Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Little Blog on the Prairie

Title:  Little Blog on the Prairie
Author:  Cathleen Davitt Bell

     From GoodReads, "Little House on the Prairie? Great book. Horrible idea for a family vacation.

Gen’s family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen’s mom signs them up for Camp Frontier—a vacation that promises the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at “Little Hell on the Prairie,” as she’s renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn’t without its good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation—and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had."

     To be honest, I was really excited to read this book because of two things... the cover (which is so authentically appealing) and the title (which reminded me of some of  favorite books as a child, The Little House on the Prairie novels).  This book did not disappoint!  I absolutely loved it and so will upper elementary, middle school, and even high school girls.  (Heck, even moms will like it... I speak from experience.)  The premise of the book, a family transplanted back in time to experience life in the good old days as a family vacation, is a unique one, and I think that kids will identify with Gen because they will feel her pain when all of her technologic gadgets are stripped away from her.      Readers of the Little House on the Prairie series will immediately notice that Gen has her own Nellie Olson nemesis to deal with, just like Half Pint did in the Little House series.
     There was a lot to like about this book... I loved Gen the main character and thought that her voice specifically was relevant for young girls.  She had a quality about her that made her likable in a best-friend, kind-of way.  I loved how the author, Cathleen Davitt Bell, described Gen's frontier experiences.  The milking the cow scene was especially enjoyable.  I also loved how you got the best of both worlds in the story.  You went back in time, the 1890s to be exact and experienced some of the things that happened through Gen's eyes and you got a modern day story including an aspect of reality television.  The frustration that the family experiences at both the situations at the frontier camp and Gen's shenanigans throughout the whole process will have you laughing and identifying.  All in all... a great read!

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