a warrior princess or in her room drawing pictures of strange creatures. She's not like the other kids in her class, who think she's just plain weird. May Bird's mother, concerned and coming to her wits' end with May's "strange" behavior, is talking about sending her away to a ...more
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two stars looks like an awfully disappointed assessment, but take the rating for what it represents: "It was OK."

After an Alice in Wonderland-ish tumble through a watery portal, May Bird finds herself in the Ever After, a macabre world populated by ghosts and specters (the former never lived, the latter did, or maybe vice-versa). While trying to discover a way home to her mother, May learns that the ghost world is suffering under the tyrannical fist of a particularly bad bogey whose edicts and m
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
3.5. It was cute. :) Wait- am I allowed to call creepy books cute? It was spooky, but in a good way. Really fun. (Plus, the main character's name is May ELLEN Bird. Enough said. XD)
Andrew Guan
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second time I've read this book. (The first time was very long ago) Even though I remembered some detail of the book, I was still absorbed in the book urging myself to read on to find out what happens next.

The story starts with her seeing ghosts in her house, an ability you lose once you are at around age 3. It is extremely rare to regain the vision of ghosts and spirits, but it happened to May. I'm not clear on why she had the vision, as the author did not explain furthermore, so t
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grades 5 and Up
Full Review here

Even as an adult, I really relate to May's struggle to fit in and feel confident. I think most middle grade readers would enjoy this creepy, unique story about friendship, adventure, growth, and self-discovery.
Melissa Jacobson
Actual Rating 4.5

I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade read! The world was the perfect blend of whimsical and dingy and the character were quirky amd entertaining. This was such a delightful little story and I cannot wait to read the remaining two books in this trilogy!
Taejas Kudva
Jun 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids, girls especially, into fantasy adventure
Recommended to Taejas by: Madison Parks
Shelves: kids-books
The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie annoyed the heck out of me because it and the third should have just been one movie. Well, and I didn't realize it was going to be a cliffhanger ending.

The first May Bird bok falls into the same category. Now, it didn't leave me with a tremendous headache like the second Pirates movie did, but the book didn't finish so much as it ended. It seemed like the end of a chapter, not the end of a story, and it is very possible to have great episodic books where
Nov 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This book has been on my to-read list for so long that I've forgotten why it was there, but that's alright: it turned out to be charmingly creepy, and not nearly as juvenile as I'd expected.

In a lot of ways, this is similar to Catherine Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, in that both are stories about young girls sucked into dangerous magical realms. May Bird finds herself in the afterlife, which has its own complicated social structure and politics, b
Dec 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sandy by: Patron
After getting a request for this book from a kid who has proven to have excellent taste (she's a regular at the library, and we've done a lot of book talking!), I finally picked up May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I was kind of impressed with the book. May is a friendless 10-year-old girl who has a vivid imagination...and the threat of being sent to boarding school looming over her shoulder. One day while walking in the woods near her home, she falls into a lake and is sucked i ...more
Asia Campbell
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a really good book i loved it.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids and kids at heart
Shelves: childrens
Hmmmmm...took me a while to get into it. But now I can't wait to read the next one. Reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. May Bird and her cat Somber Kitty (as opposed to Toto the dog) get trapped in a fantastic world, the world of the dead, where she makes lots of oddball friends as she tries to get back home to her mother. This story is quirky and funny in places, but also a scary...of course, so was the Wicked Witch of the West - here it is the Bogeyman, who hunts May down with dogs instead of flyi ...more
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
In this book May Bird is whisked off to the land of the dead, called Ever After, and adventures her way across the land, searching for a way home. She makes some ghostly friends, and some enemies, in her quest to find the Book of the Dead which holds the answers to every question.

The writing is excellent, and there are many good characters. I just don't like ghost stories. All the Halloween-style world building was not to my taste, but I think other people would enjoy that kind of setting.

