Cover Image: The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It seems the trend in children's literature this year is kids dealing with some kind of loss. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is a beautiful story about a girl's quest to find her dad. This book introduces several themes, like violence and racism, that kids at this age are starting to notice and question, and I think it was well done. Maybelle seemed very mature for her age, and I think kids need to read more characters with that maturity. 

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I couldn't read this book fast enough! Maybelle has all the right stuff of an everyday hero. The theme of friendship and caring for one another was so strong in this story. I loved the friendship between Maybelle and Tommy and the fact that it surprised Maybelle. Her and Tommy's adventure with their (also surprisingly) NOT grouchy neighbor Mrs. Bogg's took them on a wild ride. Maybelle was so focused on the destination and her plan for when they got to where they were going that she wasn't realizing that the true adventure was happening along the way. 

I loved everything about this book from the characters, to the story line, pacing, and overall themes. I will be sure to recommend this to bot my Middle Grade readers and Adult readers.
Was this review helpful?
This is a cute middle grade story about a little girl trying to meet her father. The writing reminded me of the The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. In that story a young girl can feel emotions while eating food, in this story Maybelle has a similar connection to sounds. There is no magical element but the communication of the emotions and connections Maybelle feels are so much deeper than those around her.

The story follows her journey to find her father with a ragtag bunch of acquaintances while her mom is away working on a cruise ship. The journey finds them discovering themselves along the way. There are some heavy issues dealt with along the way but they are explored with tact and are age appropriate for middle grade. The story did not underestimate the ability for a middle grader to understand complex emotions or enjoy beautiful writing.
Was this review helpful?
The central focus of this book is pain: pain that drives us or forces us into inaction. It's resolved, unsurprisingly, through a road trip. An unlikely trio all trapped together in an rv as they experience new places. They are confronted by cruelty and prejudice and learn how to deal with unfairness in the world. Each character is dealing with emotional issues and their journey helps them to deal with the trouble.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed Maybelle's journey to discover her own power and courage through anxiety. Finding family in unlikely places is something many of us have discovered along our own paths and is often some of our best relationships.
Was this review helpful?
This was sweet! Road trip story with a chance to meet a previously unknown parent. It's something I feel has been done before, but the trio of travelers (quartet if you count the dog) at the center of this were a delight. While this is mostly Maybelle's story, Mrs Boggs and Tommy both get to grow and change because of the journey. I loved the epilogue that gives a glimpse of what happens over the year after the trip. Touches on anxiety struggles and panic attacks.
Was this review helpful?
I am utterly in love with this book. I can immediately read it over and over. This is a Middle Grade story of a young girl on a search for her father. Please just go read it.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed Maybelle's journey throughout this book. Both physically and mentally, Maybelle goes through a lot in the course of it. She's trying to meet her dad and along the way, she learns about herself. 

I love found family stories and this was one great example of that. I also, really enjoy road trip books. 

This was an emotional book that packed a punch with many topics that just felt so real. I connected to Maybelle, her mother, Mrs. Boggs, and Tommy in so many ways. Their stories, especially Maybelle's, were impactful. Her anxiety is something I believe is a great thing to show to younger readers. And especially, the coping mechanisms used. I believe that they will be able to connect with her in many ways, especially the children going through a similar situation. 

Also, the way she collects sounds is such a cool concept and the overall message with that was incredible. This was a one of a kind book that I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Maybelle Dorothy Lane wants to know who her father is. Her hard-working Momma who pursues singing on the side doesn’t want May to have this information. She wants to protect her daughter from heartbreak even though May doesn’t believe her radio DJ father could ever break her heart. 
When Momma  takes a job on a cruise ship for a month leaving May at their trailer park she decides this is her chance to find her father. Unlike other stories with similar themes 11-year-old May doesn’t go on an unrealistic crazy cross state adventure by herself. She chooses to trust one of the adults in her life and sets out in an RV with her neighbor and her school bully. There were many times throughout this book I imagined what this ragtag team must have looked like as they drove from city to city. An African-American teacher who’s sheer presence commands respect, a blonde boy named Tommy with dirty sneakers and bruises on his face tagging along with our main character May who always has her tape recorder handy.  
They all embark on a journey of discovery and get what they need to heal their own personal stories and learn what they need to let go of to be able to finally move forward. This adventure will make you question your own reclusive tendencies while you watch these three lonely characters lives get changed forever.
 Children ages 8 to 13 will be asking  their parents for scratch-offs by the end of this story.
Was this review helpful?
This charming story of a lonely little girl and her travelling companions, on their way to a singing contest, and secretly to meet her father for the first time, is probably going to get compared to The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and while there are some common themes, Maybelle's story is all her own. When her mother has to go away for work, Maybelle has to be watched by Mrs. Boggs, a teacher and neighbor who agreed to take Maybelle to the contest. While on the road, they discover Tommy, a classmate, stowed away and the three share adventures, not unlike The Wizard of Oz, to which there are several references. Maybelle is a sympathetic character and readers will identify with her loneliness and anxiety issues. Review from galley.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a breath of fresh air.  When Maybelle Lane finds out her mom is taking a job on a cruise ship, she isn’t quite sure how/where she will spend the summer.  Enter...her lonely neighbor who lives in a Winnebago and an awkward boy, who picks on her endlessly.  The three embark on an epic road trip to meet Maybelle’s father.  

This is a story about discovering yourself.  It proves that friendships often come in unexpected places and in unexpected ways.  

