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The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

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Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart--and true friends. Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an o Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart--and true friends. Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an old recording of her daddy's warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone's voicemail. It's the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him. Until the day she hears that laugh--his laugh--pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma's wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy's new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he'll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart? But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they're searching for things too. And the journey will bond them into the best kind of family--the kind you choose for yourself.


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Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart--and true friends. Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an o Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart--and true friends. Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an old recording of her daddy's warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone's voicemail. It's the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him. Until the day she hears that laugh--his laugh--pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma's wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy's new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he'll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart? But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they're searching for things too. And the journey will bond them into the best kind of family--the kind you choose for yourself.

30 review for The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Wow, did not expect to sob at my desk today but HERE WE ARE

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    4.5 stars This was so good. It was a sweet, heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale following the summer adventure of eleven year old Maybelle Lane. Maybelle has been raised by a single mother but is on a mission to find/meet her father. When she gets the opportunity of a life time to sing at a contest in Nashville, she doesn’t think there is a way to make it happen. She lives in a trailer park in Louisiana and Nashville is a whiles away. It just so happens that her neighbor, Mrs. Boggs is going t 4.5 stars This was so good. It was a sweet, heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale following the summer adventure of eleven year old Maybelle Lane. Maybelle has been raised by a single mother but is on a mission to find/meet her father. When she gets the opportunity of a life time to sing at a contest in Nashville, she doesn’t think there is a way to make it happen. She lives in a trailer park in Louisiana and Nashville is a whiles away. It just so happens that her neighbor, Mrs. Boggs is going to be watching her for a bit while her mom gets a summer job that has her traveling and Mrs. Boggs offers to take Maybelle in the RV. So we have Mrs. Boggs, Maybelle, and a boy from the neighborhood named Tommy go on this adventure and it is just the best. It’s emotional and fun all at the same time and I loved the characters and their journey so much. 
After finishing this, I was in tears. They were mostly happy tears, but it had me crying all the same. And the first thing I thought when the book was over is that this would make a perfect film. I don’t read middle grade that often, but I’m so happy I picked this up! I would highly recommend the audiobook. Overall, this was a fantastic read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    This was so heartwarming and exactly the book I needed to read right now. Maybelle Lane has always wanted to know her father, but she has no idea who he really is. One day, she hears his voice on the radio, and it turns out he's a Radio DJ in Nashville. Not only that, but there is going to be a singing contest that he's a judge for. It doesn't take much for Mrs. Boggs, a teacher, and Tommy, a local troublemaker, to join Maybelle on a road trip to Nashville that is littered with surprises. From the This was so heartwarming and exactly the book I needed to read right now. Maybelle Lane has always wanted to know her father, but she has no idea who he really is. One day, she hears his voice on the radio, and it turns out he's a Radio DJ in Nashville. Not only that, but there is going to be a singing contest that he's a judge for. It doesn't take much for Mrs. Boggs, a teacher, and Tommy, a local troublemaker, to join Maybelle on a road trip to Nashville that is littered with surprises. From the start, I was just entranced by Maybelle's story. I felt like I was also on this road trip across the country with very three-dimensional characters. Maybelle wants nothing more than to meet her father and it's very easy to root for her. She also deals with bad anxiety and panic attacks and I think it's handled very realistically in this novel. Mrs. Boggs is also an absolute national treasure and Tommy becomes someone you want to wrap in a blanket and keep warm. The three of them together is magic. A road trip was the perfect way for me to escape reality right now and I whole-heartedly enjoyed the ride.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    This was an audiobook "read" this week that was a last-minute impulse-grab. It was beautifully narrated by Catherine Taber and, at only 6 1/2 hours, it's a very quick listen. Maybelle was raised as an only child in a single-parent home. She's fascinated with recording special sounds and she collects/records them on special occasions, sorta like keeping a diary. Her mom is a singer-songwriter and has always been a bit secretive about Maybelle's father. Maybelle never met him, but she knows his vo This was an audiobook "read" this week that was a last-minute impulse-grab. It was beautifully narrated by Catherine Taber and, at only 6 1/2 hours, it's a very quick listen. Maybelle was raised as an only child in a single-parent home. She's fascinated with recording special sounds and she collects/records them on special occasions, sorta like keeping a diary. Her mom is a singer-songwriter and has always been a bit secretive about Maybelle's father. Maybelle never met him, but she knows his voice so well because she heard it on a voice mail recording (and listened to it over and over and over). So imagine her shock when she hears that same voice on the radio one day. She continues to listen to her dad's radio program and discovers her dad's radio station is doing a music/singing competition in Nashville. Could she actually meet her real father without her mom knowing? And next thing we know, she's loaded up and on her way to Nashville with her commanding next-door neighbor and an annoying boy from school tagging along. This road trip was my favorite part of the story because she gets to know her two travel mates in a way that never would have happened by just living next door to them. Over time, they learn more about the past. And they collectively pave a better road for each of their futures. It's written with sooo much heart -- highly recommend for middle grade readers! For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lane

