|Holler of the fireflies|
Author: Moore, David Barclay
Javari knew that West Virginia would be different from his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. But his first day at STEM Camp in a little Appalachian town is still a shock. Javari will learn a lot about science, tech, engineering, and math at camp. But it's Cricket, a local boy, budding activist, and occasional thief, who will show him a different side of the holler and blow his mind wide open.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 516550
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/22)
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/09/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2022 Javari Harris, a 12-year-old Black boy, is short for his age, has strabismus (or crossed eyes), and is self-conscious about his appearance. He lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn with his younger sister, parents, and ailing grandfather. Their neighborhood is gentrifying, and there is police brutality. Javari has never missed school and loves math and the sciences. He is accepted to the summer STEM camp at Appalachian Ridge Christian College. As he leaves for camp, Javari’s family gets an eviction notice. Javari, who hopes to help out, desperately wants to win the STEM prize money for best final project. Unfortunately, while at camp, Javari faces constant racism, including from a fellow teammate. He befriends a Black boy named Cricket, from whom he learns about the local culture and need for clean water. Told through Javari’s first-person perspective, this gentle and informative story seamlessly weaves together topics of racism, white supremacy, and police brutality, and factors in the opioid crisis and environmental issues. Javari’s voice combines humor, vulnerability, pain, and joy, creating a compelling and timely read. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2022 Gr 5 Up—In a life-changing summer, Javari, a shy Black talented math-whiz tween, travels from Brooklyn to attend Futureneers STEM Camp located at Appalachian Ridge Christian College in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia. Moore skillfully shapes an intimate portrait and immersive experience of the camp and the town beyond by telling the story from the perspective of Javari. Guided by Cricket, a local Appalachian age-peer, Javari achieves personal growth and an expanding understanding of the community. Moore addresses far-reaching issues such as the profound damage that coal mining creates over generations, police violence, opioid addiction, gentrification, overt racial discrimination, microaggressions, linguistic code switching, and more. Vivid characters, including minor players, provide a rich texture to the novel, exposing the ambiguities and complexities of human nature. Through interspersed brief episodes, Javari's deep connection with his family in Brooklyn and the pressures back at home create the connective tissue that binds the whole story. The serious exploration of weightier issues is balanced by humorous vignettes and summer outdoor adventures, including night hikes, magical secret swimming spots, music haunts, and lively community gatherings. The joy and resilience of two kids on the cusp of coming into their own when given the freedom to roam and discover their relationship to the world around them is a satisfying outcome, though there is no ultimate neat resolution. VERDICT A highly recommended important purchase for tween book collections everywhere; both timely and timeless.—Eva Thaler-Sroussi - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.