Growing Up Homesteading: A Review of Our Only May Amelia

Have you ever wondered what life was like as a homesteader?  Living on a farm and working hard just to keep life going, all the while worrying about wild animals, severe weather, or a bad harvest? Reading Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm is like reading the journal of a spunky, smart, sassy 12-year-old Finnish girl growing up in Washington in 1899.

What May Amelia has more than enough of is brothers.  As the only girl, and the youngest child, in a family of seven boys, May Amelia also has more than enough adventures.  Her story is one of trying to make her family proud and also trying to be herself.  With her favorite brother Wilbert, May Amelia learns about life, loss, helping neighbors, and friendship across different languages and backgrounds.

This would be a great book to read if you are studying homesteading life, especially in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1890s.  It is a combination of fun, sadness, humor, and heroism.  This book is also a Newberry Honor book!  Recommended for 5th and 6th graders, especially gals!