On Writing, Poetry, and the Prairie: An Interview with Caroline Starr Rose

A note from Jamie: Today’s post is the first in a new book series I’m starting on Simple Homeschool–For the Love of Reading. Enjoy!

I first met Caroline Starr Rose almost 12 years ago when we both lived in the Washington, DC Area. We became close friends as we grew our families and our writing careers simultaneously.

Over the years Carrie taught me a lot–especially about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there as a writer. Visit her blog, Caroline by line, to get to know her better.

I recently got to chat with Caroline about her debut novel-in-verse for tweens and teens. May B. is a frontier story set in 1870s Kansas.

I’m so happy to feature my dear friend on Simple Homeschool today!

Check out the end of the post to see how you can win a copy.

An Interview with Caroline Starr Rose

1. Can you give us an overview of your book and the historical context of the novel?

Here’s a description from Random House Children’s Books:

I watch the wagon
until I see nothing on the open plain.
For the first time ever,
I am alone.

“Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, or May B. as she is known, is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead, “Just until Christmas,” says her Pa. Twelve-year-old May wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by fifteen long, unfamiliar miles.

Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned to the oncoming winter, trapped all alone in a tiny snow-covered sod house without any way to let her family know and no neighbors to turn to. In her solitude, she wavers between relishing her freedom and succumbing to utter despair, while trying to survive in the harshest conditions.

Her physical struggle to first withstand and then to escape her prison is matched by tormenting memories of her failures at school. Only a very strong girl will be able to stand up to both and emerge alive and well.”

I wrote May for a number of reasons — my love for Laura Ingalls Wilder (and the desire to create my own strong pioneer girl), my curiosity about how learning disabled children would have fared in an era when their struggles would have been misunderstood, and the challenge of writing about solitude.

2. What is a novel in verse and how did you decide to create your debut work in this style?

A verse novel is a story told through unrhymed poetry. May B. didn’t start as verse. My first few attempts at writing the story felt distant and lifeless.

It wasn’t until I returned to my research (and specifically a book called Read this Only to Yourself: The Private Writings of Midwestern Women, 1880-1910) that I saw the patterns these women’s writings had in common: terse language, stark circumstances, a matter-of-fact tone.

It was as if the heavens had opened for me, and I was able to climb inside May’s world, using the voices of the women I’d encountered through research.

3. How did your life path lead you to writing as a career?

I’m a former middle school English and social studies teacher and have been an avid reader since childhood. Writing books was always a dream, one I started to take seriously in 1998.

I had no children at the time and was on summer vacation — there really was no excuse not to give it a try. By the end of the summer, I had the first draft of a (horrendous!) children’s novel about the Oregon Trail.

I revised during the school year and began contacting editors the following spring. This first manuscript helped set the pattern I was to continue until 2009: writing, revising, then sending out query letters to editors I hoped might be interested in my writing. May B. was my fourth novel and eleventh book overall (I write picture books, too).

4. What other books would you recommend to homeschooling parents looking to create a unit study of frontier life at the time of May B.?

5. Do you have any advice about how to nurture a love of writing within our students?

It is so essential to give children the freedom to experiment with words. Allow kids to write things you’ll never see (maybe have them keep a nature journal or a reader’s response booklet as they read their favorite books).

Give them a place that is a spelling and grammar-free zone. And most importantly, give them opportunities to write about things of their own choosing.

Two things I firmly believe: Children can’t find their writing voice unless they are given permission to explore a lot of different ways to write. Also, as any writer will tell you, not everything we create is meant to be taken to the final draft stage. While it is important to teach children the steps of the writing process (brainstorming, rough draft, editing and revision, final draft), not every piece of writing needs to be taken this far.

And one more thing: Pick up a copy of Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and watch your young writers blossom.


Caroline is giving away a copy of May B. along with an accompanying teacher’s guide to five Simple Homeschool readers!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering this question: What is the most recent book you’ve read with your child?

If you’re reading this in an email, you must come over to the blog to comment.

If you’d like two additional ways to enter the giveaway, here’s how:

Additional Entries

1. Watch the May B. trailer embedded above. (Email readers will need to click through to the blog or watch here.) Then leave another comment letting me know you watched it.

2. ‘Like’ May B. and Simple Homeschool on Facebook. Then come back here again and leave a comment, telling me you did so.

This giveaway has now ended. Thanks for entering!

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.


  1. The most recent book I read with my children was Treasures of the Snow. We also have been reading a Geronimo Stilton book for my silly boys at bedtime.
    Your book looks great! I have thought of writing something similar with local history in it as many people don’t know the local history here!
    Martha Artyomenko’s latest post: Books on my list to be read

    • Martha, I remember seeing a movie version of Treasures in the Snow as a girl. For years, I asked people if they’d seen this movie with a boy, kittens, and a terrible accident, and no one knew what I was talking about.

      Until a dear friend recommended Treasures of the Snow for our book club. It’s a beautiful story, isn’t it?
      Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: MAY Days #3: Launch Party Pictures

  2. The most recent book I read to my kids was Piggy’s Pancake Parlor. They loved it and so did I!

  3. Jennifer E. says:

    The most recent book I read to my daughter was “Calvin Can’t Fly”.

  4. The most recent book I have read with my children is Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. My daughter sat next to me and rubbed my back as I cried over it. We’re also listening to the final chapter of Charlotte’s Web in the car. I need to find an errand to run tomorrow so we can finish it.

  5. my 6 and 4 year old and i are reading through the doctor dolittle series and laughing all the way! i was surprised at the depth of language in those books– but anytime you have a variety of animals who talk they will forgive a few over their head words. :)

  6. i watched the trailer and it looks lovely! i also love the cover illustration.
    lauren’s latest post: a fancy tea party brunch

  7. The most recent book I read with my kids was Matched. We have just started to read The Borrowers.

  8. I just watched the trailer for May B. I can’t wait to read this book with my daughters – one of whom is learning disabled.

  9. I’m currently reading through The House at Pooh Corner with my son. Love the sound of this book!
    Cynthia’s latest post: Weekend Reading

  10. I am just now reading The Long Winter to my 6-yr-old daughter (and my 9-yr-old son, who listened to the whole Little House series in1st grade, can’t resist sneaking in and listening again!). We feel a bond with Laura, as we experience our own “Long Winter” here in Alaska!

  11. My kids and I just finished reading Ginger Pye.

  12. Just watched the trailer also…I can’t resist a prairie story!

  13. My daughter and I are reading Charlotte’s Web together.
    As a parent of a learning disabled child, I have often wondered how she would have coped years ago. I am looking forward to reading this book with my daughter.

  14. the trailer gave me chills!

  15. I also liked you both on FB.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. as a midwestern born homeschooling mama with a love of laura ingalls i am very very interested in this! we are also working on creative writing. thanks so much for the giveaway!

  17. liked both on facebook…thanks!

  18. We’re almost done with My Father’s Dragon and we are ALL enjoying it!
    Mary Beth’s latest post: recipe: ten minute tortellini soup

  19. Our curent read is, oddly enough, Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My 8 year old LOVES it, and I am so glad because I love those books too.
    Michelle’s latest post: Weekend Rhythm

  20. I haven’t read a chapter book with my little ones yet, and my older girls read alone. I love Laura Ingalls and anything pioneer. I’d love to win this to start our first read aloud together book. I’m more excited for me to read it than my kids :)

    I watched the video also…..so excited!
    Nicole’s latest post: Struggles

  21. We just finished the Book of Three and my son loved it.

  22. Lucy Schramm says:

    My daughter and I are reading Little Women together and I just finished reading The Penderwicks to my son.

  23. “26 Fairmount Avenue” by Tomie dePaola with my 7yo son. Can’t wait to read the 2nd book in the series now.

  24. We just finished up Pinocchio. The kids cried when it was over. May B sounds interesting. We’ll definitely be adding it to our list!

  25. The most recent book we read together was an abridged version of Little Women, and the Little Women Book (full of activities!). We’re about to start a 4 week study of moving West, so what a appropriate timing to learn about this delightful-looking novel. Thanks for sharing it!
    MrsH’s latest post: No time off for moms…

  26. I did watch the trailer. It looks like a great story!

  27. Kristina Best says:

    I am a horrible mom lol I haven’t read a book in a while with my sons so I don’t remember. Life gets away from me. I think I shall start again tonight. Thank you for reminding me that its important.

  28. We just finished “the magician’s nephew” and have moved onto “the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe”. Love the narnia books! :)

    Will definitely be reading May B even if I don’t win this giveaway!
    Lisa H’s latest post: Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. We’re actually reading Caddie Woodlawn right now. This would be a wonderful follow-up!

  30. We read The Smuggler’s Treasure (a American girl historical fiction)…and my daughter loved it!! This looks like a wonderful book as well, thanks so much!! :)

  31. I just watched the trailer and would love to win a copy of this book!

  32. I liked both on FB :)

  33. I am homeschooling my 3 girls (13, 10 and 8) while living in Swaziland, Africa. Right now we are reading Little House in the Big Woods with my youngest, although everyone seems to enjoy listening in!

    I would love to do a history unit on the Frontier/Pioneer era with the girls…. We are spending a lot of time watching the Little House on the Prairie TV series and I have always loved stories of “pioneers”…even still!

    Looking forward to reading May B. As the mother of a special needs child, am interested to see how the learning disabled aspect is worked in to the story!

