Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey cover
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

By Erin Entrada Kelly
Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2021
160 pages

Ages 6-9

Marisol Rainey lives with her parents and older brother, Oz, in Louisiana. Her Filipina mom is a 7th grade science teacher, her white dad an electrician on an oil rig in the Louisiana gulf. As summer begins, Marisol wishes she weren’t afraid to ascend Peppina, the beautiful magnolia tree in her back yard with perfect branches for climbing. Marisol’s best friend, Jada, climbs Peppina with no problem, and while Marisol isn’t jealous she does long to join Jada up in the tree. In a story about an anxious child that perfectly arcs toward Marisol’s realistic conquering of this one fear, Marisol is singular yet relatable, and surrounded by a loving family and good best friend. Marisol loves cats and old silent movies, and she names inanimate objects. (In addition to Peppina, there is Buster–for Buster Keaton–the refrigerator; and Ginny, her bike, among others.) This warm, emotionally honest, gently humorous novel wonderfully captures dynamics of family and friendship and the timeless feeling of summer days, while one or more of Marisol’s worries will resonate with many readers, even though Marisol is convinced she is alone in her struggles. Marisol’s success in climbing Peppina is all the more satisfying for doing it wholly on her own terms, motivated solely by her own desire rather than outside pressure. Black-and-white occasional illustrations by the author, who notes that Marisol has a lot in common with herself as a child, accompany a story perfect for reading aloud, or for newly independent readers ready to read a short novel. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center