This is a story that will resonate with young and old alike!
Was this review helpful?
A story built on finding the courage to sing even when it causes you to panic; to speak even when it makes you nervous; to forgive, even if it was the most hurt you’ve ever felt.
Was this review helpful?
This is a journey book, and I normally hate journey books. Except in this case, the journey made sense, and wasn't the whole purpose. It was a journey of the spirit as well as a physical journey.

Which makes it all sound maudlin, and it isn't, not in the least.

Maybelle has heard her father's voice on the radio, a father she didn't know, and she wonders what he would think if they ever met. So she enters a singing contest in a state two states away.

There is of course, one small problem. How the heck would she get there?

There are wonderful characters in here, other than Maybelle. There is the school teacher, who lives in the mobile home park.  There is Tommy, who is, not a bully, but hangs out with bullies. And of course there is Maybelle, who misses her old home, and misses having enough, and not having her mother work double shifts.

Maybelle's voice is very genuine, and Tommy, the not so bad boy, is a great character, who we see grow from what she thinks he is, to what he really is.

Lovely book, even if it is a journey book. Great fun. 

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The writing flowed beautifully and the characters were lovable. The plot line never disappointed and I was happy with the choices the author made.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

"Most people don't think fate has a sound. But is does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." 
That quote resonates and really introduced a new way of listening to the world for me. 
I was immediately drawn into Maybelle's story within the first few lines. This is a lovely middle grade novel with so much heart and hope that I think it should become a staple for all elementary and middle school libraries. 

Maybelle is searching and takes an incredible trip with Mrs. Boggs and Timmy to try and find the answers she needs. Maybelle's journey, along with Mrs. Boggs and Timmy, is full of new friendships, overcoming fears and some heartache. But Maybelle learns so much along the way. This book will stay with me for a long time and I hope that others out there will enjoy it too.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's
Knopf Books For Young Readers. 
I wasn't sure about this book when I read the reviews and saw it was a children's book. But let me tell you this is not a children's book. This book is for everyone big and small. 
It wasn't nearly long enough as I wanted to go on more adventures with Maybelle , Mrs Boggs and Tommy. I just know Tommy and May grow up and get married one day. 
This short story was just lovely.
Was this review helpful?
"Most people don't think fate has a sound. But is does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." I was immediately drawn into Maybelle's story within the first few lines. Kate O'Shaughnessy has created a middle grade novel that I'm sure will become a staple for all elementary and middle school libraries. Maybelle's journey, along with Mrs. Boggs and Timmy, is full of warmth, heartache, friendship and overcoming fears.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read realistic fiction and has previously enjoyed The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Louisiana's Way Home.
Was this review helpful?
I loved everything about this book. I didn’t want it to end. I adored Maybelle so much. I loved getting to see how her friendships with Tommy and Mrs. Boggs grew and developed during their RV road trip adventure. I loved watching Maybelle gain her strength,  confidence, and courage throughout the story. This book was wonderful and I truly enjoyed reading it. Plus, that cover is gorgeous. I’m so glad I received an ARC from #netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
This book entranced me, and I read it in one sitting.  Maybelle is a character you root for.  During this story, she's on a journey.  Not just a physical one, but one to help her discover herself .  Throughout the journey, she has the help of Mrs. Boggs, a teacher watching over here when her mom is working, and Tommy, a boy from her neighborhood with some troubles himself.  This is such a heartwarming and emotionally compelling debut from the author.

Thank you to that author, publisher, and NetGalley for a chance to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Maybelle and her mother struggle a little to make ends meet but are generally happy. All Maybelle has of her father is the memory of a voice mail on an old phone, but his laughter has stuck with her. When her mother gets a job on a cruise ship for a month making a great salary, the two know she needs to go, but this means that a neighbor at the trailer park (and teacher at Maybelle's school), Ms. Boggs, has to watch her. Ms. Boggs is very drab and set in her ways; she doesn't get up until 9:00, she has to have her afternoon nap, and she frequently spend time alone in a nearby cemetery and is not to be bothered. When Maybelle hears her father's voice on the radio, hosting a program, she is enthralled, and when she finds out that the radio station for which he works is putting on a singing contest, she knows she has to find some way to get to Nashville. She tries to buy a bus ticket, but ends up losing the emergency money her mother gave her. Surprisingly, when she tells Ms. Boggs about it, the teacher agrees to drive her to Nashville. It's a twelve hour trip, but they will only drive 3 hours a day. Tommy, who has bullied Maybelle in the past, has stowed away in the RV, and his parents agree he can continue the trip. The group has several adventures, including rescuing a dog from a mean owner and winning $1,000 in a scratch off lottery. Maybelle hasn't practiced any singing, picked out a song, or found an outfit for performing, so that is all worked on. Even though she almost chickens out and there are problems along the way, Maybelle eventually makes it to the contest. Will she be able to talk to her father and make him a part of her life? 

Strengths: Road trip books seem to be having a resurgence, and this ticks all the boxes for a good one. Disparate traveling companions, a relatable mission, amusing adventures, and a well plotted story with appealing characters. I also appreciated that the father's reaction was realistic, and that the characters weren't soggily sad.
Weaknesses: It was hard to believe that Maybelle would recognize her father's voice, and this had a bit of a quirky, Southern vibe. Ms. Boggs' trajectory was also hard to believe.
What I really think: I have Acampora's How to Avoid Distinction, Bauer's One for the Road, Cooney's Hit the Road, DuPrau's Car Trouble, Gemeinhart's Coyote Sunrise, Pla's The Someday Birds, Stone's Clean Getaway , McVoy's Drive Me Crazy,  and Paulsen's Road Trip, and that's just a few of the road trip books I have. While I love them, my students are lukewarm about them, so I may have to pass on this title.
Was this review helpful?