Friday, June 03, 2011

Our Only May Amelia (MG)

Our Only May Amelia. Jennifer L. Holm. 1999. HarperCollins.

My brother Wilbert tells me that I was the first ever girl born in Nasel, that I was A Miracle. 

While it wasn't always easy to keep up with all seven of May Amelia's brothers, I really did enjoy this historical novel very much. May Amelia, our heroine, feels like she doesn't belong. It seems that she's always disappointing someone in her family--be it her father, mother, brother, cousin, or grandmother. She's grown up with brothers--doing the things that boys do--but each year she's expected to act more like a lady--a proper lady--and less like a tomboy. And if you took the time to ask her, she'd tell you truthfully, that she does NOT want to be a lady. She doesn't want to be silly and boy-crazy. She sees the way "young ladies" act around her older brothers. And it disgusts her. No, May Amelia is much too sensible to be a proper lady.

This family novel has its quiet and loud moments. It has plenty of drama, but at the same time it is focused on the characters, the family dynamics, how May Amelia relates to each member of her family for better or worse. Dramatic events include, for example, the arrival of her paternal grandmother, "Grandmother Patience," and her mother going into labor while the family's boating on the river.
Trust me, Grandma Patience is anything but patient. Her true name might be Grandmother Cranky Pants. The scenes were she lets loose and speaks her mind--well, let's just say they made me boo and hiss. She was not my favorite family member. I much preferred getting to know some of May Amelia's aunts and uncles. 

I thought this historical novel was well-written. I thought the characters were well-developed. I enjoyed watching May Amelia mature through the novel.

Set in 1899, Washington State.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

fourth Musketeer 9:52 PM  

This is one of my favorite historical novels. There's a sequel that just came out that you might enjoy, The Trouble With May Amelia!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word 2:42 AM  

I read this one a long time ago and remember that I liked it, but not much else about it. I just read and reviewed The Trouble with May Amelia:

http://www.hopeisthewordblog.com/2011/05/30/the-trouble-with-may-amelia-by-jennifer-l-holm/

Sam @ Parenthetical 3:09 PM  

I don't know this book, but it reminds me of Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.

QNPoohBear 4:31 PM  

I loved this book and the sequel too. Read the Boston Jane series by the same author. They are also good.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP