Our Only May Amelia

by julie swanson


Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm is a story set in 1899 about a girl growing up in the state of Washington. She has seven older brothers and no sisters. She’s not only the only girl in her pioneering Finnish family (besides her mama), but the only girl ever born in their settlement. They live along a river where she and her brothers work, play, fish, explore, and encounter all sorts of outdoor adventures in their logging/fishing/farming community. May Amelia has a very hard time behaving or dressing like the proper young lady her family expects her to be. Maybe it would be easier if there were at least one other girl around, she thinks. Her secret wish is for a sister. And then Mama gets pregnant. Maybe she really will get a baby… Let’s just say this is a great story, wonderful setting, wonderful main character. It’s one of my all-time favorite tomboy novels.

The sequel to this story, The Trouble with May Amelia, came out in 2011.  just discovered it in doing this post and looking up the cover image for Our Only May Amelia, but I can’t wait to read it now.


Jennifer Holm is the award winning author of several middle grade and YA books I’ve enjoyed, including Boston Jane and the other books in the Boston Jane trilogy (as well as Newberry Honor Book Penny from Heaven).