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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.

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.

wood rocker on a porch

Missing May in 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.



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!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Explore the Depths of Childhood Grief with On My Honor

Explore the Depths of Childhood Grief with On My Honor

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer is a poignant tale of how a young teen deals with the guilt and grief over the death of his friend. This Newbery Medal-winning book is great to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

You can read author Marion Dane Bauer’s description of how she came up with this story based on real-life events from her childhood here to gain insight on the “behind the scenes” of the story.

Hopefully, your students won’t have any first or secondhand experience in dealing with a tragedy such as this. It can strike at any time. My teen daughter has had to deal with this during this past summer after the death of four of her close friends in a car accident. She doesn’t deal with guilt regarding the accident but has had to struggle with the why. How did a carefree summer night just like so many others change everything in an instant? How quickly it forces young people to face mortality and mature overnight.

On My Honor does a good job of portraying this experience in main character Joel.

From the Book Jacket:

Joel’s best friend, Tony, is a daredevil. It was Tony’s idea to make the long bike ride to the Starved Rock state park, and Tony’s idea to stop for a swim in the dangerous Vermillion River. So why does Joel feel so much guilt when tragedy strikes?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany On My Honor 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.

rapids and a stream

Literature has such a power to help us deal with events in our life that we can’t understand. It helps us realize that in our feelings we are not alone. This is a wonderful book to help students understand survivor’s guilt, how things can change in an instant, and how to deal with grief over someone we’ve loved and lost.



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!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.