    I have had a lot of trouble with middle grade lately. I was starting to wonder that maybe I was just getting too old, and the books really weren't for me anymore (which is totally fine because they SHOULDN'T be for me!) But then I read this book and I thought FINALLY. The LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is so emotionally intelligent. Maybelle is 12 if I remember correctly, but this book doesn't take her age for granted and really seems to respect the deeply emotional and mature issues that young c I have had a lot of trouble with middle grade lately. I was starting to wonder that maybe I was just getting too old, and the books really weren't for me anymore (which is totally fine because they SHOULDN'T be for me!) But then I read this book and I thought FINALLY. The LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is so emotionally intelligent. Maybelle is 12 if I remember correctly, but this book doesn't take her age for granted and really seems to respect the deeply emotional and mature issues that young children can go through. Maybelle is desperate to know her father and this book makes that feeling real without infantalizing Maybelle's journey. As it takes place in rural Louisiana up through Nashville, it introduces realistic and mature themes in a way that doesn't feel forced but flags them as issues that middle-grade aged children can start to see, like poverty and racism and domestic violence. This book is utterly brave in how it attacks these situations. It doesn't tie up the ending in a neat bow, and to many the end may not be satisfying, but I think that's why it's so beautifully poignant. Not everything ends the way you hope, but that doesn't make it hopeless, and I think this book portrays that story so incredibly well. And of course, you can't help but love every single character. Maybelle is sweet and relatable. Mrs. Boggs is a Queen and I had no choice but to stan her. Tommy, Mama, the blonde who worked at the singing competition, just everyone. (well mostly everyone...the bad ones know who they are!). The only time I felt it went a little flat and seemed to shy away from an issue was Maybelle and her mom's relationship with blues music. They kept saying that they don't sing the blues, but merely listen to and love it, because it "doesn't belong to them." It's clear to me, as a Black adult, that they mean that the experiences of the Black artists who sing blues music don't belong to them, but I think the characters kind of tip-toe around this, when it seemed to face other racial issues (like Mrs. Boggs with the rude hotel guest) more head-on. I also thought the epilogue was a little unnecessary. The last substantive chapter has such a strong end and then the epilogue seems to drag out that WOW feeling. But since it's middle grade, I can understand wanting a definitively happy ending. But overall, I absolutely adore this book and it might just be my favorite MG contemporary that I've read. It's a book that I wish I had when I was 12 facing some of these issues but not having many books that respected the emotional intelligence of children well enough to tackle these issues. Love LOVE LOVE!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Lambert

    What a beautifully written book, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. All the characters are so whole and real, and I wish I could just hug them all! This book made me cry more than once, sometimes just from sheer pride in these courageous young characters. I highly recommend this book for humans of any age, but especially young readers who struggle with anxiety and/or overcoming fears, like Maybelle does.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Burcham

    Maybelle Lane is 11 years old and has never laid eyes on her daddy. The only tidbit of info that she has on him is a short snip of a voice mail where he is laughing. And one day she hears that laugh - on the radio. He's a radio show host in Nashville which just so happens to be hosting a singing contest - and it also just so happens that Maybelle can sing. She sets in motion a plan to enter the contest. There are just a few problems: 1) She lives in Davenport, LA 2) Her mother is leaving for a 3 w Maybelle Lane is 11 years old and has never laid eyes on her daddy. The only tidbit of info that she has on him is a short snip of a voice mail where he is laughing. And one day she hears that laugh - on the radio. He's a radio show host in Nashville which just so happens to be hosting a singing contest - and it also just so happens that Maybelle can sing. She sets in motion a plan to enter the contest. There are just a few problems: 1) She lives in Davenport, LA 2) Her mother is leaving for a 3 week stint to perform on a cruise ship 3) She lost the $100 her mom left her for "emergencies" 4) She's stuck staying with the rule-following, set-in-her-ways teacher, Mrs. Boggs 5) When she does finally get on the road, who should she find as a stow away on the trip, but her annoying neighbor, Charlie 6) She's scared to death to sing in front of anyone - you know - since that one day with her Grandpa where she ruined everything As it turns out, everyone in the motley group of travelers has their own missions. One is in search of someone to love them, another is running away from someone, and yet still another is trying to heal a broken heart. A sweet story with a lovable cast of characters - including Pickle the crippled, farting dog.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Fitzgerald

