Thursday, June 7, 2012
The Summer of May
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster | April 24, 2012
May, who has just completed the 8th grade, opens the story of her summer by saying "I thought it was funny. So did a lot of other kids. Miss Movado, however, did not." The reader finds out quickly that May has painted a giant avocado on the wall of her English teacher's room to poke fun at her penchant for wearing green and her round shape. As punishment, and to avoid expulsion, May will spend the entire summer re-taking the English class she barely passed and re-painting Ms. Movado's entire classroom.
May has had a tough time of it. She lives with her Gram and her father; her mother has gone. May blames herself, fights with her father, and can't get her grandmother to eat or come out of her room. She is pretty much alone except for her only friend, Olive. She keeps messing up, says she doesn't care about anything, and doesn't trust anyone. Soon, some walls start to come down and May starts to accept some help from those around her.
Told in the first person, the voice seems pretty authentic. The plot line good, but the conflict wraps up a little too easily. No matter, though - for those readers in the publisher's market for this (8-13 year olds), the twist at the end will make up for all that.
As kids finish up the school year and get ready for summer, this summer read is worth checking out!