    Thanks for a great website and this introduction to a wonderful author and book.

  34. Kristina Best says:

    ‘Liked’ May B. and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  35. We’ve recently finished Prince Caspian in the Narnia series.

  36. We are currently reading Little Lord Fauntleroy and loving it!

  37. My husband just finished reading Wild Stories by Colin Thompson to my almost 7 and almost 11 year old boys for bedtime. They found it hilarious. Each chapter can be its own little story (I think he originially wrote them that way).

  38. My 6 & 8 year old kids are really enjoying the Little House series and I’d love to explore May B as well as have a teacher’s guide to go along. Thank you!

  39. I have just finished reading Mary Emma and Co to my crew although I read lots and lots of picture books to my younger ones. The next one will be Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

  40. most recent books read: with my son-The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. with my daughter-The Ballet Shoes. Will add May B. to our list to read!
    kristen sunna’s latest post: WIP: Magformers Quilt Top

  41. I just watched the trailer. Looks like a wonderful book. My eldest loves this era so it will definitely hit our to buy list!

  42. My Mommy Hung the Moon

  43. I loved the original Pippi Longstockings when I was a kid so it was so fun to read it with my own kids recently. My 10-year old especially got the humor and laughed hard at Pippi’s antics with me! :)

  44. My kids and I are finishing up Henry Huggins and are about to start Caddie Woodlawn.

  45. I watched the trailor. Can’t wait to read the story.

  46. Excuse me the trailer. To early to spell this morning.

  47. I’m working on the Narnia books with my boys (the Further Up, Further In unit study) and The Big Woods with one daughter (the Prairie Primer unit study) — this book would be very timely for us! Thanks for the opportunity to win May B.!

  48. I liked you both on FB. Great giveaway!

  49. Just watched the trailer — the music sounds hopeful, and strong, though the words sound sad and scary!

  50. Stephanie says:

    The most recent book I’ve read with my children is The Bronze Bow.

  51. My boys are 3 and almost 2. The last book we read together was Roly Poly Pangolin, a book we’ve read a million times. They love it!

  52. Just watched the Trailer on the website. Looks like such a neat book!

  53. Stephanie says:

    I watched the trailer. I think my oldest would enjoy this. Excited to read it whether we win or not!

  54. I like both May B and Simple Homeschool on FB.

  55. The last book we read together was one of the Grandma’s Attic series.
    Roxy Schow’s latest post: breakfast

  56. The most recent book I’ve read with my 8-year old daughter is A Spiderweb for Two (the last of the Melendy series) by Elizabeth Enright. We are reading the Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by Milne with my 5-year old.

    My daughter loves pioneer books, dress-up, etc., so this book (and the others recommended) look wonderful for us.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  57. Becky Jones says:

    The last book my 12 year old and I read together was The Witch of Blackbird Pond. We would be soooo tickled to win a copy of this book! Thanks for the giveaway-how nice! Blessings!

  58. My daughter is still young – turning two in February – so the last book we read together was When the Elephant Walks.

  59. We have just finished reading through book #39 in the Magic Tree House series.

  60. Becky Jones says:

    We just watched the trailer 3 times… :) we wish it was longer-it is so well done! Makes me want to go out in the snow to our nearest bookstore and grab a copy!! :)

    • Becky, it’s funny you say this. I told my trailer designer I didn’t want anything past 30 seconds. I figured short and sweet was the way to go. There are a lot of different types of book trailers out there (even ones where the story is acted out) and many I’ve enjoyed.

      What I’ve found I’ve preferred, though, is the quick impression, hopefully leaving my audience with piqued interest instead of overstaying my welcome.
      Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: MAY Days #3: Launch Party Pictures

  61. Beautiful book trailer!

  62. A book we really enjoyed: Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan

  63. It looks like a fabulous book. The most recent book we have read is ‘Boxcar Children’ which the kids enjoy.

  64. Just watched the trailer–Thanks for introducing this book! I look forward to this new series!

  65. The last book we read together was The House of Sixty Fathers. We read The Sign of the Beaver before that and would love to read how May B survives!

  66. Watched the trailer, looking forward to reading it!

  67. The most recent book I read with my 4yo was her devotional last night. And we are reading The Boxcar Children together. With my 2yo I read her prayer book, and she enjoyed Duck! Rabbit! with Daddy.
    Joyce Moy’s latest post: Our Week in Photos (Week 2 of 52)

  68. Kristi McFarland says:

    I just watched the trailer for May B. As I was doing so, my son walked in and heard the music from the trailer playing. He is 13 and commented, “Ooh, that is good music, what is it?” It is a compelling video. I explained that the book is written in unrhymed verse. He said, “Oh, like Beowulf.” I love how literature can bridge the gap between old and new!

