Friday, July 25, 2014

*Fantastic* Reviews for THE TIME OF THE FIREFLIES!

I'm thrilled to pieces. They are completely and utterly positive and gushing. And this marks my very first PW review! (Go here for a lovely giveaway to celebrate FIREFLIES release.)


From Publisher's Weekly: 

The Time of the Fireflies, Kimberley Griffiths Little. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-545-16563-1
Little returns to the Louisiana bayou setting of The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets in a summer story that follows 12-year-old Larissa Renaud in her quest to save her family from past tragedies that are bleeding into their future. It all begins with an ominous call from a disconnected phone in the antique shop her family has moved into. “Find the fireflies. Trust the fireflies,” insists a mysterious voice that somehow knows who Larissa is. Her family has recently returned to her mother’s childhood town so Larissa’s mother can make peace with her sister Gwen’s death. After Larissa learns that the fireflies can transport her to the past, she tries to unpack decades-old secrets that may threaten her family in the present day and that seem to be connected to a doll that belonged to her mother’s late sister. Little’s strengths lie in building a strong sense of the history of a place, its inhabitants, and how one can greatly affect the other. A satisfyingly creepy mystery, wrapped up in the bonds of family. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on 05/16/2014 | Details & Permalink

From Kirkus: 

Disconnected vintage telephones occupy an entire section of Bayou Bridge Antiques. When one of them suddenly starts ringing, the eeriness quickly escalates.

The voice on the line orders Larissa to follow the fireflies, and when she obeys, she is transported through time to witness scenes from various moments in her family’s past. As she tries to puzzle out what is happening to her, Larissa realizes that there is a constant in all of the riveting vignettes she witnesses: the presence of a beautiful, perhaps-magical doll that is now one of her mother’s prized possessions. Larissa must figure out how the doll figures into her family history, which has been plagued by tragedies, including Larissa’s own near-drowning, before her mother and unborn baby sister become the next victims. Suspense builds quickly and doesn’t falter until the mystery is solved and restitution is made for long-ago transgressions. Larissa’s first-person narration is fresh and engaging, and the richly evoked south Louisiana setting serves to ground this ethereal tale in a real time and place while contributing to the mysterious mood it requires.
For those fond of exceedingly creepy but not-too-violent stories of the supernatural. Fans of Mary Downing Hahn (The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall, 2010, etc.) will devour this one. (Paranormal thriller. 9-12)

School Library Journal – May 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


Anonymous said...

How exciting! I look forward to reading Larissa's story!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Thanks so much, Michelle! I'm pretty excited about the book and the story-behind-the-story from CIRCLE OF SECRETS and the doll in the antique store. Hope you get a chance to read and enjoy it. :-)

Julie DeGuia said...

Congratulations on the great review - love the cover!



Winner of The Southwest Book Award!

Time travel, war, love, rattlesnakes, magic . . .

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