Grieving and Missing May

Grieving and Missing May

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant is a poignant story to analyze the stages of grief a family goes through after losing a loved one. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Missing May was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1993. Prolific author, Cynthia Rylant, has taken the topic of grief and moving through the stages and written in a way that young readers can relate and empathize.

From the Book Jacket:

Ever since May, Summer’s aunt and good-as-a-mother for the past six years, died in the garden among her pole beans and carrots, life for Summer and her Uncle Ob has been as bleak as winter. Ob doesn’t want to create his beautiful whirligigs anymore, and he and Summer have slipped into a sadness that they can’t shake off. They need May in whatever form they can have her — a message, a whisper, a sign that will tell them what to do next. When that sign comes, Summer will discover that she and Ob can keep missing May but still go on with their lives.

A beloved classic about grief, gardens, and the enduring love of family.

See what people are saying about the Missing May Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for Missing May


Missing May is a poignant story of a young girl who has faced far too much loss in her life. How Summer adapts to that loss and helps those around her move through grief to renewal is a memorable and honorable story that kids can empathize with.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Missing May for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

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