  69. We would love to have a copy of May B at our house! We just finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret together as a family, Sign of the Beaver with our 9-year-old and the Kirsten American Girl series with our 6-year-old.

  70. We all read “The Toothpaste Millionaire” together and really enjoyed it. I am so glad I saw this post today. Caddie Woodlawn was my favorite book as a child and I had completely forgotten about it!

  71. I just watched the trailer with my twelve year old and we think the book looks wonderful especially right now. We have snow!

  72. I like you both on facebook!

  73. The last book that we read (just a few minutes ago :)) was “How do you lift a lion” by Robert Wells. It is a book about pulleys, levers, and wheels and my kids love it.

  74. Right now my kids and I are reading Hop It. A book on rabbits. We have been reading little house books to them for years and they love them and that time period. They would love this book. I just “Like” you on fb.

  75. I would love a copy of this book. We did a unit study using a guide called The Prairie Primer where we read all the little house books. I have 3 BOYS and they absolutely loved the books.
    anne’s latest post: Encouragement for the January Blahs

  76. I watched the book trailer. I think it’s so neat that book trailers are available now! What a great way to reach readers.
    anne’s latest post: Encouragement for the January Blahs

  77. I LIKE you both!
    anne’s latest post: Encouragement for the January Blahs

  78. My son and I are reading “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. He really enjoys reading about independant, spirited children trying to make a go of life on their own. I think he would he would love to read about May B!

    • I’ve had kids who’ve gone crazy for this book (though I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read it. Must remedy that). I, myself, am a huge Hatchet fan (as have been many of my students). Gary Paulsen’s book greatly influenced May B.

      There’s something about survival tales — kids facing the world on their own and succeeding — that really empowers children.
      Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: MAY Days #3: Launch Party Pictures

  79. What a great book, I am so excited to read this book. My daughter is in a Literature Club with other girls in our homeschool group. They are all around the age of 11-13. They/we have read Little House on the Prairie and Caddie Woodlawn and enjoyed both of them. They/we read for January Escape From Warsaw (The Silver Sword) and they/we are currently reading The Little White Horse for Feb. I love that there is a teacher’s guide as we have a teaching time during their book club and formal tea time. We also teach a literary term and verse novel has never been taught yet. How exciting to discover a new term!!! In June we will be picking books for the next year so I am going to have to get this book and read it so I can confidently put it on our list of books to choose from. :) Thank you for the review, the introduction to a new author, and the discovery of a great looking book.

  80. Loved having the trailer to watch. I will share it with my daughter during a break time this morning. What a great way to get her excited about a book.

  81. Tricia Widell says:

    I would love to win a copy. Right now I’m reading the Flat Stanley series to my son, age 6. I grew up loving the little house books & still love books about life on the prairie. May B. looks really good!

  82. Tricia Widell says:

    Just watched the trailer, can’t wait to read it!

  83. heidi sink says:

    I watched the trailer!

  84. heidi sink says:

    We are reading through the Laura Ingall Wilder books right now.

  85. May B. sounds like a wonderful book! We read nightly, our latest books have been “Night of the Moonjellies”, “Inch by Inch”, “The Marvelous Mud Washing Machine”, “John Henry”, and a variety of easy readers about “Henry and Mudge” and “Mr. Putter and Tabby”.

  86. I watched the trailer.

  87. We are reading Greek Myths right now, but we are also four books into the little house series. My daughter loves pioneer times!
    Casey’s latest post: For the New Year

  88. We watched the trailer together, and my daughter is dying to know why she was left alone!

  89. I watched the trailer.

  90. We are currently reading Prince Caspian.

  91. we just read about martin Luther King Jr. this am, to celebrate the holiday.

  92. i watched the trailer and it looks like a great read!

  93. I like May B. and Simple Homeschool on FB.

  94. We read The Foot Book (Dr Seuss) – well, as much as we could read. She doesn’t sit still for long.

  95. Lindy Boss says:

    We are currently reading “Anne of Green Gables”.

  96. Lindy Boss says:

    I “liked” you on Facebook!

  97. My parents read Little House on the Prairie out loud to me growing up and I’m excited to do the same with my daughter when she’s a little older. It sounds like May B. would be a great addition. The most recent book I read to my daughter was a version of the Three Little Pigs.
    Steph’s latest post: The Importance of Words

  98. And I watched the trailer as well.
    Steph’s latest post: The Importance of Words

  99. amy lockwood says:

    The last book I read with my kids was “Cameron Townsend”. Even though it was long and serious, the kids still gave it five stars (our highest rating)!

  100. amy lockwood says:

    I just watched the trailer. This looks like a great book! My 12 and 14 yo would probably really enjoy it!

