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May B.

By: Caroline Starr Rose

BOOK TALK

Meet Mavis Betterly, loving called May Betts by her brother Hiram, and cruelly called May B. by the kids at school because she has trouble reading.  May is crushed when her parents decide to send her to the neighbors to help out “just until Christmas” because they need the money.  May has to give up her schooling and travel fifteen miles from home to care for a woman who has just arrived to the Kansas prairie from Boston.  The woman is unhappy with the harsh conditions and her husband hires May to be a help and companion to his wife.  May does her best to help, but eventually the wife leaves her husband to return to Boston and her husband follows her, leaving may alone on the prairie.  After weeks alone, May realizes something must have happened to them because they do not return and she is left to take care of herself through the harsh Kansas winter.  Blizzards, lack of food, wolves, and the bitter cold almost take May’s life, but her courage will see her through.

Prepared by Susan Geye, Director of Library Services, Everman ISD.