ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Missing May

Updated on August 30, 2017

Missing May: A Great Middle Grade Read... and All Ages Read-Aloud

Some books pack a tremendous amount of wisdom into a slim 80 pages. Cynthia Rylant's Missing May is one such book. I was introduced to it in The College of Education. "Missing May" was the 1993 Newbery Award Winner at a time when Newbery medals were going mostly to contemporary 'problem novels'. Those of us in the College of Education who read the story agreed with the Newbery committee -- Missing May was the best of the best.

Missing May is told by a twelve-year-old Appalachian girl named Summer, whose voice is at once sensitive and quirky and deceptively simple. Summer is a child who had to grow up fast; she was an unwanted orphan until the age of six. At this time, a couple of distant relatives, May and Ob, swooped down and claimed her. She was then given a few good years -- perfect in her eyes -- but now she is twelve, and her beloved May has died. After May's death, Uncle Ob seems unable to go on.

The only person who manages to get through to Ob is Summer's classmate, the school 'geek'. He first showed up on their property looking for old pictures and now spends more and more time with them. Cletus finds a clipping about a bat woman, "a small medium at large", who can communicate with spirits. And so they make plans to visit the bat woman, while also dropping in on the state capitol (a place where Cletus, who has never been more than a short drive from his own home, envisions himself working someday).

But things don't work out as planned. When they get to the bat woman's church, they learn that she herself has died -- she is flying free like the bats, her nephew tells them. This is the end, Summer thinks, this is the time when they abandon all their dreams, and go back to a small cottage, to four closed in walls, and an old man's declining will to stay alive. They start for home, and then for reasons unknown to her, Ob turns the car back around and takes Cletus on a tour of the capitol after all. The next morning, Summer awakes to the sounds and smells of breakfast being fried -- and to a vivid image of May.

Missing May is a great family read-aloud, all the more so because of the voice and the colorful language. Written for middle graders, it is almost an all ages book. I've known adults who have loved the story.

Missing May Paperback

Twelve-year-old Summer narrates a tale of loss -- and of the triumph of love over loss. A short tale with some deep themes, Missing May makes an excellent family read-aloud.

Missing May (Scholastic Gold)
Missing May (Scholastic Gold)

Twelve-year-old summer narrates a tale of loss -- and of the triumph of love over loss. A short tale with some deep themes, Missing May makes an excellent family read-aloud.

 

Deceptively simple and brimming with voice, Missing May packs a lot of wisdom into a slim volume.

Your Analysis of Missing May

What did you think of Missing May?

This Page Donates...

If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

Write them here.

Thoughts on Missing May?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Another book I will add to my read list. Thank you.

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 

      8 years ago

      Sounds very fascinating!

    • aidenw profile image

      aidenw 

      8 years ago from USA

      I have not read it but it sounds like an interesting story.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)