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The Summer of May

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Twelve-year-old May is living in a desolate situation with only her grandmother, who is depressed about the absence of May’s mother, and her father, who works long hours and is almost never around. Due to her circumstance and her resentment over having to live in a low-income neighborhood, May often finds herself picking fights and getting into trouble.

But when
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Aladdin
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
85th out of 169 books — 694 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2011
123rd out of 146 books — 150 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 317)
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Maxine Mathew
Still traumatized by her mother’s departure, May tries to tackle her pain and anger by creating ruckus in her school. Unfortunately her latest escapade does not go down too well with Mr. Pringle, her school’s principal. As a result, she is forced to attend summer school with her English teacher, Miss Movado- who is not one of May's favorite people. expecting the classes with Miss Movado to be a torture, she is surprised to find herself actually taking interest in her classes. As Miss Movado enco ...more
Barb Middleton
May is in trouble again. Big trouble. She has two options: either be expelled from school or retake English in summer school. She decides on the latter but it is with her least favorite teacher, Movado the Avocado. May is mouthy, resentful, and furious. But she’s been furious for the past 18 months so just add it to her already long list of things that make her angry.

She’s furious with her mom for leaving them. She’s furious at her dad for not being around. She’s furious at her grandma for stayi
I thought this was very strong. It's rare to have a book with a main character who is so angry that she can't get out of her own way. Even as she's making terrible choices, you feel for her. And although this has a teacher who helps her (which is not an unusual character in children's books), Ms. Movado is not without flaws and issues of her own. The picture of a family dealing with anger, depression and a serious health issue is also unusual -- and very well done.

Although this has some plausib
This book never failed to amaze me. The way the author wrote made me feel like I was there with May, going through her struggles and everything. There are a few moments that made me cry. May goes through a lot of pretty depressing stuff compared to a normal 8th grader. She may not handle things the best, but it really shows the way a real 14 year old thinks. It's very realistic, although you may not relate to May. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars because it's absolutely phenomenal and filled w ...more
Reviewed at:

This is one that I will not forget. I think this novel will connect easily with a wide variety of people. First, May feels an anger that many pre-teens and teens probably feel and the way she describes it is the best I've ever read in a book. The feeling of being a tea pot that is boiling is a perfect analogy to rage that is hard to control and unwarranted. Something so small can make you feel so angry and then it gets out of control. In the n
I panicked last night when I realized the review for this book is due tomorrow. No worries - it was a quick read. There are many layers to this seemingly simple book. Galante's characters are true and believable and that is the best part of the book. Each is distinct and meaningful and each brings something to the story. May is an unhappy 13 year old mourning the departure of her mother. Her best friend, Olive, is a nobody, but she is a true friend to May. May's grandmother is reclusive, barely ...more
Angela Liao
The Summer of May wasn’t a spectacular book, but I liked it. It describes a girl named May who was required to go to summer school. The book describes the problems May had during the Summer. For example she has to deal with her mother’s death and May had a fight with her best friend. It is up to May to change her attitude and everything back to normal. May changed a lot if you compare her personality in the beginning to the end of the book. In the beginning May gets angry very easily and she doe ...more
Once Upon
This is a great book for the younger reading audience I say between ages 10-13. Now its MG based but a adult like myself will enjoy it as well. It's definitely a good book to share or pass on to your daughter possibly. This book is a easy read and very cute. The characters are very easy to believe and are not at all complicated. The storyline centers around the main character but the other characters also play important part. This book message to me was about closure, coming to terms with yourse ...more
The Summer of May is about a young 12 year old girl, who is having a hard home life with her father, and grandmother. Her mother has died and she really only has one best friend. And now she has to decide between expolshion from her school, or spending the summer in summer school with her least favorite tacher, who she vandalized the classroom of to get her into this mess in the first place. Her home life is hard because her dad is very distant and hasn't been very kind lately, and her grandma ...more
Unlike any of the other middle grade novels that I have ever read, The Summer of May is not a "sunshine and rainbows" kind of book. Quite the opposite really. This is a tough read, filled with real life emotion that cuts down into your heart as you read. I'll be honest when I say that I literally cried while I read this.

May is a 13-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to feel whole again. Navigating the trials of middle school, she tends to use anger as her defense mechanism against anythin
kelly Fuller
I finished this book a few weeks ago, so I am little late putting this review up. But don't take my hesitation as an indication that I didn't love it.. because I did!

When reviewing a book, lots of people say "I read this book in one night!" or "I just blew through this novel, in a hour!" but the truth is, they skipped through it, skimming the plot. They blow through the book, love it for a few minutes, then quickly forget out it.

I did read The Summer of May in one night. But I didn't just speed
May is angry at her teacher for being a jerk, her father for never being home and her mother for abandoning them 18 months ago. On the brink of expulsion for graffiti in her least favorite teacher's room, May finds that she'll have to spend summer with that hated teacher - Movado the Avocado. As the summer progresses, May deals with her days in the classroom split between manual labor and relearning English. Although she seems to enjoy the beginnings of using imagery to describe the world, her a ...more
I really enjoyed this book. May has lost all the security she had in her life after her mother leaves the family. May is now embittered and filled with anger and has no way of releasing it except for getting in trouble. Through the help of a sympathic teacher (who May frist views as an enemy) and care of a her last friend May discovers that one can't change things or heal until one takes the risk of opening up. The story is also a powerful example of how much journaling can help one understand o ...more
May has issues with anger, and there are certainly issues in her life that seem to attribute to this. Her mother recently left her, several of the girls in school talk about her behind her back, her Gram refuses to eat, her father is an alcoholic, and she has to take summer school with her least favorite person--Miss Movado, her eighth grade English teacher. But her teacher has a dark secret that just might teach May a bit about her anger.