  101. wow! this is a very exciting giveaway!! the last book we read together was Wildwood! it is SO nice to share stories together as a family.

  102. watched the trailer! i look forward to reading this book! putting it on our list of must reads for 2012! thanks so much! xx

  103. I loved reading and writing as a kid and secretly dream of writing some day! This book looks excellent! We are currently reading The Princess and the Goblin for homeschool read aloud time! :)

  104. Watched the trailer! :)

  105. Liked May B. and already liked Simple Homeschool! :)

  106. This book looks fantastic! Right now we are reading Favourite Grimm’s Tales!

  107. Watched the trailer!

  108. “Liked” May B. and Simple Homeschool on facebook!

  109. This book really sounds fascinating! I am currently reading Little House in the Prairie to my daughters and Little Men to my son. They love read aloud time!

  110. We are currently reading Farmer Boy.

  111. Right before naptime I read a chapter from “House on Pooh Corner” :)
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: Sunday Special: 2012 Movie List

  112. Well, I’m currently reading Tree in the Trail with my children, and just started Very Funny, Elizabeth! (an American Girl book). We got an audiobook from the library called “The Porcupine Year,” by Louise Erdrich, which may also interest readers with an inclination toward the American frontier. We enjoyed reading her book “The Birchbark House” a couple years ago.

    Would love to read May B.! It sounds almost like Hatchet, for girls! :-)
    Hannah’s latest post: A Day in the Life 2012

  113. Oh, and I watched the YouTube video (what a clever way to promote a book)!
    Hannah’s latest post: A Day in the Life 2012

  114. We are reading “By the Shores of Silver Lake” right now. We are making our way through the entire “Little House” series this school year.

  115. I watched the video.
    Nikki’s latest post: Persecution is Real for Many GFA Missionaries

  116. I “like” Simple HS on FB.
    Nikki’s latest post: Persecution is Real for Many GFA Missionaries

  117. I like May B. on FB.
    Nikki’s latest post: Persecution is Real for Many GFA Missionaries

  118. Lawana Gray says:

    She read Norma Jean Jumping Bean to me the other night. We’ve just moved and still trying to unpack stuff to read together! This would be great!

  119. Lawana Gray says:

    I watched the trailer

  120. Lawana Gray says:

    I like you both on Facebook

  121. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Such a great book and my daughter is loving it!

  122. Hi Jamie,

    First I wish to thank you for your blog. Your blog has helped me to become more relaxed in my homeschooling endeavor, where I once used to be very stressed.
    Once again this post has helped me! It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I learned and understood how to write. The Structure of writing…Without it, I would have flunked college writing.. The current curriculum I have been using for my oldest 11 yr old daughter teaches the writing structure at the 3rd grade level and continues to use it throughout Language arts…. I am glad for this, but because of my bad experience of learning almost TOO late, I have been a bit forceful with it. This has caused me to fear that I will scare my daughter away from the joys that writing can give to its author. While I love to read, I dislike writing. My husband loves to do both. My daughter enjoys to read and can read anything we hand to her. I just hope that her joy of reading will lead her to wanting to write for her own enjoyment. Your comment about the details/steps of writing once again helped me to realize that while they are important, they are not necessary for everything written. I need to to just SIMPLY allow my daughter to write, and at times enjoy the creativity behind the written thoughts rather than the details of structure. This is encouragement for me, to encourage my daughter.
    Thank You.
    I also watched the trailer, and wish to know more!
    I follow you on FB already.
    and am liking May.B
    I will also look for the mysteries of Harris Burdick.

  123. The most recent book I read with my two youngest homeschooled grandchildren was, Life-Size Zoo, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. I also recommend, A Material World by Peter Menzel for older children.

  124. We read Best Christmas Pageant Ever……Thanks!!

  125. Mr. Popper’s Penguins!

  126. I just watched the video and am looking forward to “meeting” May B.

  127. I like May B. and Simple Homeschool on Facebook :)

  128. We are finishing Treasures of the Snow right now. Would love to win May B!

  129. Just watched the trailer. Looks wonderful!

  130. Well… I am excited to say that we haven’t read any yet because now we get to start something new. From what I gather from the posts and the interview, something very good:)

  131. This book looks amazing!
    The last book we’ve read together was Leven Thumps!
    Kiersten’s latest post: Back

  132. What a great book! Currently we are reading The Snow Treasure and George Mueller.

  133. I watched the trailer. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  134. The last book we read together was Sarah Whitcher’s Story.
    Beth’s latest post: Week 2 ~ 8 Weeks to Real Foods Course

  135. We watched the May B. trailer. This seems like my kind of book, adding it to my wishlist!
    Beth’s latest post: Week 2 ~ 8 Weeks to Real Foods Course

