Little Blog on the Prairie

Cathleen Davitt Bell, Author . Bloomsbury $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59990-286-9

To her great dismay, 13-year-old Gen is spending her entire summer with her family at a frontier camp, where they must re-enact life from 1890, living without technology, growing their own food, tending a cow and chickens, and working on a project to better the farm. It's a fun premise that leaves Bell (Slipping ) ample room for physical comedy, while touching on themes of family and the (dis)advantages of modern life. Gen holds onto her sanity by sending secret text messages to her best friends (“I am standing in the middle of a cornfield. I am holding a hoe.... [W]e are farmers now”), which they turn into a blog that attracts national attention. Cute Caleb, a fellow camper, is a welcome distraction for Gen, though he seems interested in Nora, the daughter of the couple that runs the camp, and the two girls butt heads. Gen's growing appreciation for the simple life is predictable (though she never entirely drinks the Kool-Aid—make that warm cow's milk) and the reconciliation between Gen and Nora feels contrived, but it's still a lively journey with empathetic characters. Ages 12–up. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-59990-728-4
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-59990-677-5
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