Galante, Cecilia. The Summer of May. 252 pgs. Aladdin, 2011. $16.99. (Language : G ; Mature Content : PG; Violence : G)
Maeve prefers to be called May, and isn’t afraid to let others know, even when she’s in the principal’s office for the umpteenth time and is being forced to choose between summer school with the teacher she despises the most or expulsion. It’s been a hard year for May, and all the anger she feels toward her mom for leaving, toward her dad for moving them to a poorer neighborhood, and toward her gram for staying shut behind her bedroom door comes erupting out at inopportune times. When her mean English teacher makes her feel stupid in front of everyone in class, she gets revenge, but now has to attend summer school as a consequence, one-on-one with that same teacher.
May is thirteen and just finishing 8th grade, making it a solid middle-school story, rather than an elementary one, despite the fact that the jacket flap says she is twelve and the cover art features a girl who looks like a tween, or even younger. The lyrical language and engaging characters pulled me right into the story. It is a solidly written and moving story, even if somewhat predictable for your more well-read students.