"Fierce and tender—and absolutely worth reading."

-Kirkus Starred Review


"Heartfelt, heartbreaking, and - yes! - even a little heart-healing too"

-Carolyn Mackler, Printz Honor recipient


"Realistic and compelling...Young adult readers will connect with Mari’s feisty personality, strength, and vulnerability."



"There wasn’t a chapter that didn’t put tears in my eyes or make me ache...WATER IN MAY is a prime example of the power of young adult literature."


WATER IN MAY, the novel

What if your baby had half a heart?

Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally give her a family member who loves her and won’t ever leave. Not like her mama, who took off when she was eight; or her papi, who’s in jail; or her abuela, who wants as little to do with her as possible. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari faces choices she never imagined.

Surrounded by her loyal girl crew, her on-and-off boyfriend, and a dedicated doctor, Mari navigates an experience that could devastate the bravest of women. But Mari’s a fighter. She won’t give up. And while Mari’s future is as uncertain as her unborn baby’s, her darkest moments shed light on what it truly means to be part of a family.

  • Publisher: Amulet Books (ABRAMS)

  • Genre: young adult contemporary realistic fiction

  • Release Date: September 12, 2017

  • Cover Design: Siobhán Gallagher

  • ISBN: 1-4197-2539-4

  • EAN: 9781419725395

  • Page Count: 320

  • Rights: World English

  • Formats: Hardcover, Ebook


Praise for WATER IN MAY

"Full of spot-on cultural texture and packing an emotional punch, this is an unusual take on the teen-pregnancy problem novel...Williams presents her experience in a way that demands not pity but respect while also reminding readers of Mari’s heartbreaking youth and innocence at unexpected times." –Kirkus Starred Review

"Diversity in books has certainly risen in popularity over the past few years, but I have yet to find a book that made me squeal in happiness because of how closely the similarities in our cultures were...With Dominican slang and festive music, Williams’ book gives readers the diverse, heartfelt story they didn’t know they were waiting for." –teenreads

A Best New Young Adult Book of 2017 –Children's Book Review

"Every once in a while, I read a story that’s truly special because it exposes the best of humanity in the worst and unfairest situations..." -Stay on the Page

"A heartwarming tale about how one life can change and challenge others..." –Pages Unbound

"I'd buy hundreds of copies of this book and give them to teens all over the world to show them what love is and what really matters. How we need to bring each other up instead of tear each other down. That, right there, is what life is about, and I’m thankful to [WATER IN MAY] for reinserting that in my heart." –theFandom.net

"Water In May is one of the best debuts this year. One that will make your heart break and then give you hope. It had a stunning cast of diverse characters, beautifully forged friendships and a kind of coming-of-age story I’ve never seen before in YA books." –A Thousand Words



Interested in using WATER IN MAY in the classroom? Below you will find a Common Core Standards TEACHING GUIDE for WATER IN MAY by Amulet Books. You can also download it HERE.

Thinking of using WATER IN MAY in your book club? Below you can find the book club DISCUSSION GUIDE for WATER IN MAY by Amulet Books. You can also download it HERE.