What happens when you fall into another world? Alice could tell you all about Wonderland. Likewise, May Bird could tell you all about the Ever After.
Book One: May Bird and the Ever After
May Bird is a bright, independent and imaginative young girl whose best friend is her hairless cat, the aptly-named Somber Kitty. One day, she receives a mysterious letter which prompts her to visit the nearby woods. Little does she know that she's about to go on the trip of her life -- among the no-longer-living!
With the help of Pumpkin - a timid ghost who has, without her knowledge, been her long-time guardian - she navigates the strange land. The Ever After is part Beetlejuice, part Oz, and sometimes a little scary for May, but her bravery sees her through.
Somber Kitty also fell into the Ever After, but he was separated from his owner. While May Bird tries to find a way home, Somber Kitty attempts to find her by following her scent. Somber Kitty is absolutely adorable and simply meowvelous. His determination and loyalty make his part of the story just as important as hers.
Book Two: May Bird Among the Stars
May Bird Among the Stars picks up right where the first book, May Bird and the Ever After, leaves off. May Bird enlists the help of some unique friends, faces the bad guys head-on, and believes that she'll get home, no matter what.
This book does just what the middle book in a trilogy should do: continue the story set up in the first book, offer changes, dangers, and rewards to existing characters, introduce new characters, and have skirmishes with the villains.
May Bird Among the Stars is just as funny and well-paced as its predecessor. It delicately balances the humorous bits with the scary parts, and is intelligent enough to engage adults while fun enough for the target audience of kids.
Book Three: May Bird, Warrior Princess
After reading the second book, I wrote of my hopes and anticipation for the third book: "I will be sad that the trilogy is over, but I hope to be happy with the ending, rather than disappointed by it. I am quite anxious to see how this all wraps up!"
The last book did make me sad - not because the series was over, but because the ending was truly sad. Also, quite honestly, I was let down by the last few chapters. Sigh. Still, overall, it was a good trilogy.
I recommend this series to ages 8 and up. I think kids and adults will get a kick out of it, especially those who are fans of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, the many stories about the land of Oz, or the crazy world of Beetlejuice. Also check out the imaginative juvenile fantasy series OutCast by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski and the funny superhero attempts of Billy Hooten, Owlboy by Thomas E. Sniegoski, illustrated by Eric Powell.
Today is the fifth and final day of the week-long Recommendations Under the Radar blog project created by Colleen of Chasing Ray. Bildungsroman is one of many blogs participating in this event, in which bloggers post about favorite books which worth their weight in gold but may have slipped under the radar for many readers. Here's my schedule.
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: The Vietnam books by Ellen Emerson White
Big A, little a: The Deep by Helen Dunmore
Bildungsroman: The May Bird Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Finding Wonderland: The Avion My Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher
Not Your Mother's Bookclub: A look at some recently revised classics
Fuse Number 8: Stoneflight by George McHarque
Lectitans: Gentle's Holler and Louisiana Song both by Kerry Madden
Chasing Ray: Kipling's Choice by Geert Spillebeen
Interactive Reader: A Plague of Sorcerers by Mary Frances Zambreno
The YA YA YAs: Resurrection Men by TK Welsh
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Such a Pretty Face: Short Stories About Beauty edited by Ann Angel
Sarah Miller: Wait Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn