The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy

    The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy, Yearling, 9781984893833, 2021

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

What did you like about the book? Maybelle Lane lives with her mother in a trailer park in precarious economic circumstances. Maybelle’s mother aspires to be a singer, and works hard to support the two of them, so Maybelle is often left alone, and she hasn’t made many friends. To comfort herself, she tape records sounds she finds interesting that only she notices or thinks are special, including the one artifact of her father’s existence she possesses – the sound of his laugh on a voicemail. One day, when Maybelle is listening to the radio, she hears her father and that same laugh. Maybelle enlists the help of her strict neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her delinquent classmate, Tommy, to travel to Nashville, where Maybelle hopes to sing in a competition and meet her father. Their road trip encounters many unexpected obstacles, and Maybelle learns more about Tommy, Mrs. Boggs, her father, and herself.

Mrs. Boggs is a great character – a woman of strict principles and schedules whose austere exterior conceals a warm and more complicated heart. Readers will root for all three of the road trip participants. A very enjoyable read.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Middle grade readers who enjoy road trip stories. Read alike: Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool

Who should buy this book? Elementary/Middle Schools, Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rachel Chiel Katz, Schechter Boston, Newton, MA

Date of review: 4/15/2021

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