So let me just get this off my chest. I have not read Our Only May Amelia. *ducks head in shame* In my defense it was released in my first year of teaching in my current school. I was trying desperately to stay afloat. Somehow that beautiful book passed me by. Fast forward to the present. After attending NCTE with all of my friends telling me I HAD to read this, I quickly purchased it. Add that to the wonderful opportunity to meet the amazing Jenni Holm, and this book moved to the top of my to read stack.
May Amelia reminds me of another character from one of my favorite books of this year, Doug Swieteck. Both characters have a clear "voice". May Amelia is a character I cannot soon forget. Life isn't easy for her - from being surrounded by boys both at home and school, a teacher that seems determined to get married, a brother who has run off, a crisis with their family farm, and a father who doesn't seem to appreciate having a daughter - May Amelia has many reasons to give up. But even with those strikes against her, May Amelia rises up against the odds. She is full of sisu, which - according to Wikipedia - is Finnish for strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. May Amelia will join the ranks of the characters I love. She is one to admire.
Jenni Holm's writing amazes me. How she can create one book after another full of characters that you can connect to, awesome. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for my students and I next.