At Hog Wallow Middle School, May Ellen Bird was always slightly invisible. Then she went on a long trip to the land of the dead, where ghost towns glowed blue in the dark dusk and spooky specters dwelled in cities on the Dead Sea.
Back on Earth at last, May and her hairless cat, Somber Kitty, are now famous, their faces plastered across souvenirs and sportswear that read "May Bird Went to the Land of the Dead and All She Brought Me Was This Lousy T-Shirt." But, finally in the spotlight, May feels more than ever that she doesn't belong. Every night she sits by her bedroom window, gazing at the sky and dreaming of another place, wishing -- despite herself -- to be back among the ghosts.
And then one night she gets her heart's desire in a way she would never have wished for. Only the Ever After isn't anything like the world May left behind three years ago. The spirits have vanished, and the towns -- once full of every manner of things that go bump in the night -- are deserted. Evil Bo Cleevil has made the Ever After as cold as his own frigid soul, and put up a bunch of tacky malls to boot.
Now, with her friends missing and enemies all around her, May must find her way to the edge of the universe, where night swallows the stars, where allies are few and often have bad breath, where endings can also be beginnings, and where the truest hero lurks in the unlikeliest of souls. But Bo Cleevil's got one last trick up his sleeve -- one that no one on Earth is ready for.
With the worlds of the living and the dead in the balance, will May's courage fail her one last time? Or will she finally become the warrior she was always meant to be?
Jodi Lynn Anderson is the bestselling author of several critically acclaimed books for young people, including theMay Bird trilogyand My Diary from the Edge of the World. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina, and holds an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College.