Study Guide

Missing May Suffering

By Cynthia Rylant

Suffering

Oh, things are not going so well for Uncle Ob and Summer when Missing May begins—their loving, amazing May has died and the two of them are kind of adrift, stuck in a place of mourning. And it's not pretty—Ob's having a hard time even getting out of bed, and Summer's trying to take care of the both of them even though she's only twelve years old. With the help of Cletus (and May's guidance from beyond the grave), they have to figure out a way to start living and enjoying life again.

Questions About Suffering

  1. Who do you think is taking May's death harder—Summer or Uncle Ob? 
  2. Does it bother Summer that Uncle Ob and Aunt May brought her to live in a rusty old trailer? Why or why not? 
  3. How did Aunt May deal with the fact that she lost her parents at a young age? How did Summer?

Chew on This

At the beginning of the book Uncle Ob wants to mourn by himself, but by the end he comes to see that he can only heal by mourning with others.

Like Aunt May, Summer takes the suffering and grief she's known and turns it into a reason to keep living and fighting.

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