Author: Jennifer L. Holm
One of my favorite childhood books, Our Only May Amelia, gives readers an insight on the life of a young girl and her family who were Finnish immigrants in 1899 Washington State. Besides being the youngest (and only) girl in a family of seven boys, May Amelia also has the misfortune to be the only girl born in the entire Nasel River settlement. Despite her family’s insistence that she behave like a proper young lady, May Amelia is more interested in exploring the forest or swimming in the river than in learning household chores. Although this book is lesser known than other examples of historical fiction, it is written in prose that brings the personality of the title character to life. This book is a surprisingly emotional and impactful experience. The journey continues in a sequel, The Trouble With May Amelia, creating a portrait of a young pioneer girl that is at turns heartbreaking, funny, and hopeful.