We read it: May B. (a giveaway)

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I‘m excited today to share one of our favorite reads for middle grades and up today:  May B. is a novel written by Caroline Starr Rose, about a young pioneer girl on the Kansas prairie.

Written in verse, this is a beautiful, touching book that my daughter and I found so compelling we read it together in one long afternoon, passing it back and forth on the sofa, eager to see May’s adventures to their conclusion.

We read it aloud to each other that day, but Jillian has since read May B. more than once on her own again.  We both agree that this is a special book and we think you’ll want it to make a home on your bookshelves, too.

I’ll let Jillian review it for you in her own words here:

May B. is about a girl named May who has to live at a neighbor’s homestead “just until Christmas” to help bring in some money for her family.   Her neighbors are kind of a mismatched couple, and hard to put up with.  But the real adventure begins after the snowstorm, when May will be challenged and her courage tested.

The book is well-written and dramatic, but at times witty, too.  One of my favorite lines is “I’d rather muck out a barn barefoot” which May thinks to herself after her neighbor Mr.Oblinger asks her to keep his wife company.

I like May because she is strong and spunky and brave, despite what other kids think.  This is a good read for kids and adults alike.

mayBJillian2014Thanks, Jillian!

May B. is written for ages 8 to 12, though I think older kids would really enjoy it, too.  You can learn more about the author at her website www.CarolineStarrRose.com where you’ll be happy to note that there’s more goodness for our bookshelves coming in 2014 and 2015.

The Giveaway

May B. has recently been released in paperback.  Ten lucky Simple Kids readers will win a copy!

To enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end at midnight EST January 17, 2014.  Good luck!


About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. My daughter (10) and I are reading Giada de Laurentiis’ series Recipe for Adventure. We read the Naples, Italy, book first and are anxious to read the Paris and Hong Kong ones next. It’s a pretty easy read, but the best part is there are two recipe cards at the end of each book. We enjoyed making the zeppole from the first book (it’s like a homemade doughnut!) and pretending we were in Naples.

  2. Thanks for the great review. My daughter and I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance.

  3. My seven year is reading The Candymakers. Every once in awhile he will ask me to read to him. It is a very cute book so far. It’s a big book and a bit challenging for him, but I am so happy to see him get wrapped up in a book like he is in this one.

  4. My daughter isn’t a pre-teen yet (well, I guess she technically is a pre-teen, but she’s not quite 5, so I don’t think that counts, LOL). I loved the Anne of Green Gables series when I was young, and I am hoping to share those with her as she gets older. Also: Mary Poppins series, All of a Kind family series, Little House series, Little Women and others by Louisa May Alcott, the Borrowers….there are a lot of great books out there!
    Tammy´s latest post: ~Shopping~

  5. Right now my 9 year old daughter is reading the Warriors series. She loves them. Aloud at bedtime we’re reading Treasure Hunters which is a fun graphic novel that both my daughter and 7 year old son are enjoying.
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: When You’re Weary – Something Has to Give

  6. Elizabeth says:

    What a fun book! My daughter (15) and I love sharing book ideas and discussing what we’ve read. It’s a special bond we have, and I love almost all of the books she’s recommended and vice versa. Thanks for introducing us to this author!

  7. Would love to share this with my daughter!

  8. We’re currently re-reading the Narnia series! Everyone loves it, from my first grader to my middle-schooler!

  9. I loved the Inkheart books, they are clearly written by someone who adores books and words.

  10. I think my 12 yr old would love this book!

  11. My son is really enjoying the Harry Potter series. We just started Book 4.

  12. I love the Anne of Green Gables and Little Women series when I was young and hoping to introduce them to my dd soon.

  13. The Anne of Green Gables books are great. I also liked Moon over Manifest.

  14. Kristie O. says:

    My daughter is only 6 but as a tween I’m pretty sure I was reading the Sweet Valley High series. Would love to share May’s story with my little one. :)

  15. Michelle S says:

    So far our favorite read alouds have been the Little House books. We also really enjoyed Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and Robin Hood. I would love to add this to our read aloud collection. I’m sure it would be enjoyed by the whole family.

  16. My children haven’t reached the tween years yet but I do hope they’ll still be loving to read. I remember reading and loving the Narnia books, The Hobbit, and really anything fantasy, adventure or science fiction. I still occasionally retread many of these books. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Anne´s latest post: Wrapping Up December and Looking Forward to 2014

  17. I’m going to echo the choices that Tammy listed! All are great books!!

  18. Thank you, Kara and Jillian, for you enthusiasm for Miss May and for hosting me today. Jillian, I love that you caught a bit of humor in the story. The books is rather intense, and I wrote it in the way that felt most honest for May and her circumstance, but I did try to add a few light moments here and there. My favorite is when Hiram flings bacon grease on the curtains.
    Caroline Starr Rose´s latest post: Fast Five (Plus Four): Middle-Grade Novels About Foster Families

  19. Meggan D. says:

    Ooooo this sounds great! My daughter will love it!

