Monday, October 24, 2011

Novels in Verse - Hidden and May B.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Helen Frost's newest novel in verse, Hidden. So much has already been written about this beautiful book. Suffice it to say, I have one copy in the classroom and four (that's right....four!) copies of this book from our town's library loan system making their way into readers' hands and hearts.

"When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra's father steals a minivan. He doesn't know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.

"Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth—that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain."

Please visit Anita Silvey's Children's Book-a-Day Almanac by clicking HERE. Ms. Silvey writes eloquently about Hidden, and I agree completely when she writes, "After reading the book in one gulp, both adults and children will want to go back to this complex book and learn more about the characters."

Put this next book on your reading radar! Not being released until January 2012, May B. by Caroline Starr Rose is an engaging historical novel in verse that will leave you wanting to reread your favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book!

Mavis Elizabeth Betterly...May Betts...May B is sent to help out on a neighbor's homestead. She begrudgingly leaves her ma and pa and brother Hiram to go to Mr. Oblinger's soddy to be a companion for his new wife who is a novice to the hardships of Frontier life. "It's just till Christmas, May" her pa promises.

However, between the water coming through the roof, snakes getting inside, the grime of the dirt floor, and the loneliness of the Frontier, the new Mrs. Oblinger cannot bear one more minute. With the guise of a trip on the prairie to see all that she can see, Mrs. Oblinger rides off and does not come back. Mr. Oblinger is worried enough to go in search of his new wife, if only to make sure she finds her way. May B is left to tend the house.

"Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her." (from Amazon)

Will May B. find her way home again?

Maybe May B. can make it.
Maybe May B. can't.

This is a book I will recommend to my sixth and seventh grade readers. It is a historical fiction read that does not intimidate. May B. is a spunky, determined, and strong-willed twelve year-old. She will surely be remembered by all who read her adventure.

Click HERE to watch the book trailer. Click HERE to watch the author explain how sod houses were made during the pioneer days.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!
P.P.S. Thank you, Worch Library, for the review copy! BEST librarians putting books in the hands of kids!


  1. Thanks for the sneak peek at MAY B. I'm anxiously awaiting that one!

  2. I absolutely adored MAY B. You've captured its essence! Reading it was definitely like breathing chocolate air!

  3. MAY B is a book that I have been looking forward to reading. Thanks for listing it here!

  4. I will for sure get these. Have an aspiring author in my book club (almost 13) and she loves loves novels in verse. Her most recent read and re-read again was Burn by Alma Fullerton. Thanks for sharing your recommends!