A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
May Amelia hates to be told, "Behave like a proper young lady." She works on the farm as hard as any boy. Her birthday wish is for a little sister, but when baby Amy dies, she goes "grief mad" and runs away. Based on tales from her own family, author Jennifer L. Holm creates a believable heroine in a realistic historical setting.
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.