  136. LIKED May B. and Simple Homeschooling on FB, thanks for the chance to win!
    Beth’s latest post: Week 2 ~ 8 Weeks to Real Foods Course

  137. My son, who is three, and I have been reading “The Polar Express” and “The Blues of Flats Brown” in the evenings. To the point of May B., interestingly, I recently finished “The Personal History of Rachel DuPree” by Ann Weisgarber, which sounds like the adult version of May B. I have added all of Rose’s recommendations to my Wish List at amazon. They look like excellent titles for our growing library.
    Michelle’s latest post: New Theme: Fresh & Clean

  138. What a wonderful giveaway! We are reading Miracle at Maple Hill :)
    sandy toe’s latest post: Old Fashion Discipline…

  139. I already like Simple Homeschool on FB and just “liked” May B.

    Reading “The Long Winter.”

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  140. Just watched the trailer. It looks wonderful, and it was published on my birthday!

  141. I’d love to win this.
    Renee’s latest post: Simple Beauty in the Kitchen (an Idea for You)

  142. Natalie E. says:

    I watched the trailer and it looks great! I’d love to win this book.

  143. Natalie E. says:

    We recently read Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

  144. We just read (5 year old daughter) Where the Wild things are and are reading Where the sidewalk ends.

  145. I liked simple homeschool and May B. On FB

  146. What an exciting giveaway! The most recent book we’ve read is Half Magic by Edward Eager.

  147. Jessica M. says:

    We are reading Attack of the Turtle together for history.

  148. Jessica M. says:

    I like May B. and Simple Homeschool on FB!

  149. We read a ton of picture books today, including “The Tall Book of Nursery Tales” and “Puzzle Palace” (an Usborne series) and a bunch from “The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury”… my 3 1/2 year old loves to read!
    Pamela’s latest post: Menu Plan January 16 – 20

  150. I watched the trailer!
    Pamela’s latest post: Menu Plan January 16 – 20

  151. Jamie, thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited to see so much wonderful reading going on in so many homes. And I’m thrilled your latest book is soon to launch into the world!

    For readers here who are interested, I have a free PDF of my May B. study guide at http://www.carolinestarrrose.com.
    Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: MAY Days #3: Launch Party Pictures

  152. I follow both on facebook!
    Pamela’s latest post: Menu Plan January 16 – 20

  153. I read caps for sale to my two year old.

  154. I don’t have any children, but I’m currently reading The Shakespeare Stealer with my 6th graders. :)

  155. I have two toddlers (and baby on the way). Tonight before bed we read: a little Hello Kitty book, a picture book from the library called “I’d really like to eat a child” (it’s about a crocodile), and one of the Just So Stories by Kipling.

  156. I watched the trailer and will also let my mom – a grade school librarian in Kansas – know about the book.

  157. We are reading the fourth (? I think) book of the Unicorn Chronicles–The Last Hunt. We have read the previous books as well. My son (age 8) likes the excitement and the fast paced nature of the story lines, my daughter (age 7) likes the fantasy aspect of the books, and I like seeing how the story line has “matured” through the books. In this last book the author now alternates between several points of view and we are keeping track of several different characters as we go through the book. In the first book there was just one character’s point of view. Also I like how the books are sometimes “predictable” and I can suggest to my children what might happen next. They are fascinated as to how I might know that and I can explain how the author hinted at the event. . .We all love to read together. Today, for language arts they read from Benny and Penny graphic story, alternating the parts. . .it was a lot of fun. Now I should move on to plays for them . . .

  158. Hmmm … I just finished Letters From Rifka with my ds 11 today.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  159. illya gonzalez says:

    We are actually just reading Rachel’s Journal, the story of a pioneer girl.

  160. Watched the trailer.


  161. We are in the midst of Little House on the Prairie.

  162. We are reading through Little Folks Land right now. Can’t wait to read this book. sounds amazing!

  163. I watched to trailer – looks fantastic!

  164. I like you both on FB.

  165. Watched the trailer.
    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds’s latest post: Routines

  166. We are currently reading Charlotte’s Web with my daughter. (I’m enjoying it too!)

  167. I watched the trailer–it was so well done! I’m not used to seeing trailers for books, but I really enjoyed it.

  168. What an exciting give away. We are enamored with the Little House books and appreciate the additional ideas. Would love, love, love to win. Blessings,

  169. Just watched the trailer.

  170. Just liked on FB, already had liked Simple Living.

  171. We just finished Charlotte’s Web

  172. Watched the trailer!

  173. just liked on FB both SH and MayB

  174. We read Strawberry Girl and looking for what to read next!

  175. Watched the trailer…very excited about May B!

  176. Just finished cricket in times square tonight!

  177. Hi Jamie.
    Thanks so much for this post – and the start of the new book series on your blog! My older daughter and I just finished reading The Secret Garden. We’re now enjoying the radio theater production (produced by Focus on the Family).

