Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson

The Penderwicks meets The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street in New York Times bestselling author Morgan Matson’s middle grade debut about a young girl who gets to know her mom’s side of the family and hunts for hidden treasure over the course of one chaotic summer.

For as long as Ryanna Stuart can remember, her summers have been spent with her father and his new wife. Just the three of them, structured, planned, and quiet. But this summer is different. This summer, she’s received a letter from her grandparents—grandparents neither she nor her dad have spoken to since her mom’s death—inviting her to stay with them at an old summer camp in the Poconos.

Ryanna accepts. She wants to learn about her mom. She wants to uncover the mystery of why her father hasn’t spoken to her grandparents all these years. She’s even looking forward to a quiet summer by the lake. But what she finds are relatives… so many relatives! Aunts and uncles and cousins upon cousins—a motley, rambunctious crew of kids and eccentric, unconventional adults. People who have memories of her mom from when she was Ryanna’s age, clues to her past like a treasure map. Ryanna even finds an actual, real-life treasure map!

Over the course of one unforgettable summer—filled with s’mores and swimming, adventure and fun, and even a decades-old mystery to solve—Ryanna discovers a whole new side of herself and that, sometimes, the last place you expected to be is the place where you really belong.

Kindle Edition, 399 pages
Expected publication
May 2, 2023
 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
4.5/5 stars

Just from the cover I knew I was in for a fun and entertaining read.

For 11-year-old Ryanna this summer brought with it so much more than she expected.  First off is the family she didn't know existed.  She was determined to not enjoy herself but rather learn about the mother she doesn't remember.  Her mom died when she was just 3 years old, it caused a riff with her dad and the in-laws.  But try as she might her plans were derailed. 

This was such a well written story.  It tugs at the heart strings but also comes with zany adventures in the great outdoors.

The Firefly Summer is a summer adventure story dealing with family, healing and mystery.  Yes there is a good mysterious treasure hunt.  The setting is perfect not just for middle grade readers but for putting adults into summer vacation mode as well.  With swimming, hiking and s'mores the atmosphere shines through.

Releasing in just a couple weeks, The Firefly Summer is a story I recommend to readers of all ages.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster CA for a digital ARC in exchange for a honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment