Monday, June 4, 2007

A living girl in the land of the dead

May Bird lives in an isolated house on the edge of the woods -- not far from an abandoned town from which residents mysteriously disappeared many years earlier. Her mother worries about her, because she'd rather be alone in the woods than with children her own age. May does try to fit in at school, practicing smiles in front of the mirror to make them look less like the grimaces they are. She does this to make her mother feel better, but also because May is trying desperately to convince her not to send her to a private boarding school in New York.

May Bird loves exploring the woods with her strange little hairless Rex named Somber Kitty. Somber Kitty is, in fact, my personal favorite character in this book. He is not a talking cat, but there are sections from his point of view, and his dry outlook on life is just wonderful. One day May, exploring the old abandoned buildings, discovers a letter in the ruined post office, dated from before she was born -- and is astonished to find it is addressed to her. In it is a plea for help - someone needs her, and that unusual circumstance leads May to explore the woods farther than she's ever gone -- all the way to the lake.

She falls in the lake, and finds herself being pulled down, down, and when she wakes up, she's in the Ever After. A land populated by ghosts, specters, ghouls, and the confused spirits of the newly dead. She is relieved to find that she's not dead, but only until she learns that live people are not allowed in the Ever After. Somber Kitty follows her, and in his search for May he is captured by the ghosts of ancient Egyptians bent on worshiping -- and sacrificing -- him. May is on the run, wanting only to get back home to her mother and her cat (who she believes is safe at home), but also aware that the letter writer awaits her far to the north, and she is the only one that can save the people there from a fate that is -- literally worse than death.

May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Atheneum 2005)

4 comments:

  1. My husband sent me a link to your page. He clicked 'next' at the top of the blogger screen and it came up with your's. I also have a book blog so he thought I'd be interested. I am. I love YA and children's lit. May Bird sounds like one I'd enjoy.

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  2. Thanks, booklogged! I'm glad you stopped by, and I will definitely check out your blog. I'm just about to start the sequel to May Bird - the first one kind of leaves you hanging. I'll let you know how it goes.

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  3. I just finished reading this book about a month ago, and I am by NO means dissapinted. I thought, personally, that it was one of the best books I have ever read! Im now working on the second book, May Bird-Among The Stars. Im almost at page 100 and I could never have been more pleased so far. Im only 11, and I still feel that I would reccomend this book to a 15 year old. I feel Jodi Lynn has done a finominal job with this one. Now if youll excuse me...I have to go to the book store to buy May Bird and The Ever After so I can read it over and over again!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous reader! I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying May Bird - I agree that it is such a good book that it's silly to limit the "recommended age" the way we do. I can't figure out why people of all ages don't read these books (and other books for kids and teens), but I guess that's just me. I will be curious to hear what you, as an 11-year-old reader, think about the third book, which is quite a bit different from the other two, since May is a lot older in the that one. If you get a chance, please let me know!

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