cover image The Trouble with May Amelia

The Trouble with May Amelia

Jennifer L. Holm, read by Maria Dalbotten. Listening Library, unabridged, four CDs, 4.5 hrs., $28 ISBN 978-0-307-96782-4

In this long-awaited sequel to Our Only May Amelia, the titular preteen heroine’s Finnish-American immigrant family faces new difficulties: young cousins who have been through great trauma visit, and the family may lose its farm. Narrator Maria Dalbotten creates a believable May Amelia, the high pitch and bright tone of her voice bringing the character to life. However, the narrator uses the same voice for every character, even formidable pappa, who rules over May Amelia and her brood of seven brothers. Since much of the novel’s action is conveyed through dialogue, Dalbotten’s narration is ineffective. Additionally, the narrator’s careful enunciation fails to match up to the characters’ unrefined vernacular. This audio rendition is entertaining but doesn’t quite do justice to the novel. Ages 8–12. An Atheneum hardcover. (Jan.)