Thursday, June 24, 2010

Little Blog on the Prairie

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davit Bell:
Imagine it is 1890. No iPods, no cell phones, no jeans or tank tops, no electricity, and no indoor plumbing. This is the life that Gen Welsh has to endure for the whole summer, since her mother has decided that the family's vacation will be at a frontier-living fantasy camp near Laramie, WY. When they arrive, all modern conveniences are taken away, but Gen is granted her one wish: Clearasil. Secretly she has hidden her new cell phone in the product's box, and uses it to text her friends back home. They use her messages to start a blog, which takes off and gets media attention. Meanwhile, back at camp, a first romance and a good, clean girl rivalry are bubbling among the milking of cows and clearing of forest. As the families make their way through a difficult season, the teens discover their strengths and weaknesses.
The first time I saw this book I thought it would be cheesy. I picked it up, flipped through it, read a brief part, then put it back. I came back though 2 times and ended up buying it. I can say, it was worth it! I grew up loving Little House on the Prairie books and this played off that in a way. However, it has a much more realistic take on frontier life.

Besides the fact that the book had me laughing through a majority of it, it actually had a teens family actively involved in her life. Not only was it just the parents, but she had a younger brother too. The entire family struggles in this realistic frontier life as they learn the true hardships it brings, but grow together through the experience. That in itself is a rare find in the YA selection of books.

Besides the main character and her family, other families are introduced at the camp. One of my favorite side characters is the Goth girl Kai. Each family is introduced and does take part in the book, some more than others obviously.

While I could have done completely without the little romance that does take place (part of me feels it was just for drawing girls to the book), it doesn't overwhelm the book at all. In fact, the way Gen talks about her crush is very much like a 14 year old would.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it. I'm not one to give a book 10 stars, but this truly deserves it! It's rare to find a YA novel with parental involvement and a family that works together


StephTheBookworm on June 24, 2010 at 2:39 AM said...

I had the same first impression as you so I haven't read it. Glad to hear it was good!

JessG on June 24, 2010 at 4:05 AM said...

Hadn't heard of this book until you did this review! Loved the Little House books when I was a kid. And I'm glad there is a YA novel out there with family involvement too. :D I will have to pick it up one of these days.

Emily Cross on June 24, 2010 at 9:55 AM said...

Sounds like an excellent book, thanks for the review!

Juju at Tales of on June 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM said...

I want this one desperately.
Great review!
You have me ready to run out and buy it :)

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