    Great story about a young girl, who, in pursuing her dreams of finding her long-absent father, finds some surprises and new friends along the way. Good theme about having courage to do the right thing, even if it’s scary to do so. Memorable Quotes: (Pg.68)-“The thing about keeping everything on the inside is that it builds and builds and builds, and you can never be too sure when it will all come pouring out. Or to who.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian Weisfeld

    I loved reading this book. The literal and figurative journey of Maybelle had me hooked from the start. Maybelle overcomes a tremendous amount in her life to face her fears and open her heart. Highly recommend this one and can't wait for more books from Kate.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandym24

    This is the sweetest story with the most lovable characters and the writing is charming as well. I loved every page .

  11. 5 out of 5

    claralinnea

    overall nice idea, but i have some problems with this one 😬

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    Collecting sounds. Road tripping with an unconventional group of friends. A dog with wheels. Loss, fear, hope, and bravery. This is what middle grade fiction is all about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hall

    This book has one of the most basic stories of all time (kid who's never met a parent goes in search of them) but it just goes to show it's the specificity of character and detail that really matter. Kate O'Shaughnessy never lets you doubt even for a moment that she doesn't know this world, and the people who live in it, inside and out. The story and content are completely appropriate for children but the quality of writing makes it worth reading for any age group.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    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 whi 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. I received an ARC of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    I can’t emphasize how much I loved this book! I loved Maybelle (May), her friend Tommy, teacher Mrs. Boggs (Alice), and May’s mom Gemma! They were all interesting characters and I connected with each of them at some point in the book. I fell in love with poor Pickles, the badly mistreated, disabled dog that they ended up stealing so that he could be loved and taken care of the way he should be. I loved that May recorded sounds! I take a lot of photos but think collecting sounds is a great way to I can’t emphasize how much I loved this book! I loved Maybelle (May), her friend Tommy, teacher Mrs. Boggs (Alice), and May’s mom Gemma! They were all interesting characters and I connected with each of them at some point in the book. I fell in love with poor Pickles, the badly mistreated, disabled dog that they ended up stealing so that he could be loved and taken care of the way he should be. I loved that May recorded sounds! I take a lot of photos but think collecting sounds is a great way to hang on to great memories too and wish I had thought of that years ago. I may just buy me a recorder! I loved that May had the courage to do something that she was terrified of doing! I loved that the book took place during a road trip in an RV! I love road trips and would love to go on one in an RV again! This book is packed full of non stop adventure that made the listening time speed by. I’m really surprised so much happened in a 6 1/2 hour long book because it didn’t seemed rushed at all. There was a nice mix of happy and sad, and May seemed older than her 11 years in her reactions to the bad that happened, and so did Tommy. The relationships between May, Tommy, and Mrs. Boggs (Alice) grew over the time they spent together and I was glad when May realized Tommy wasn’t the bully she thought he was, and when Mrs. Boggs started loosening up. This book will be in my top favorites for this year! I ‘d love for there to be a sequel! This book was the first I’ve read by this author, and it definitely makes me want to read more by her. Catherine Taber did a great job with the narration!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    I really liked The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane because the main character-Maybelle-had a fun side of her life, but she also has a sad and emotional side to her life. I found it weirdly similar to Clean Getaway by Nic Stone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus 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; E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Schmelzer

