Early chapter books are some of my favorite recently. These books remind me of falling in love with reading as a form of escapism as a child. Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainy by Erin Entrada Kelly is one I would have adored as a kid and I loved it as an adult!

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The summary, from Amazon:

“Utterly endearing!” —Annie Barrows, New York Times-bestselling author of the Ivy + Bean books

“Hilarious and heart-melting.” —Sara Pennypacker, New York Times-bestselling author of Pax

Introducing eight-year-old Marisol Rainey—an irresistible new character from Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling Erin Entrada Kelly!

Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey is an illustrated novel about summer, friendship, and overcoming fears, told with warm humor and undeniable appeal. Fans of Clementine, The Year of Billy Miller, and Ramona the Pest will be thrilled to meet Marisol.

Marisol Rainey’s mother was born in the Philippines. Marisol’s father works and lives part-time on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. And Marisol, who has a big imagination and likes to name inanimate objects, has a tree in her backyard she calls Peppina . . . but she’s way too scared to climb it. This all makes Marisol the only girl in her small Louisiana town with a mother who was born elsewhere and a father who lives elsewhere (most of the time)—the only girl who’s fearful of adventure and fun.


Will Marisol be able to salvage her summer and have fun with Jada, her best friend? Maybe. Will Marisol figure out how to get annoying Evie Smythe to leave her alone? Maybe. Will Marisol ever get to spend enough real time with her father? Maybe. Will Marisol find the courage to climb Peppina? Maybe.

Told in short chapters with illustrations by the author on nearly every page, Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey is a must-have for early elementary grade readers. Erin Entrada Kelly celebrates the small but mighty Marisol, the joys of friendship, and the triumph of overcoming your fears in this stunning new novel for readers of Kevin Henkes, Meg Medina, Andrew Clements, Sara Pennypacker,  and Kate DiCamillo.

Features black-and-white artwork throughout by Erin Entrada Kelly.

Buy Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey here.

Marisol Rainey is a young girl dealing with anxiety. She worries and fears many things. She also has an adorable quirk where she names inanimate objects and ascribes feelings to them, like her fridge, Buster Keaton. One of these things is Peppina, the tree in her yard. Everyone says Peppina is the perfect tree, but Marisol is too scared to climb it. She is determined to overcome this fear.

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey is a funny and emotionally satisfying read with hilarious artwork by Erin Entrada Kelly. I especially loved the illustrations of Jada and Socrates yelling their ideas and people and Marisol and Jada in P.E. class. My edition was an ARC, so not all of the artwork was included, but I still greatly enjoyed it and I know the final version is even better.

This book is more about character development rather than a plot. We see Marisol deal with her anxiety and overcome her fears all with the support of her family and best friend Jada. As someone who developed anxiety around Marisol’s age, I saw a lot of myself in this book.

This was an excellent young reader. My thanks to Edelweiss, the publisher, and the author for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review. What an excellent 5 star read!


Find out more about how I rate books here.

Maybe Maybe Marisol RaineyMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A funny and heartfelt book. Emotionally satisfying. Plot is centered around Marisol’s development as a character.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Why do you think Marisol names inanimate objects?
  2. Why do you think Evie Smythe is mean to Marisol? What should Marisol do about it?
  3. What skills does Marisol have that make her good at the claw machine?



Interested? Buy Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey.
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peacefully reading