Newbery Books discussion

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2010 Book of the Month > Missing May

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message 1: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) | 140 comments Mod
I was studying/taking GMAT this month so missed this book. But I'll open the thread up for discussion anyway. Feel free to comment :-)


message 2: by Brandy (new)

Brandy | 23 comments I have to say that I didn't love this book. It was only 96 pages and it took me a couple of weeks to get through it. I felt it was a little boring, and depressing.

Having said that, I do feel that it was written well. When the time comes that someone close to my kids passes away, this will be a good book for them to read because I think that in the middle of their sorrow it would speak to their soul and let them mourn.


message 3: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 60 comments We don't have Church until 1pm this year and this is a short book so I stayed in bed until I'd almost read the whole thing. I liked the characters and the writing. It was helping me get over the depression I'd felt the day before and I wasn't quite ready to finish it. So I stretched the last few pages out over the rest of the morning. I hope that somewhere there are children assigned to read it who are given ideas about how to work through or help another through their grief.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 66 comments I liked this book, too. It's the second time I've read it. Cynthia Rylant doesn't have any answers about death, but she creates memorable characters and she writes beautifully. I think the topic certainly could be depressing, but I found Missing May life affirming. Grief is very real and things look like they could be headed in a bad direction, but as soon as Ob turns his truck around to head back to the capitol, we know it's going to be alright.

Rylant's characters help each other and choose love and life. Loving and living are risky things--by caring, we risk hurting, but it is worth it. What if May and Ob had decided it was too risky to take a child into their home because they were poor and old? But they didn't even hesitate because they knew she needed them. And so all three had joy. I loved the image when she describes the wonderful food in the cupboards--abundant and free, just like their love. It is so opposite of the place Summer had been living where she was afraid to ask for milk and no one cared about her.

Even if they do die before Summer is grown, they have given her so much. "We wanted a family so bad, all of us. And we just grabbed onto each other and made us one, simple as that. I always told Ob he was my moon and sun. And when you came to us, Summer, honey, you were my shining star. You are the BEST little girl I ever did know." She will carry that love and confidence with her and give it to others, in turn.


message 5: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 60 comments I'm confused. I guess it doesn't pay for me to read a book in a day, even if it is short. I read this book two months ago and just copied my regular goodreads review to the group page. I thought this book was the one where the girl goes on a trip with her grandparents to Idaho to find her mother. What was the name of that?


message 6: by Brandy (new)

Brandy | 23 comments That one was called "Walk Two Moons" and I LOVED that book!


message 7: by Brandy (new)

Brandy | 23 comments Dawn, I don't think the reason I found the book depressing was the topic. As I said in my previous post that I absolutely loved the book "Walk Two Moons" and I typically am drawn to more depressing type stories like WWII books.

I do think that this book was a written in a way that you don't see the beauty of the book until the ending. And even then I am not sure my 11 year old would see all the points that you made in your post. I do see them and agree with them. I just felt that as I was reading it I almost felt the same way I did when I was going through my post pardon depression and I didn't like it. It was hard for me to get through. But like I said, if I were actually grieving right now I think it would be a great book to read to help validate my feelings. I am glad I read it so I can use it as a tool if needed but other than times of grief, I probably won't read it again.


message 8: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 29 comments This is not one of my favorites. I was disappointed.


message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 66 comments I can see your point of view, Brandy. I think you may be right that I enjoy it more as an adult than I would as a child. She does describe depression well--I've been there, too.


message 10: by Christi (new)

Christi | 3 comments I liked it. It was a quick read, but it made me "emote" (haha) which I don't do often. I cried. I know the theme of the book was grief. However, it made me think a lot about the many, many children who need a home where love abounds. I had considered foster parenting before and this brought the topic to the forefront again.


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