    Perfection! The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane was just perfection. From the moment I picked up this novel, I was entranced. It was heartfelt, it was meaningful, and the characters were ones that you root for. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Maybelle. Maybelle and her mother are living in a run-down trailer. Life has had its challenges for them lately. Maybelle's mother is working two jobs and doing everything she can to keep them afloat, and Maybel Perfection! The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane was just perfection. From the moment I picked up this novel, I was entranced. It was heartfelt, it was meaningful, and the characters were ones that you root for. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Maybelle. Maybelle and her mother are living in a run-down trailer. Life has had its challenges for them lately. Maybelle's mother is working two jobs and doing everything she can to keep them afloat, and Maybelle is spending her summers alone. Things are looking up for the mother-daughter duo when Maybelle's mother is offered an entertainer job on a cruise ship. It is for 30 days, and it will pay more than Maybelle's mom can make in months. She has to take the job. But, that means she has to leave Maybelle behind with her neighbor, Mrs. Boggs. It is during a deep discussion in the car when things start to change for Maybelle. Randomly, her mother decides to turn on the radio, and Maybelle immediately recognizes the voice she hers. She knows that voice belongs to the father she has never met. His voice is imprinted on her heart after finding a lost voicemail on her mother's phone. Maybelle's mother confirms the voice is her dad but warns Maybelle that their lives are forever better off without him in it. Maybelle cannot get that voice out of her head. She has to hear it again. Maybelle ends up pulling her little savings together to buy an old radio. She sneaks time listening to the radio whenever she is alone. Her connection to the man behind the voice consumes her, and Maybelle decides she must meet her father. She must know the real man behind the voice. Maybelle knows her chance when she hears it. Her father is going to be a judge in a singing competition in Nashville. If Maybelle can get there to sing, she knows her father will know who she is and want to be part of her plan. Her only chance to go is when her mom goes away for her job on her cruise ship. Mrs. Boggs agrees to take her to Nashville. The two head off on their cross country drive to Nashville. It doesn't take long for them to discover that the trip the two of them were taking was a trip for three. Tommy, Maybelle’s bully, has snuck along for the trip. Maybelle is devastated to see him with them. But none-the-less, the three continue on their drive to Nashville and into an adventure like none of them could ever expect.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Thank you to the author for a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. First of all, let’s talk about the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?! It offers a small peek into Maybelle’s story and gently calls to you to step into her life. When you do, you’ll find your heart breaking a bit time and time again, but you’ll also find yourself cheering for every character as each one searches for the courage to face their fears and follow their dreams. Next, let’s talk about the characters. I loved e Thank you to the author for a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. First of all, let’s talk about the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?! It offers a small peek into Maybelle’s story and gently calls to you to step into her life. When you do, you’ll find your heart breaking a bit time and time again, but you’ll also find yourself cheering for every character as each one searches for the courage to face their fears and follow their dreams. Next, let’s talk about the characters. I loved every one! Gemma, Maybelle’s mom who works two jobs to keep a rickety roof over their head, and loves Maybelle with all her heart, while all along dreaming of a singing career. Maybelle, who has an amazing voice of her own, spends her lonely hours recording the everyday sounds we shouldn’t ever forget and dreaming of meeting the daddy she’s never laid eyes on. She’s a girl who shares her mama’s kindness, patience and understanding of others. Mrs. Boggs, Maybelle’s neighbor who lives in a Winnebago. She’s a teacher who beneath a strict and gray exterior, has a heart of gold. She desperately misses her young husband, who died recently, and thoughtfully steps up to help when she is needed by her young neighbors. Tommy, Maybelle’s neighbor and classmate, hangs out with the mean kids and tries to hide the bruises that mysteriously appear whenever his dad is out of town and he stays with his stepmom. But he’s also the boy who can secretly fix anything, reads engineering textbooks for fun and is kind to Maybelle when she really needs a friend. When Maybelle, Mrs. Boggs and Tommy take off in her Winnebago on a road trip to Nashville to find Maybelle’s dad, the fun really begins. Not only was it an adventure for two kids who had never left their state, but it gave them all an opportunity to thoughtfully help one another gather their courage to face their obstacles and dream their dreams. They all learned some important lessons during their long trip, but none more important than the understanding that taking care of someone else not only helps the recipient, but also yourself. This is a book you’ll both race through to see what happens next, but also read slowly knowing it’s going to end before you’re ready to say goodbye. It’s a book you’ll remember for a long time. This book, out 3.3.20, is a must buy for every elementary and middle school library. Please pre-order it now! You’ll be so happy you did!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathie