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of May B. I know my daughter (and I) would both love ti.
    Cari’s latest post: Half Way Through Eight

  178. I just watched the trailer. Can’t wait to read it.
    Cari’s latest post: Half Way Through Eight

  179. Hi! We are reading The Secret Garden and just finished Trumpet of the Swan.

  180. And we watched the trailer, too. :-)
    Betsy’s latest post: A Recent Accolade

  181. Hi! I also liked May B. and Simple Homeschool on Facebook! By the way, I’m really looking forward to reading this to my little dyslexic 8-year-old girl. She is quite the innovative pioneer herself. :-)

  182. Oh, my. Well, I have read a dozen books today, of all sorts. But the most recent book I have read “with” my kids- that is, for the first time, of my own interest- are the Enchanted Forest books. We have book four now, but I can’t sneak it away from my nine year old daughter.

    I also have to say, as excited as I am about the book I am more excited about Ms Rose’s encouragement and empowerment for writing!

  183. I watched the trailer, it is beautiful.

  184. Fans of both May B and Simple Homeschool on facebook.

  185. I can’t see the trailer. :( I never can see things like that from where I am. Can I be entered anyway? I would do it if I could!! It sounds like a great book.

  186. most recent book: Rhyme Bible Storybook

  187. Last night my five-year-old daughter asked me to read Runny Babbitt by Shel Silverstein. She’s been going through a Shel Silverstein phase for about a month now!
    Christine Shuck’s latest post: I Raised Her Right – Homemade Presents – Redux

  188. Our current chapter book: The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn.
    Dawn Suzette’s latest post: White Christmas

  189. I watched the trailer… lovely.
    Dawn Suzette’s latest post: White Christmas

  190. Lindsay Sledge says:

    Love this! We are in the middle of Gooney Bird Greene.

  191. What a wonderful giveaway! We just finished a second book in the Meg Mackintosh mystery series (Mystery of Camp Creepy and Mystery at the Medieval Castle). We are about to start the Mystery of the Curious Whale Watch. Phantom Tollbooth is on the list too—so many books so little time!!
    MJ’s latest post: Here

  192. Watched the trailer, wonderful!! I bet it could be turned into a movie!!
    MJ’s latest post: Here

  193. I liked both on Facebook!!!
    MJ’s latest post: Here

  194. My 10y/o daughter and I recently read “Truckers” by Terry Pratchett.

  195. this sounds so great! and i love the cover! it all should totally feed my inner-child-pioneer, and hopefully my children’s.
    darah’s latest post: thursday

  196. and i watched the trailer
    darah’s latest post: thursday

  197. perfect timing … we are reading “The Long Winter” right now

  198. Finally got a chance to watch the May B trailer!

  199. We are reading Young Fu and Mr Popper’s Penguins.

  200. Jennifer anderson says:

    We just finished a biography on martin Luther king jr.

  201. Jennifer anderson says:

    I have “liked” both on Facebook!

  202. Oh, this looks great! We just finished the Little House series and are currently starting “The Rise & Fall of Mount Majestic”. My daughter loves the Ingalls (as do I) and I think she’d really enjoy this!

  203. Charolotte’s Web

  204. Jennifer anderson says:

    I just watched the video. I am looking forward to reading the book! Thank you for sharing.


  205. We are reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

  206. I watched the trailer.

  207. Brandi D. says:

    We are currently reading Erin Hunter’s “Rising Storm”, the 4th book of the Warriors series. All of my kids love it, but especially the 8-year-olds.

  208. Brandi D. says:

    I just watched the trailer, and it is thrilling! :) Will May B. make it through?

  209. Brandi D. says:

    I’ve liked both May B. and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  210. Catherine says:

    Just watched the trailer and showed it to my kids. Now we’re all excited to read it!

  211. Just watched the video. Nicely done : )

  212. Nancy Mosley says:

    We are reading an Animal Ark book called Labrador in the Leaves. My children love animals and have enjoyed these quick reads. We are also reading a Christopher Columbus book for our History.

  213. Nancy Mosley says:

    I watched the trailer. Very well done — the music is beautiful, the scenery and it captures your attention. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  214. It sounds like a wonderful book. We are huge Little House fans! The last book I read to my 5 yr old son this afternoon was City Dog Country Frog.
    shelli : mamaofletters’s latest post: Homeschool Priorities Part 3: Exploration * Nature

  215. We have just finished dr. Dolittle from Sonlight core A!

  216. Love the name and premise of this book — the trailer is very enticing! My 11-year-old loves the Little House series and I know she would love this book. She’s also really drawn in by survival stories and historical fiction. Sounds like this book has both!
    Renee Gotcher’s latest post: Ask a NextGen Homeschooler: What Textbooks or Curriculum Do You Use?

