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Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberley Griffiths Little


The Time of the Fireflies
by Kimberley Griffiths Little
July 29, 2014
Scholastic

Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little spins a thrilling story of one girl's race to unravel the curse that has haunted her family for generations. 

When Larissa Renaud starts receiving eerie phone calls on a disconnected old phone in her family's antique shop, she knows she's in for a strange summer. A series of clues leads her to the muddy river banks, where clouds of fireflies dance among the cypress knees and cattails each evening at twilight. The fireflies are beautiful and mysterious, and they take her on a magical journey through time, where Larissa learns secrets about her family's tragic past--deadly, curse-ridden secrets that could harm the future of her family as she knows it. It soon becomes clear that it is up to Larissa to prevent history from repeating itself and a fatal tragedy from striking the people she loves. 

With her signature lyricism, Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a thrilling tale filled with family secrets, haunting mystery, and dangerous adventure.



Mysterious phones calls + a very creepy doll + time travel + buried family secrets + one determined and courageous young heroine = a thrilling middle-grade adventure full of addicting mystery, captivating storytelling, and immensely felt heart...Kimberley Griffiths Little’s The Time of the Fireflies is all this and more!

Haunted by a near-death accident, young Larissa Renaud is not having an ideal summer. When she receives a mysterious phone call, from an unplugged, not hooked up to anything antique phone in her parents’ antique shop, she’s sure it’s just a prank. Follow the fireflies. Trust the fireflies the voice on the other end says. And when she does find and follow the fireflies they lead her across time and straight into her family’s tragic, mysterious past. A creepy doll and family curse are determined to ruin Larissa’s family once again, but, with the help of a surprising friend, Larissa must find the courage to end the curse and right some heavy wrongs.

Beautifully and hauntingly atmospheric, with rich, lyrical writing, The Time of the Fireflies is a book that grabs hold and doesn’t let go! Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a lovely tale that is equal parts heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and heart-pounding. From the moment Larissa receives that mysterious phone call and the creepy, eerie Anna Marie doll is introduced, I just knew this was going to be deliciously spine-tingling, and it was! A jumbled antiques shop, abandoned island, and several different time periods, make for a spellbinding setting. The haunting, vivid atmosphere Little creates really is superb and there’s a genuine spookiness to the whole story...but a fun, delightful spookiness! The awesomely sinister Anna Marie doll is frighteningly fascinating in a way that younger readers will go crazy for. The Time of the Fireflies isn’t all fun scares though; Larissa’s time-travel adventures are full of poignancy and thought-provoking moments as well. Little does a wonderful job of exploring topics like grief, bullying, prejudice, and acceptance.

I so enjoyed following the fireflies and solving the hundred year mystery with Larissa! Larissa, with her determination, courage, and compassion is an admirable, yet completely relatable young heroine. And she’s surrounded by an eclectic group of characters, both in her present and the past. Little crafts complex, compelling characters, with a lot of personality, intrigue, and heart.

My Final Thoughts: The Time of the Fireflies has it all- magic, mystery, time-travel, thrills, chills, and engaging characters! Kimberley Griffiths Little’s beautiful writing and storytelling will entertain and dazzle young readers.

MY RATING


Kimberley Griffiths Little is the critically acclaimed author of the Southwest Book Award, Winner of the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, Crystal Kit Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist. Her books have sold several hundred thousand copies in the Scholastic Book Fairs and have been chosen for many state reading lists. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer, and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences. She is a co-founder of SPELLBINDERS, a national newsletter for Educators and Librarians to create life-long readers.







3 comments:

Michael G-G said...

I loved this one too, and plan to feature it on my blog soon. Creepy dolls always get to me--and this one was particularly chilling! Eek!

Ms. Yingling said...

I need to make a display of creepy doll books- bad Girls Don't Die, Doll Bones, this one-- will have to make a list. Thanks for the review,

Brenda said...

From that cover I would have never guessed creepy doll book, but now I'm really interested. Thanks for the review, gonna add it to the TBR list.