Mailing May

by Michael O. Tunnell

Hardcover, 1997



Call number




Greenwillow Books (1997), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


In 1914, because her family cannot afford a train ticket to her grandmother's town, May gets mailed and rides the mail car on the train to see her grandmother.

User reviews

LibraryThing member annikasmith
This is a great example of a historical fiction novel. This story takes place around 1914 in Idaho and is based on a true story although the author has fictionalized parts of it. It is realistic and has included true historical details to the story in order to make the setting as well as the
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characters more believable
Art Media: watercolors
Appropriate Age: Primary
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LibraryThing member meallen1
This book is a historical fiction book. The art is illustrations done with watercolors. The book is about a little girl named May who wants to visit her Grandma in Idaho. The problem was that is was 1914 and a train ticket was very expensive. May's dad came up with a plan for May to go...he sent
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her as a package by US mail. It cost 53 cents to sent her, so she had to keep 53 stamps on her back, but sh made it and got to see her Grandma. The reading level is second or third grade and the curricular connection is history. It would be a good book to read to the class when they are learning about the early 1900's.
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LibraryThing member MarthaL
Sweet, sweet story, about a little girl who wants to visit her grandmother, She's 5 years old and weighs less than 50 pounds and asks for a job at the local store. When her father who makes just about a dollar a day realizes how important it is for her to go for a visit he and the mother's cousin a
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mail man on the train take May to post office and officially mail her to the grandmother. After her weighing on the big scales the clerk puts stamps totaling 53 cents on her back. Little May is well taken care of by Cousin Leonard. A truly delightful true story about family love and determination that would be particulary interesting to adults or children interested in trains of philately.
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LibraryThing member pbamy
A wonderful historical story that illustrates the resourcefulness of the human spirit in difficult times. Ted Rand’s detailed paintings add a wonderful quality of warmth and personality to the story. The book includes Author’s Notes that add some great details that the author uncovered in his
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LibraryThing member ReadAloudDenver
Based on a true story of how at five years old, Charlotte May Pierstorff was mailed via parcel post mail-by-rail on Feb. 19, 1914. May's parents could not afford the $1.50 rail pass. At 48 pounds and 8 ounces, May (with her traveling bag) was classified as a baby chick and mailed for $0.53. The
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label with stamps was attached to her coat (For those of you wondering, she was not placed in a box.) May's mother's cousin, Leonard Mochel, was the railway clerk and he accompanied May, looked after her, and personally delivered May to Grandma Mary in the Idaho Mountains. This book has an enriching vocabulary of words not usually used in everyday conversation like flabbergasted, commenced, permissible, plumb scared and train-related vocabulary like conductor, steam engine and bridge trestles.
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LibraryThing member derbygirl
(easy picture, realistic fiction, historical fiction) May is a little girl living in early 1900's. She has been promised a trip to her grandmother's house in Idaho. At the time, there was no other way to get there but by an arduous and tedious train journey, which her parents couldn't afford
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anyway. One train ticket would have been her father's entire day of wages! Unable to bear their daughter's dissapointment and encouraged by her determination to find a way to go (she goes down to the general store to try and get a job), the parents come up with a solution all their own! They send her parcel post classified as a baby chick! I was delighted and surprised to find from the author's note that this is indeed a true story. Once again , reading the author's note had enhanced my enjoyment of the book. I will be sure, and in particular with this book, to point out author's notes to my children. Often times they provide invaluable information about the story, the authors, or the illustrators. I will encourage them to read author's notes. This story also teaches the invaluable lesson on overcoming adversity and finding solutions to problems. The book is also good to use as an introduction to a unit on Americana circa 1900.
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LibraryThing member Brooklynn1992
This is a story about a little girl named May, who wants to see her grandmother, but her father can't afford a train ticket for her to go. May is upset, but then her father decides to ship her and classify her as baby chicks. So she is finally shipped and makes it to see her
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Personal Reaction:
I love that this is based on a true story, The illustrations are wonderful.

Classroom Extensions:
1) You could have the class pick a place that they would be shipped and write a story about where and why they would go there.
2) Since this book is based on a true story and has historical facts in it, you could easily read this book to introduce a history lesson over that particular time in history or even the way things were different than now
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LibraryThing member SarahChaisson
May wants to visit her Grandma in Louiston. Her parents are unable to afford the trip and tell her next year. The bent morning, May is woken up by her by her father with all her bags packed up and ready to go. They head off to the post office. May's dad tells the clerk that they are interested in
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mailing May. He agrees and May steps onto the scale. They say she will cost 53 cents and the postman slaps a stamp on May's back. May is escorted to a coal train and rides with the mail clerk to Louiston. In a matter of no time May finally meets up with her Grandma. This is based of a true story and May was mailed across the state being claimed to be a chick.
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LibraryThing member ecosborne
This is a book about a young girl May who wishes to see her grandma however her parents can't afford the train ticket. So her dad takes her to the post office and mails her. May is classified as a baby chick as they were allowed to be mailed and gets to see her grandma. This is based on a true
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story and is quite fun giving a realistic version of what life was like back then.
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LibraryThing member emleonard
Ma and Pa told May that she could go stay with her grandmother but they didn't have the money for a train ride so she had to wait till next year. May went to Mr. Alexander for a job but he couldn't give her a job because she was so little. Then, Pa and Ma surprised May and their cousin Leonard came
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and picked her up and brought her to the post office because Pa wanted to ship May to grandmothers house. Mailing her is the only way that she could go because Ma and Pa are poor and its the cheapest. They put May on a train as a package. This book could be read in a history class about the value money was back then and transportation. You could also help children understand with a US map how far it was.
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LibraryThing member kris0812
This book is based on the true story of Charlotte May Pierstorff. When she was five years old May wanted to visit her grandmother, but her parents could not afford the dollar fifty-five train ticket. With a little creativity and help from a cousin who is the railway postal clerk, May was mailed to
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her grandmother for only fifty-three cents!
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LibraryThing member engpunk77
May can't afford to take the train to visit Grandma, so her father checks the regulations of parcel post and realizes that it would technically be legal to ship her as a package! It works--true story. Very cute.
LibraryThing member TimGordon
This book could be used for an interactive read aloud with first-grade students. It is a fun storyline that they would enjoy and uses easier vocabulary they could understand allowing for some learning. The interactive read aloud would be appropriate because it would be easier than having a copy for
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all and it could be used to teach multiple standards.
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LibraryThing member sloth852
No major historic event covered in this book, but this true story of a resourceful family mailing their little girl to her grandmother's house in 1914 (registered as a spring chick) is absolutely charming.


Original language



0688128793 / 9780688128791

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