Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Trouble with May Amelia

The Trouble with May Amelia

Spring 2011 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Jennifer Holm
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1373-3
Hardcover Price: $15.99

Living in the state of Washington in 1900 along the Nasal River, May Amelia has seven brothers. She had a baby sister, Amy, who died in the previous book about May Amelia. Amy is not forgotten by her big sister, who frequently feels that everyone else has forgotten her lost sibling. Clad in overalls like her brothers, May Amelia always tries to win her Pappa's approval by displaying "sisu," a Finnish word for guts and courage. Clever but accident-prone, May Amelia has little chance of ever winning kind words from her harsh but beloved Pappa. When an English-speaking con-man arrives on the scene, he ultimately cons Finnish-speaking Pappa and several neighbors out of their land. Pappa unfairly blames May Amelia, who served as translator. In the way of children, May Amelia believes that she is to blame.

Although there is genuine heart-break from a parent in this story, humor predominates. While awash with colorful characters, none can compare with the feisty heroine. She emerges on the other side of terrible trouble with an idea that heals many wounds.

Kemie Nix   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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