Saturday, July 13, 2013
The summer of May by Cecilia Gallant
"That time in class when you said I laughed at you about this poem?" ... 'Do you remember what it was you said?' I remembered perfectly. It had been one of those rare days when I hadn't exactly felt like trying, and I definitely didn't care one way or the other, but I'd been listening with half an ear anyway. Movado the Avocado had read 'Harlem' three times aloud to the class and now she was packing up and down the length of the room, shouting out questions. There were a few timid answers, but most of the students just stared down at the poem. 'Why do you think Mr Hughes asks so many questions in this poem?' she'd asked at one point. I raised my hand ..."
May lives with her dad and her grandmother. May's mother has left. As this story opens May really has gone too far. This lesson, like so many others lately has gone badly wrong and May has been caught painting graffiti on the classroom wall. Now she is facing expulsion or Summer school with the dreaded Movado the Avocado. She has no choice and so May goes to Summer school each day for a series of rather surprising English lessons and along the way she discovers important things about herself, her family and Miss Movado - things that are sure to surprise you.
The Summer of May is a novel for a senior reader. I read this book in one sitting - yes it is that good. Here is a detailed review.
After reading this book you might like to look for The Year Mrs Montague cried which also deals with the subject of deep grief. You should also read one of the next books I am reviewing Slob by Ellen Potter. I also thought of Ida B when I was reading this book because Ida is another character who has to deal with anger and the world of adults.