  20. The one I remember loving most was “A Wrinkle in Time”

  21. We are so thankful to have found your blog. This book sounds lovely.

  22. What a wonderful review of a truly moving book!

  23. My daughter and I enjoyed reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We also loved the Wind Boy by Ethel Cook Eliot.

  24. I always love new book suggestions! Thanks!

  25. We are always on the lookout for new books loved by others! We just finished reading “The Candymakers” to one child, and the other read “The Mad Scientists Club” to himself and loved it. Here’s a board where I try to keep track of books he’s really enjoyed (so that when the other child is old enough, I can remember!!): http://www.pinterest.com/eila/jacks-10-year-old-bookshelf-read-and-recommends/
    eila j´s latest post: perfect New Year’s Eve

  26. Can I preempt my comment with the fact that I am loving the cover of this book? In the age of creepy fantasy stories, unrealistic “romance” and plain old poor writing, these books look like treasures from cover to pages. We aren’t quite at the tween stage but I am always on the lookout for quality lit for my brood. I loved anything by L.M. Montgomery, particularity the Emily series as well as Anne, of course. Thanks for sharing!

  27. This sounds like “Hatchet” for girls! Yay for an adventure featuring strong girls! My daughter is seven and I would love to read May B. with her!

  28. My kids are still younger, but there are so many books I look forward to sharing with them, including many of those others have listed: Anne books, Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, haven’t read Harry Potter yet but I’m hoping to read them with my kids.

  29. Kristin thomas says:

    My two older kids who are early Tweens have really enjoyed the first two books in the Land of Stories series. It’s an enjoyable read for adults as well!

  30. This looks like a great book!

  31. Christie P says:

    I absolutely love Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Now, to just get my daughter to read it…

  32. I have just recently started following Caroline’s blog, too! One of my favorite middle-aged series is the Chronicles of Narnia. I don’t remember reading a lot in middle-school, but I do remember loving the Chronicles of Narnia and the “Dear America” series. :)
    Sarah M
    Sarah M´s latest post: The last few books of 2013

  33. This book has been in my to read list and now it will move up several notches!
    Where The Mountain Meets the Moon and The One and Only Ivan were favorites of mine this year. I also enjoyed The Familiars as a fun read!

  34. I can remember my grade school book loves so clearly, but middle school, oddly enough, is harder to remember. I do remember reading The Outsiders in 8th grade english class and really liking it, especially when I learned how young the author was when she wrote it. I also liked Memo to Myself When I Have a Teenage Kid, by Carol Snyder.

  35. My daughter love pioneer books more than anything. She’s loved the little House books and the Sarah Plain and Tall books. She also has loved the Wildwood books and the Poppy books. We’re excited about this new one. Thanks!

  36. I’ve had May B on my Goodreads list for awhile, my kids are early elem, so we’re not to this age yet, but the books sounds fabulous. My favorite middle school book? The Outsiders, I loved that book as a 12/13 year old.
    Ashlee´s latest post: 18" Rapunzel Doll Dress by MomBabyMe

  37. I just started reading the Little House books to my 3.5 year old and he is loving the farming aspect of them (and actually sitting still and listening!) This sounds like a book he’d be interested in listening to – and this mama who loves history would love reading it too! :)

  38. I have nieces in the age range who loved Harry Potter! My kids are not at that age yet. But we’ve read the Boxcar children and will be starting the little house series.
    Madeline´s latest post: We read it: May B. (a giveaway)

  39. My oldest daughter is only 2 1/2, but she already LOVES listening to me read the Little House series!! My husband just commented TODAY on how he remembers how I couldn’t wait to share Laura and all her adventures with a little daughter (I have three big boys who also enjoyed the series :)). Anyway, I am so excited to find out more about May B.!!

  40. Thanks for the great giveaway! I’m going to say the Harry Potter series – really can’t be beat for reading with middle graders.

  41. Love, love, love The Wonder Effect! Such a heartwarming story with a great message

  42. I will forever love all of the Little House books and my oldest loves them, too.

  43. Looks great … we’d love to add it to our library!

  44. I don’t have my own tween or teen to read with yet, but when I taught 5th graders I loved Louis Sachar books and the Mysterious Benedict Society series. Lately I’ve also found Tom Angelberger’s Origami Yoda books very entertaining! I can’t wait to check May B out!

  45. My oldest turns 7 next month so there is quite a few books I have been (not so) patiently waiting to read with her. There is many books from my childhood that I have been buying to build up our library. We use Sonlight and I am pleased to see that there are quite a few books I remember on their reading lists. One series in particular I have been waiting to share is the Harry Potter series. As for the May B. book, I think that looks like a fantastic read for myself until she is a little bit older!

  46. We’re currently reading the Narnia series. There’s a reason everyone knows those books – they really are that good.
    Natalie´s latest post: Terrier by Tamora Pierce

  47. This would be great for my twin 11 yo girls. I just got them a copy of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. A favorite of mine when i was there age. i’m looking forward to sharing it with them.

  48. We love the Little House books!

  49. Melissa B says:

    My kids are younger, but my 8 yo daughter is really getting into some of my favorites to read together: Narnia, The Hobbit, Little House series and Harry Potter. My husband started reading the Ranger series to her, which they are enjoying.


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