Win an ARC of May B! Details at the end of this post.


I won’t go.

“It’s for the best,” Ma says,
yanking to braid my hair,
trying to make something of what’s left.

Ma and Pa want me to leave
and live with strangers.

I won’t go.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Caroline Starr Rose

About the book:

Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, or May B. as she is known, is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead, “Just until Christmas,” says her Pa. Twelve-year-old May wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by fifteen long, unfamiliar miles.

Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned to the oncoming winter, trapped all alone in a tiny snow-covered sod house without any way to let her family know and no neighbors to turn to. In her solitude, she wavers between relishing her freedom and succumbing to utter despair, while trying to survive in the harshest conditions. Her physical struggle to first withstand and then to escape her prison is matched by tormenting memories of her failures at school. Only a very strong girl will be able to stand up to both and emerge alive and well.

In this debut novel written in gripping verse, Caroline Starr Rose has given readers a new heroine to root for, one who never, ever gives up.

What people are saying:

“Heroes come in all sizes, and my newest hero is a pint-sized girl called May B. Armed with only her book, a broom, and a lot of sheer grit, May B. faces the terrors of school, winter, and the west Kansas prairie. Caroline Starr Rose tells May’s story in simple, moving verse that captures the joy of family, the gloomy isolation of a dirt soddy, and the determination of one scared but indomitable young person. May B. is a girl you’ll be proud to know.”–Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the Newbery Medal) and Catherine, Called Birdy (Newbery Honor book)

“May B’s incredible adventure gripped me right from the beginning. You can almost hear — and feel — the cold prairie winds of Kansas whipping through the pages of Caroline Starr Rose’s impressive first novel.”–Deborah Hopkinson, author of Band of Angels and Girl Wonder (Jane Addams Award honor books)

“In language as stark and beautiful as the Kansas prairie, Caroline Starr Rose offers a tale of survival. With nothing sugar coated, and everything surprising, readers will fall into the story and connect to May B.’s resilient and humble character. A great antidote to the hooked-up, plugged in age.”–Kelly Easton, author of The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes and Hiroshima Dreams, and Hamline University Professor in the MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program

“The language that streams through this book is timeless, transcendent, and graced with lyric spark, moving, always, the consequential story along. I listen for rhythms in the books I read, and I found them aplenty here. I look for heart, and found that, too—abundant and dear. Special books fit themselves into special places, and May B. has a new home here on my shelves.”–Beth Kephart, author of Dangerous Neighbors and The Heart is not a Size, and National Book Award Finalist.

 Released: January 10, 2012

About the author:

Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books, composed poetry on an ancient typewriter, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She’s taught both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, the freedom to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past.

Caroline has recently returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and two sons. You can visit her at


Caroline has been kind enough to contribute an ARC of May B for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on January 25th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!