My students and I enjoyed getting to know the Class of 2K11 and the Elevensies, so we’re very excited to meet the Class of 2K12! To kick off the new year of debut authors, my students interview Caroline Starr Rose, the author of May B. Her book released last month, so make sure to look for a copy!
Summary of May B. (From Goodreads):
I’ve known it since last night:
It’s been too long to expect them to return.
May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.
** Caroline Starr Rose’s Website **
** Caroline Starr Rose is on Facebook **
** Follow Caroline Starr Rose’s Blog **
- Why did you decide to write May B. in verse?
Don’t tell anyone, but I’d only read two verse novels before writing my own. May B. didn’t start as verse. I was very frustrated with the distance between what I wanted to write and what ended up on the page. When I returned to my research, I noticed there were patterns in pioneer women’s writing. Much of it was matter-of-fact and spare. There was a similar tone used whether someone was writing about the laundry or a death in the family. Seeing this really showed me how to write my story.
It was in mimicking the voices of real frontier women that I stumbled into verse and found the most authentic way to speak for May and share her world.
- How did you feel when you saw your book on shelves for the first time?
My book came out the same day as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. My local bookstore had dozens of copies of his book on the same shelf as mine! It was completely surreal to see my book in the first place, but to see it next to the likes of John Green? Unbelievable.
- Why did you choose the prairie as the setting for the book?
I grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books and have always been struck by how strong and courageous frontier women were in the midst of their everyday lives. I wanted to dig into that world. I also wanted to write about solitude and was curious how to write a story where for most of the story the main character is alone. The prairie is often described in literature as this open, endless, vast place. I thought it would be interesting to examine being closed off — as May is when trapped in her snow-covered soddy — in the middle of this vast expanse. The contrast intrigued me.
- What’s your most & least favorite ice cream?
I’ve rarely met an ice cream flavor I didn’t like, though I’d have to say the ones with toxic-looking neon colors gross me out. Anything with peanut butter is an instant favorite. I also love peppermint ice cream covered in hot fudge.