A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

Unstoppable Octobia May

by Sharon G.  Flake

Published by Scholastic Press, 2014
276 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45-609609

Ages 9-13

Octobia May has lived with her independent, unmarried aunt for two years. Once sickly and overprotected, Octobia has thrived at Aunt Shuma抯 boarding house, where抯 she抯 had the freedom to be herself. She is doted on by the boarders, most of whom are older African Americans, but even Aunt Shuma agrees it might be time to reign in Octobia抯 overactive imagination when her niece starts spying on Mr. Davenport. Octobia, a lover of mystery stories, is convinced the younger man is a vampire, because he only goes out at night (she eats garlic for protection). The truth, surprisingly, turns out to be something more sinister. Octobia, precocious and irrepressible, uncovers a real mystery and then must convince adults and even her best friend to believe her. Octobia is a character in the spirit of the young detectives of the mid-twentieth- century literature, when this story is set. And like the mysteries Octobia herself loves to read, the plot of this novel stretches credibility at times, ending with an improbable escape from gun-wielding danger. But it also skillfully weaves in social history, especially about racism but also gender and economics before, during, and after World War II, all of which inform the mystery itself, and the lives of the characters. Mr. Davenport, it turns out, is a complicated scoundrel. And Octobia is his worthy foil.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest