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May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Mavis, called May B, lives with her family in a sod house on the Kansas prairie. When times get hard, May’s parents send her to a neighboring farm to act as hired help. Mr. Obliger is kind, but his new wife is angry with her new life and missing home. When Mrs. Obliger runs away, her husband rushes to find her. Days pass and May realizes she is left alone on the prairie with no way to get to her family. She must learn to survive the prairie fall and winter on her own.

Written in free verse, May’s story is a powerful look at depression, discouragement, but also survival. May’s narrative describes harsh prairie life, but also follows her personal struggles with dyslexia. Young readers will relate to her learning struggles and insecurity, but they also get a fascinating glimpse into life as a prairie settler. This a perfect read for those who love Laura Ingalls Wilder and long for more books of that type.

Recommended ages--9 and up

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