Missing May

Written by Cynthia Rylant

Reviewed by Gaby L. (age 12)

This book is about a girl called Summer. She lost her parents when she was very young. She was passed around from one relative to another. Finally she finds a family member that wants her. She went to live with her Uncle Ob and Aunt May. Her new home was a rusty old trailer stuck on the face of a mountain in Deep Water, Fayette County, West Virginia. However, after a few years May died. You can not imagine how much grief Ob and Summer had over this tragic loss. They get to know one of Summer's classmates, a boy named Cletus, who comes over with his briefcase full of pictures and tries to cheer them up. The three of them take a trip to Putnam County hoping to communicate with May's spirits, with the help of a Spiritualist Minister. Summer's goal was to talk with May's spirit and help Uncle Ob to find happiness and normalcy in his life. Summer, Uncle Ob, and Cletus come back home filled with joy, hope, and love in their hearts.

This book made me feel very emotional. It showed me how someone may cope with the loss of someone in their family or a good friend. It made me feel happy, but on the other hand, it made me feel sad because throughout the book I could feel Summer and Ob's grief over the death of May. Personally, my favorite part was when Cleatus came in with his briefcase full of pictures. He was a funny character with his own story and that made me laugh. When I read this book I was touched to see how much they loved and missed May. When my grandpa, uncle, and grandma died in the same year I kind of felt like Summer. I still miss them just like Summer and Ob still miss May.

I would recommend anyone over the age of 10 to read this story about Missing May. This story is very touching, but sometimes funny, too. I think someone who just lost a member of their family should read this book. It might help them deal with the loss and find comfort. May's spirit brings Summer and Ob a lot of happiness. Read this book and you will understand why.

Gaby L. is a student in Mrs. Salewski's 5th and 6th Grade Class
2003-2004