    Thank you to the author and publisher for sending an ARC to #bookportage for review. I was immediately drawn in to THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE by the first few sentences: "Most people don't think fate has a sound. But it does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." Maybelle collects sounds, and keeps recordings of the everyday ones that often go unnoticed by other people. She's never met her father, but she knows his voice from an old voicemail that her mom had on her phone Thank you to the author and publisher for sending an ARC to #bookportage for review. I was immediately drawn in to THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE by the first few sentences: "Most people don't think fate has a sound. But it does. Everything has a sound if you listen carefully enough." Maybelle collects sounds, and keeps recordings of the everyday ones that often go unnoticed by other people. She's never met her father, but she knows his voice from an old voicemail that her mom had on her phone. When she hears him on the radio one day, and discovers he's going to be judging a singing contest, she's decides to enter the contest and go to Nashville so she can meet him. Maybelle's journey to Nashville is my favorite part of the story. The relationships that develop are heartwarming, and without giving away too many spoilers, the trip reminds me of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. Many of the characters in the story are hurting (though the story doesn't feel heavy), and become a support network for each other to face their problems. It's easy to feel connected to the characters, and I wished I could be on their trip with them. This MG debut comes out on March 3, 2020, and it feels like a great book to get into the hands of students for summer reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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 he 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Really enjoyed this sweet middle grade about a young lady who goes on a journey to finds her heart and ends up doing it in the most unexpected ways. Plus, there’s a dog and bi rep. Yes indeed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read an ARC--what a beautiful middle grade book with a tenacious, lovable protagonist. I loved seeing May's journey, both literal and figurative. Secondary characters like Tommy and Mrs. Boggs were vivid and lovable as well. THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE has a lot of great descriptions of music, road trips, and the experience of anxiety disorder. There's even a cute dog! But ultimately it's a wonderful tale about discovering yourself. The book manages to be profound while never talking down I read an ARC--what a beautiful middle grade book with a tenacious, lovable protagonist. I loved seeing May's journey, both literal and figurative. Secondary characters like Tommy and Mrs. Boggs were vivid and lovable as well. THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE has a lot of great descriptions of music, road trips, and the experience of anxiety disorder. There's even a cute dog! But ultimately it's a wonderful tale about discovering yourself. The book manages to be profound while never talking down to kids. This is a wonderful addition to the MG canon.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terri M.

    I enjoyed Maybelle's journey to find her courage and discover her place in her new town. The story didn't ended up quite the way I anticipated. I love the fact that not everything ended the way Maybelle wanted to and she had to cope with disappointment. It made the story feel more real to me. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jen Petro-Roy