  217. We are currently reading Danger on Panther Peak, by Bill Wallace.
    Very nice video about May B.
    My daughter said it sounds sad. :{

  218. The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr is our current read aloud.

  219. I am reading the Harry Potter series with my two oldest. We just finished book 4.

  220. I watched the trailer. =)

  221. We just finished reading Riders of the Pony Express by Ralph Moody. It was good but my favourite is Little Britches by Ralph Moody. Great family read.
    aliben7 (at) gmail (dot) com

  222. Leah Schroeder says:

    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

  223. I have enjoyed all of the other books you listed as a unit study with my kids, so I am sure I would enjoy this one as well. One of my favorite things about studying history from a child’s perspective is the independence that children had, and the huge contributions they made to family life. I can’t wait to read this book, and I love the cover!
    Jen @ anothergranolamom’s latest post: Book Recommendation and Book Club Ideas: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

  224. I watched the trailer!
    Jen @ anothergranolamom’s latest post: Book Recommendation and Book Club Ideas: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

  225. We are just finishing up Little House on the Prairie!

  226. I watched the trailer!

  227. I “like” Simple Homeschool and May B on FB!

  228. Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight. My girls would love to win this book.

  229. We just read the american girl series “Kaya” , about a native american indian girl from the Nez Perce tribe. We are getting ready to do a unit on the american girl “Kirsten”, who is from the pioneer times. Caroline Starr’s book sounds wonderful!! We would looove to read it!!!

  230. We also just watched the trailer! :) Beautiful! Looking forward to sharing this book with my homeschooling girl!
    birdy’s latest post: Meet Molly!

  231. Nancy Wang says:

    I watched the trailer–how interesting! I am particularly intrigued by her writing it in free verse.

  232. Nancy Wang says:

    I also “liked” May B and Simple Homeschool on Facebook. Thanks!!

  233. Just finished reading “The Mysterious Benedict Society”.

  234. I watched the trailer. Intriguing!

  235. I liked you both on FB.

  236. Well, I’m still reading to my kids and we read many books a day!

  237. I’m reading a different book with each child – Little House in the Big Woods with our youngest, The Snow Treasure with our middle, & getting ready to start The Betsy-Tacy series with our oldest:)!

  238. C. C. Reese says:

    Thanks for featuring this…can’t wait to read it!!!

  239. our recent finished book was the Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever and now we are nearly finished with Charlotte’s Web. Now that we are finally feeling like winter here in Minnesota, May B looks like the perfect read!

  240. watched the trailer and it looks like a great adventure!

  241. My sweet girl will be 13 in a few weeks. This would be a wonderful birthday gift for her. We love reading about the pioneers.

  242. I watched the trailer and forgot to say in my first comment that we just read Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library

  243. We just finished reading Narnia

  244. I just watched the trailer. It is so attention-grabbing… can’t wait to read this!

  245. I like both on Facebook

  246. We’re reading “The Phantom Tollbooth” right now.

  247. I just watched the trailer. I think my daughter would love this!

  248. The most recent book we finished reading was The Strictest School in the World.

  249. Jennifer R says:

    I would love to get this book! I watched the trailer and liked them both on facebook! Sounds like a wonderful book!

  250. Jennifer R says:

    The most recent book I read to my children would be The Ballot Box Battle.

  251. We’re in picture-book season in our family right now, and the most recent new picture book is “One Bear Lost,” though we re-read lots of books each day! I also just started reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my toddler!

    Thanks for this kind opportunity and the interesting interview with Caroline.
    Caroline’s latest post: A Few Thoughts on Joy

  252. I love books with historical context. The book trailer intrigues!
    Caroline’s latest post: A Few Thoughts on Joy

  253. My daughter wanted me to read her one of the Sesame Street Treasury books tonight and my son asked for one of our Magic School Bus books. Those were the end of the books requested today. :)
    coleen’s latest post: aslan

  254. I watched the May B. trailer. It was beautiful–and fit just perfectly with my snow-filled day.
    coleen’s latest post: aslan

  255. Sarah,plain and tall

  256. My daughter received the Magic Tree House book “Dogs in the Dead of Night,” finished it, then asked me to read it to her. She likes knowing what will happen before I do.

  257. Brown bear

  258. My daughter and I recently finished A Wrinkle in Time. Before that, it was The Chronicles of Narnia series.

  259. I watched the trailer – well done!

  260. My 6-year-old has been reading me the Magic Tree House books over the past year. We’re now up to book #11. She reads to me at home, in the car, anywhere. But she won’t read it if I’m not there to enjoy it with her. It’s one book series that’s just between us.