A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
May Amelia is blamed by her grandmother for the death of her baby sister.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that though May Amelia is a girl, this book has boy appeal too; six brothers and a male cousin share in her adventures. The drawings add to the book's appeal.
Is It Any Good?
This historical novel vividly captures the harsh and lonely life of a girl living in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century. The author builds excitement and suspense into each chapter: Chased by an angry mother bear and a cougar and nearly swept away by logs sent downriver from a logging camp, May Amelia seems to remain alive only by virtue of a string of luck. And readers learn that some things don't change in a hundred years: Brothers and sisters argue, parents set rules, and children run away.
To write this story, Holm delved into her family history: Her great-grandfather was one of the first Finnish-American settlers in the Nasel River Valley, but it was her grand-aunt's diary that inspired the title character.
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