The st
Apr 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
I read this for 5th grade Battle of the Books and wrote 25 questions for it. Considering that I don't really like high fantasy (which most of this is other than a brief introduction to May Bird before she tumbles into The Ever After), I must say I was intrigued with this book. It was certainly original and fast-paced with marvelously described characters both living and dead...not to mention Somber Kitty! I can see why my 5th grade girls like it (I'll try to get them to read Theodosia and the Se ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was hard to plug through. While reading it aloud to my girls, I often found they weren't even paying attention because they were so bored with it. But we persevered and worked out way through it so that we could find out the ending to the great plot line set up at the beginning of the book; only to find it wasn't answered, and the book is a series. UGH! What a disappointment; it's drawn out too long for us....
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was excited to find a book that I was able to enjoy with my daughter. We read a couple chapters every night and quickly went on to finish "May Bird Among the Stars". Can't wait for the last one to be in paperback.
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
A young outsider, May Bird is dragged into the underworld- no place for mortals, but with the help of her hairless cat, somber kitty, and an unexpected friend, can she get back home?
sam appelbaum
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
VERY GOOD! i had to read it for a book club during school (bleh!) but ended up LOVING IT!!! READ
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
While this story was a little up and down for me in the end I found myself caing deeply for Somber Kitty, May and Pumpkin. Well worth the read and I am on to the next book in the series.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
This pains me because I absolutely adored everything I’ve ever read by Jodi Lynn Anderson: the May Bird trilogy was the only one of her works that I hadn’t tried until a couple of days ago. And I just couldn’t do it. Not because it wasn’t well-written or creative, but because it just wasn’t my kind of story. A girl is yanked through a lake to a strange other world of the afterlife and goes on an adventure to save others and find her way back home: it was like The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonder ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“May Bird and the Ever After” is a book that follows the hero’s journey in the sense that it’s an ordinary person who becomes “extraordinary” through trials. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t read that book, and that’s because of the way the author does it differently. She writes the characters so that they aren’t relatable to you, but they are relatable to themselves; it’s a hard thing to explain. I first read this book in 6th grade, but while re-reading it wasn’t as boring as I thought it m ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
May Bird feels uncomfortable at school due to the taunts and teasing from the kids who don't understand her. For her, the woods are a comfortable place, where she can be a brave warrior princess and Somber Kitty, her cat, her guardian.

When May accidentally falls into the lake, she finds herself in another world when she climbs out. Not comfortable, like the woods, but dangerous and filled with very strange people. There is a blue glow to the place and the people don't seem to be real. In fact, t
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has sat on one of my many bookshelves, untouched and unread, since 2005. I'm in a "spring cleaning" mood, but I promised myself I wouldn't donate any books without having first read or reread them. I picked up May Bird and the Ever After yesterday and I regret so much not reading it when it was first gifted to me by my younger sister thirteen years ago. I loved this book. LOVED IT. It was lovely, well written, full of adventure, and simply different from the dozens and dozens of books ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gives me strong Tim Burton vibes. I love it! The story is so good and there are so many memorable characters. You really get enveloped in this world pretty easily. i can't believe how upset that I was when I thought that this was a solo story. I was so happy to find out that there was a second part (mind you I was twelve). This is definitely something that I would recommend to a little sister or something. It has creepy vibes here and there but not in a bad way. There is also some adve ...more
Kendall Hines
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
May Bird was a childhood book I started to read but never finished. Now a adult I finally finished it. May bird the young main character is a young girl who gets sucked into the afterlife, where she meets different ghosts and monsters. I liked reading this book but at times grew bored of reading it. The more closer to the end the more invested I got with the characters and possible outcomes of their ending. Sense this is a series you don't get all the answers you have answered yet. May bird in m ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't recall how many times I've read this book by now. It's always been a childhood favorite of mine ever since I picked it up in 2006 at a scholastic book fair. The imagination that went into creating a world that was macabre but also whimsical at the same time is phenomenal.

With every read, I notice something different whether it be a layer to a character relationship or the story's plot itself.

With loveable characters and a world I'de love to dive into myself (pun FULLY intended), I'll gla
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I write strange and mythical stories about young people.

Other books in the series

May Bird (3 books)
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  • May Bird, Warrior Princess (May Bird, #3)

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“But I don't want to lose my guts answered Pumpkin ” 9 likes
“Dear Miss Bird,
The Lady of North Farm had asked us to send you this map to Briery Swamp Lake, just in case. She thought you might be having trouble finding it on your own, and she is expecting you to be prompt. We are very sorry for the danger you will endure, but we eagerly await your arrival should you survive it, as we are in great need of your help. The Lady joins me in sending you good luck and best wishes.
Ms. H. Kari Kagaki
T. E. A. Travel”
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