Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Mailing May

Title: Mailing May
Author: Michael O. Tunnell
Illustrator: Ted Rand
Reading level: Ages 4-8

About the book: (from Amazon)
Based on an incident that occurred in Idaho in 1914, this story tells of little May, who longs to visit her grandmother. May's parents cannot afford a railway ticket for the 75-mile trip, but with the help of cousin Leonard, who mans the mail car on the train, May's father takes advantage of the new parcel post regulations: he presents his daughter at the station post office as a package he's mailing to Lewiston. Affixing 53 cents in stamps to the back of her coat, the good-natured postmaster checks May in as poultry ("biggest baby chick on record"), and Leonard delivers her to Grandma's house the next day.

My thoughts:
Yes, I realize that this picture book is not a tween book, but I got to visit the National Postal Museum in Washington DC, and ever the teacher, I went into the gift shop to buy pencils for my homeroom kids and read books.  I am constantly on the lookout for non-fiction picture books to help my struggling tween and teen readers and this gorgeous picture book was so precious. Living on an island, I've always wanted to put myself in a bag and send myself to some other place on the plane, so when I read about this true story of a family sending their five-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff on the mail train from Grangeville to Lewiston, Idaho for 53 cents, this is just too precious to pass up. 

For my struggling readers, this book is perfect to give them a glimpse of the time period that they're studying in social studies, but also the format of the picture book gives them multiple entries into a non-fiction piece that isn't always possible from their textbook. The text is engaging, Rand's watercolor illustrations pop off the pages and the author's note at the end gives additional information and sources for further study. 

I would love to get more non-fiction picture books like this one to bring into our middle school library.  What are your suggestions? 
This meme was started by Green Bean Teen Queen 


GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

This looks adorable! Thanks for sharing.

Tammy said...

How sad! I'm from Idaho and have never heard of this book! Thanks for the heads up and great review! I'll be making sure my library buys this book!


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