The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

Kate O’Shaughnessy. Knopf, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-984893-83-3
Eleven-year-old Maybelle and her mother moved to a trailer park in Davenport, La., after a falling-out with Maybelle’s Baton Rouge grandparents that she believes is her fault. Maybelle’s mom works two jobs but struggles to get by, and lonely Maybelle, who is white, is bullied after her mother goes on a date with Miss King, a teacher at her school. When her mom gets a monthlong job singing on a cruise, Maybelle is left in the care of African-American neighbor Mrs. Boggs. Learning that her dad, a radio DJ whom she’s never met, will be judging a singing contest in Nashville, she enters, then persuades Mrs. Boggs to drive her. Neighbor Tommy, who is white and Maybelle’s occasional bully, sneaks into the trailer, and Mrs. Boggs persuades Maybelle to give him a chance, knowing that Tommy may have his own struggles. Soon the threesome, along with a dog they rescue along the way, are having an enjoyable adventure. But Maybelle, who suffers from anxiety and a fear of singing, must dig deep to find the courage to perform when they finally arrive. Lyrical and full of heart, this road trip story gets to the core of what it means to create family, to be brave, and to accept the flaws of being human. Ages 8–12. Agent: Pete Knapp, Park Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/03/2020
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 288 pages - 978-1-9848-9384-0
Show other formats
Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
Discover what to read next