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|Time of the fireflies|
Author: Little, Kimberley Griffiths
When Larissa Renaud starts receiving eerie phone calls on a disconnected phone in her family's shop, Bayou Bridge Antiques, she finds herself directed to the river bank near her house, where a cloud of fireflies take her on a journey through time to learn the secrets of her family's past--and save their future.
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 62962
School Library Journal (00/05/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Larissa Renaud's scar burns down the side of her face every time the doll her Mamma keeps locked in the upstairs cabinet looks at her. The angry slash reminds Larissa of her terrible accident at Bayou Bridge, the same bridge where her aunt Gwen drowned as a young girl. The scar warns Larissa not to play with or talk to any of the kids in the town who forced her off the bridge. The scar makes Larissa think that her Mamma, pregnant and anxious, doesn't think she is beautiful anymore. Then Larissa starts getting phone calls on an ancient telephone in her parents' antique store—a phone that has long been disconnected from the wall. "Trust the fireflies," the voice tells her. Believing that the message is a matter of life and death for her family, Larissa lets the fireflies swirl her across the dangerous river to travel back in time to her ancestor's rich sugarcane estate. Bouncing through the generations, Larissa begins to piece together the history of the blue-eyed heirloom doll, Anna Marie, that her mother keeps. Bought on the Island of the Dolls and infused with a powerful spirit, the doll that Larissa's great-great-grandmother stole from a servant girl became a curse for each generation thereafter. The evil doll has been at each tragic, untimely death, and Larissa soon figures out it is her Mamma and her newly born sister, Emilie, who are the next targets. Can Larissa find a way to save her family, and perhaps heal her own wounds? This is a haunting, well-constructed tale that keeps readers guessing until the end. The feel of the old bayou infuses the story and the well-developed characters fit into the landscape, moving along in a plot filled with suspense, adventure, and mystery. A perfect choice for lovers of ghost stories, historical fiction, or just a good yarn.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2014 A move back to the family’s Louisiana hometown was supposed to bring some peace to Larissa’s family, still grieving the recent loss of two babies. All it really does, though, is cause more pain when an encounter with bullies and an accident in the bayou leaves Larissa’s face scarred and her heart bitter. A year later, Larissa is still hiding out in her parents’ antique shop when an old-disconnected-phone rings, and a mysterious voice on the other end tells her to follow the fireflies. On a walk that evening, she spots a cluster of fireflies near the site of her accident and the insects swarm her and transport her nearly a century back in time to a sugar-cane plantation that apparently once belonged to her mother’s family. Larissa discovers the possible source for generations of tragedies in her family, but how she’ll put a stop to it, she’s not sure. The story here is both sweet and atmospheric, with the intriguing mystery behind Larissa’s family history capably balanced with the more quotidian, accessible elements of her dealing with the arrival of a new sibling and coping with bullying. Larissa’s narration is particularly effective at capturing her overreactions without making her seem melodramatic, and her concern over her appearance and how it relates to her budding identity will be familiar to preteen readers. Moss-covered cypresses and gator-filled swamps make for a beautifully dangerous Southern setting, but the book is uncomfortably evasive on the issue of race, never directly acknowledging the racial divide between the wealthy plantation owners and their servants. This still makes for an absorbing read, however, and it would make an appealing readalike to Thompson’s The Girl from Felony Bay (BCCB 6/13). KQG - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.