    Just lovely.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Fans of How to Steal a Dog, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and Waiting for Normal are sure to fall in love with this book and its protagonist, Maybelle Lane. The eleven-year-old collects sounds on her tape recorder--not the sounds that everyone notices but the quieter ones that require some patience, time, and a listening ear. In many respects, Maybelle herself is a lot like the sounds she collects that others overlook. She has a beautiful singing voice, but she no longer uses it afte Fans of How to Steal a Dog, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and Waiting for Normal are sure to fall in love with this book and its protagonist, Maybelle Lane. The eleven-year-old collects sounds on her tape recorder--not the sounds that everyone notices but the quieter ones that require some patience, time, and a listening ear. In many respects, Maybelle herself is a lot like the sounds she collects that others overlook. She has a beautiful singing voice, but she no longer uses it after a traumatic incident. Although Maybelle and her mother have a strong bond, she longs to know more about her father, and when she happens to hear his voice on the radio, she recognizes it from a voice message left on her mother's cell phone long ago. When she hears about a talent contest in Nashville in which her father will be one of the judges, she decides to enter it and introduce herself to him while her mother is away on a cruise ship working as a singer. A couple of mishaps cause her to lose the emergency money her mother gave her and to have to reach out for help to Mrs. Boggs, the neighbor who is watching over her. She packs up her Winnebago, and they set off slowly on a road trip to Nashville, leaving the Davenport, Louisiana, trailer park where they live far behind. Along the way, they pick up a couple of passengers and have some wild experiences. The characters in this book are exceptionally well drawn and multilayered, reminding readers not to make assumptions about others. Tommy O'Brien, the boy Maybelle considers a jerk and a bully, is so much more than that, and Mrs. Boggs has a few surprises of her own. There's even Pickle, a disabled dog, who has a story behind his odd behavior told bald men. This book had me hooked from the beginning even though it was a bit hard to believe that Mrs. Boggs would be willing to leave her comfortable routine in order to aid Maybelle. It took her quite a long time to cover those miles from rural Louisiana to urban Tennessee, but what an amazing trip and what amazing experiences the travelers had! And, oh, once the travelers arrive in Nashville and Maybelle meets her DJ father, my heart just cracked. The author covers Maybelle's mother's love life with a deft touch while also making it clear how others who should have known better tended to judge her. It also looks at how some individuals deal with grief and loss. As another reviewer noted, it was odd how both Maybelle and her mother loved the blues but didn't feel that it was right for them to sing them, hinting at wanting to avoid cultural appropriation. I'm always torn on that particular topic since it often seems that everything has been appropriated from another culture in some way. Reading this book will prompt many readers to cover the same roads and highways that Maybelle did.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy, 282 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Penguin Random), 2020. $17. Content: Language: PG (1 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE Eleven-year old Maybelle is left on her own quite often as her mother works two jobs, and during that time Maybelle dreams of meeting her father. Maybelle hears her father’s voice as a DJ on a radio station and decides to enter in a singing contest in Nashvill The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy, 282 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Penguin Random), 2020. $17. Content: Language: PG (1 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE Eleven-year old Maybelle is left on her own quite often as her mother works two jobs, and during that time Maybelle dreams of meeting her father. Maybelle hears her father’s voice as a DJ on a radio station and decides to enter in a singing contest in Nashville because he will be a judge there. When Maybelle’s mother gets a job on a cruise ship, Maybelle is left with her neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and together they embark on a road trip in her neighbor’s RV to get to Nashville for the singing contest. I'm not sure how believable this book is, but I still loved the idea that there are good people like Mrs. Boggs in the world. The road trip was fun and a stowaway on the RV, (Maybelle’s nemesis, Tommy) makes for even more adventures. Maybelle has severe panic attacks and suffers from guilt and abandonment, so there are heavy topics. There is also a story about animal abuse and Tommy deals with a physically abusive stepmom. Reviewer, C. Peterson https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2020...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Linnea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Maybellle is left my her mom who has to go away for a job. She stays with a kindly teacher who is the pillar of the town and mourning her dead husband. May belle hears her father on the radio one night and realizes he is a DJ. When the station has a singing contest in Nashville Maybelle signs up so she can travel there and meet him. May belle has anxiety and a history of panic attacks. She is traumatized by the fact that she is the reason her and her mother had to move after she told her grandfa Maybellle is left my her mom who has to go away for a job. She stays with a kindly teacher who is the pillar of the town and mourning her dead husband. May belle hears her father on the radio one night and realizes he is a DJ. When the station has a singing contest in Nashville Maybelle signs up so she can travel there and meet him. May belle has anxiety and a history of panic attacks. She is traumatized by the fact that she is the reason her and her mother had to move after she told her grandfather thank you for the money he and her grandmother were giving Maybelle and her mom. The grandfather was unaware and stops the grandmother from giving them money forcing them to move away. Maybelle and the teacher take a road trip to Nashville and a neighborhood by who hangs out with bullies tags along. He reveals his step mother hits him. They all make the long journey to Tennessee. In the end Maybelle, learns how to cope with her anxiety, the teacher tries to get over her grief and travel the world like she and her husband always wanted, and the boy decides to tell his dad about the abuse. May belle also learns that her father always knew about her but had no interest in being her dad.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    A girl seeking her father, a grieving teacher, neighborhood bully with his own secret, and a farting dog take a trip to a singing contest in Memphis that changes all of their lives. Sweet and funny with terrific characters that rise above the cliches to make this a throughly charming debut. O'Shaughnessy handles voice, character and setting with a veteran's aplomb and I completely enjoyed the journey. There is so much here that young readers will relate to and appreciate and I was rooting for al A girl seeking her father, a grieving teacher, neighborhood bully with his own secret, and a farting dog take a trip to a singing contest in Memphis that changes all of their lives. Sweet and funny with terrific characters that rise above the cliches to make this a throughly charming debut. O'Shaughnessy handles voice, character and setting with a veteran's aplomb and I completely enjoyed the journey. There is so much here that young readers will relate to and appreciate and I was rooting for all the characters. My only criticism lies with the epilogue which takes the entire following year and summarizes it in a few pages - more like a report. The wonderful voice loses its flow here and takes on a rather rushed and slightly wooden feel to it. The events chronicled are lovely and happy for all but the writing faltered . Better, I think to have simply stopped after Chapter 29 and let readers project the warm future for themselves. Overall, Kate O'Shaughnessy did an outstanding job with her debut book and I will eagerly seek out what she writes next.

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