“The Summer of May”
Ages 9-13. By Cecilia Galante
Lots of books about summer — including many of the ones we’re featuring in this year’s book club — tell stories about perfect summers with wonderful friends in fantastic locations.
To put it mildly, that’s not the kind of summer that May is confronting as this book begins. You see, May is finishing eighth grade, and she is about to get out of Miss Movado’s English class. (To get a sense of what May thinks of her English teacher, consider this: She calls her Movado the Avocado. You get the picture.) But when May pulls an end-of-year prank that involves a can of spray paint, she can choose her punishment: Either be expelled or have one-on-one summer school with, you guessed it, Movado the Avocado.
The story is complicated. May’s anger at her English teacher is really about her anger about her missing mother.
Cecelia Galante, who wrote “The Summer of May,” talked to KidsPost about why she wrote about a less-than-perfect summer.
“Sometimes summers will be remembered for NOT being so great, or at least starting out that way, as is the case with May,” Galante said. “Facing the reality of a less-than-perfect home life can be daunting, depressing or just downright awful. But the thing to remember about depressing situations is that just like summers, they end. They do. And sometimes at the end of them, you’ve become someone else. Someone better. Which, in the long run, is going to make for a whole lot more wonderful summers to come.”
That thought is as refreshing as a cool summer breeze, and so in its own way is “The Summer of May.”