Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Girls of Firefly Cabin

Ellingson, Cynthia. The Girls of Firefly Cabin
May 1st 2019 by Albert Whitman Company
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Lauren, Jade, Isla and Archer all end up in the same cabin at a fairly swanky camp by a lake. Isla doesn't want to be there, but her parents are traveling around Europe, so her Internet business and attempts at reading great Books will have to wait while she and her allergies deal with bugs in the woods. Jade has recently experienced a personal tragedy that makes it hard for her to engage with the other girls. Lauren is glad to be there, since she lives in a group home and hasn't had many advantages. Archer is a rebel with oddly dyed hair, but she wants to like camp, despite living in the shadow of her super mean older sister Makayla. The four are forced to bond through the various camp activities, trying to win various camp competitions so they can be featured in the camp's promotional brochures.
Strengths: This was a pleasant summer camp story, with all of the required elements-- cabin living, homesickness, a few boys, competitions, and camp food. The plot moves along briskly, and the interactions of the main characters are understandable and evolve in the way one would expect. This is more of a straight forward camp story that From Night Owl to Dogfish-- I liked that it was only set in the camp, and dealt predominantly with the relationships of the people who were there. It has a feel good (if unlikely) ending for Lauren.
Weaknesses: I could tell from the descriptions of the characters and from the tone of their interactions with one another that this author normally writes for adults. There were lots of things that felt oddly inauthentic, and there was a decided lack of camp counselors involved with the girls. They had an inordinate amount of unsupervised free time.
What I really think: Camps tend to be a big trend right now, so I will wait to see what other titles might be better suited for my library, since I can't buy them all.

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