This would be a hit in my classroom if I taught middle sc
Jean V. Naggar Literary
“Galante deftly weaves together the parallel stories of May and her teacher, while demonstrating how it’s their work together...that changes them both.” --Kirkus

“Brimming with emotion and insight into adolescent rage, Galante's prose investigates the impact of loss and the importance of making amends.” --Publishers Weekly

“One of the most absorbing novels I've read in a long time. Galante masterfully chips away at May's tough exterior, revealing a girl who charms the reader with her humor and her
Jan 11, 2012 Phoebe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Deborah
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
This early teen novel brims with pain and anger, as May finds her emotions increasingly getting the better of her in the terrible circumstances of her 13-year-old life. Her mother is gone, her grandmother, once supportive, has withdrawn into herself, and May and her father can't have a conversation without it exploding into rage. The last straw is summer school with Miss Movado, May's 8th-grade English teacher, as penalty for May's act of vandalism. The novel hits rock bottom as May realizes she ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Nimsay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
There are adults and young adults who miss out on such meaningful and beautiful books simply because they overlook children's books. I feel so sorry for those misguided individuals and this book is definitely proof!!!! Aaaah this book is honestly wonderful.
Martha Treder
I loved this book! The book centers around thirteen year old, May. She was caught defacing her least favorite teacher's room. As a result, May has to spend the summer repainting the teacher's room and relearning her English lessons. The author's writing paints a beautiful picture of what it is like for a thirteen year old to lose her mother, the myriad of feelings that go along with her mother's abandonment, and what it is like to feel invisible. She and her teacher share a connection that is sl ...more
Heather Everett
I just finished this book this morning and I truly enjoyed it. I would recommend it to kids 5th-8th grade...especially children that are dealing with a lot of stress. May is an eighth grader who has landed in a great deal of trouble for vandalizing a teacher's classroom. Her choice is summer school with the teacher, AKA Movado the Avocado, or expulsion.

May's life, however, is so messed up that this is the least of her problems. This is a great coming of age novel as May learns that Adults are pe
It was refreshing to read such a different plot line!
The story is very good.. both the moral and the plot. I struggled with it though because it had so much angst. Just too much drama for me.
Sandy Brehl
A story filled with uncontrolled rage, self-destructive and family-destructive, on the part of eighth-grader May, her Grandma, her father. It is also a story of understanding loss, recognizing and expressing need, friendship, and a teacher who is equal parts prickly and supportive. Actually, as morbid as all that sounds, this story drags the reader from page to page with an intensity and quirky appeal that will not be ignored.
I volunteer with children's reading program. We went to the library and I just pick this book based on the cover pic and the summary. I didnt finish it that afternoon.
The little bit that I read, made we want to borrow it on my own. I NEEDED to know how May's summer turned out :)

This book was really interesting. Its a young adult book, but really well written. This is definitely a relatable story for urban/city teens.
This is one of the better realistic fic books I've read in a while ... maybe a three and a half or three and three quarters rating. May feels betrayed by her mother. Her way of dealing with that betrayal is to act out. The school gives her a choice ... help a teacher and attend classes during the summer between her eighth and ninth grade year or be expelled. Of course the teacher turns out to be more than May expected.
The Library Lady
Read it, loved it and wondered if my 12 year old would. While at work the other day she called me. "Did you bring this home for me?"
"No, but I wondered if you'd want to read it"
"Well, I looked at it and I read the first few pages and I really like it."

She is now reading it and commented at bedtime "This is really good"
Will update this when she finishes it. Or if she doesn't finish it, which can be telling in itself.
Unfortunately for this day and age, it wasn't very realistic. No teacher could possibly have all that one-on-one time with an 8th grade student without serious repercussions. And taking her on "field trips" without parental consent? Shouldn't happen. I also didn't understand all the issues about her mother, I didn't feel like that was explained very well. But it was a sweet story.
Nov 13, 2011 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: jfic
A really strong portrayal of a kid on the brink of delinquency. Her anger is palpable, the description of her crappy homelife is realistic, and her confusion and sense of loneliness makes total sense. The only thing I was kind of disappointed in was the way the end wrapped up kind of predictably and neatly. Still, a very good book.
Great story!! May gets in trouble and has to spend the summer with her teacher "Movado the Avocado." The story starts out with May hating this arrangement, but then things begin to change. A great coming-of-age story. The ending is quite sad so be aware, but all in all a wonderful book. Reminiscent of The Wednesday Wars.
LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I love how the chapters are short so it makes it a quick read but more importantly, the story kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. And I thought it would be great for 4-5th graders - high interest but not hard to read! It's a must read!
One of those books that deals with some pretty heavy themes that you hope none of the kids who read it ever have to deal with. I figured out the truth about May's mom early on, but I have the feeling the author means us to. A wrenching book that ends with forgiveness and hope.
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