Cover Image: The Girls of Firefly Cabin

The Girls of Firefly Cabin

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Member Reviews

As an adult who was obsessed with the Parent Trap and Bug Juice all throughout my childhood, I knew I would like this book from the summer camp setting alone. It was cool that the story switches between all of the girls' perspectives, and it has a positive message throughout about the importance of friendships and trust. My readers will love this!
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I loved reading books about summer camp as a kid! Two that I remember reading and re-reading were Laura’s Luck and Bummer Summer. And,of course, watching The Parent Trap with Haley Mills starring.
Although this book was set in present-day, with cell phones and laptops (a #GoFundMe project is even mentioned!), the author made sure that the basic elements of camp life were included; learning to get along with other people of different backgrounds, taking part in activities and finding out they’re actually fun, late-night sneak-outs with friends, and of course, the curiosity about the Boy’s Camp across the lake!
I would highly recommend this to middle-grade readers.Truly, I think this is a summer-camp book that will endure the test of time!
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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. Great summer read for pre-teens and teens. Our copy circulates a lot.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this title.

This was a delightful middle grade book about friendship. I loved the summer camp setting. I will mark this one as one to share with my daughter when she’s older.
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I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. This summer camp story shares the ups and downs of a group of four eleven-year-old girls from four very different backgrounds as they build relationships in their shared cabin at Blueberry Pine Camp in Michigan.
Lauren is an orphan from Arizona who has spent most of her life in and out of different foster homes. She won a scholarship to the camp through an essay contest. Isla, from New York City, has never spent much time in the great outdoors and so is very uptight and nervous with many of the camp activities. Archer, from suburban Chicago, feels like she lives in the shadow of her older sister, Makayla, who has spent several previous summers at the camp and is very popular there. Jade is very unhappy and reluctant to be there since her best friend recently died in a car crash and would have been at camp with her.
The girls become friends pretty quickly and the book takes readers through their summer camp experience. Readers will get to experience the beginning of building community with others, the drama of sibling rivalry, overcoming fears, learning to trust others, and budding romance. This book would be good to share with readers in late elementary school/early middle school, grades 5 – 6. The kids in this story are starting to enter adolescence: becoming more independent, experimenting with personal style, and establishing boundaries. But the experiences shared in this story are very appropriate for those that aren’t quite grown-up yet: the kids still defer to authority figures around them, they still enjoy the fun and games of youth, and the romance is limited to phone calls and a few kisses.
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My 10 year old daughter read this book for me and I asked her for her thoughts. She liked it, she thought it was a good book for someone around her age, she thinks it would especially appeal to other girls. She liked the story and the characters and thought it had a good message about friendship. She also liked that it was set at a summer camp and now wants to go to one!
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This was a pleasant middle grade girls book set during summer camp that focuses on 4, 12 year old girls from different backgrounds who are sharing a cabin and trying to become friends. 

It was an easy read and each girl had a problem or worry in their life that over the course of the book that the other girls find a way to help with. I know that most pre-teen girls would relate to at least one of the girls of Firefly Cabin.

I’d recommend this to girls aged 10-13 years old.
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From Camp Rock to The Parent Trap, summer camps have been popular in many different movies. The Girls of Firefly Cabin is yet another spin on friendship, secrets and summer camp. This is a sweet novel for middle-grade readers where everything just seems to work out. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, to a mature reader, it comes across as far too convenient. 

The four main characters all struggle with secrets that shape their experience at camp. From living in a group home to having asthma; the problems they faced seemed to be the biggest roadblock in the world to them. The sticking point that keeps them from truly enjoying camp or connecting with the people around them. I found the uniqueness of each character engaging and I found myself captivated by their individual and connected stories. 

I would recommend this book for 10 and 11-year-old girls. It is definitely worth the read.
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<p style="text-align:left">THE GIRLS OF FIREFLY CABIN is one of the cutest books I've read in a long time. I loved all the summer camp stuff-- references to campfires, silly songs, and shared jokes that are so iconic of the experience of summer camp. But it's more than simply a cute book.</p>
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<p>Each girl comes to camp with a secret and a deeply held belief that the other girls simply can't or won't accept her if they find out the truth. For Lauren, the secret is her life at a group home, where going to a fancy camp is impossible. In fact, she's only attending because she won a scholarship through a contest. </p>
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<p>Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her, Lauren decides to make the weeks at camp the best she's ever had. She decides the girls will be her best friends for life. As soon as they're together in the cabin, she plunges through the awkwardness of first meetings and leads the girls into a deep, lasting friendship.</p>
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<p>Of course, the inevitable happens: at some point, secrets all come out. Winning the contest to be the face of camp gets jeopardized. And the girls have to decide how strong their newfound friendships are. Strong enough to stand the test of the secrets they keep?</p>
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<p>One of my favorite characters was the chef who becomes Lauren's friend and confidante. I LOVED her, and I really didn't see where that part of the story was headed until it happened. Which was even better.</p>
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<p>In terms of its plot, the story might be a little too neat and tidy, but that fits the summer camp feel and new friendship vibe in THE GIRLS OF FIREFLY CABIN. Fans of <a href="http://thestorysanctuary.com/review-caterpillar-summer-by-gillian-mcdunn/">CATERPILLAR SUMMER by Gillian McDunn</a> or <a href="http://thestorysanctuary.com/review-elsie-mae-something-say/">ELSIE MAE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY by Nancy Cavanaugh</a> will enjoy the outdoor scenes and important relationships in THE GIRLS OF FIREFLY CABIN.</p>
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I’ve been in search of good summer camp books, since it’s a great realistic fiction topic for girls. I had high hopes for this book, but sadly, it fell far short of my expectations.

Four girls, assigned to the Firefly cabin, bond at summer camp. Lauren is the optimist. She is attending camp on a scholarship and doesn't want the other girls to know she lives in a group home. Isla is the rich girl. She has fallen head over hills for a boy at the brother camp. She doesn't want the girls to know she has asthma. Jade begins camp as a loner. She hasn't gotten over her best friend's death and she doesn't want the other girls to know she attends therapy sessions. Archer doesn't want the girls to know that the mean girl is her sister. Eventually, each girl exposes her secret and sees it for the non-issue that it is. There are a few misunderstandings, but in the end, their shared challenges bring them closer together.

There are quite a few shortcomings in the plot and characters. The four firefly girls lack authencity. For example, Lauren lives in a group home, but she's the best at canoeing. Isla doesn't want to undress in front of the girls, but she is the one who kisses a boy. I don't feel like the author brought these characters to life. The are flat. Supporting characters are lacking. Counselors are hardly ever around. There doesn't seem to be anyone else at this camp besides the four firefly girls and Jordan. 

The plot is rather dull. The girls participate in typical summer camp activities. No big build up to something exciting. The only thing mildly off-script is Isla sneaking out to meet Jordan. The most glaring plot weakness is the chef deciding to adopt Lauren. It's not justified and so unlikely that it affects the credibility of the entire book. The setting is no better. I have no visual for anything about this camp. All in all, the writing needs a lot of improvement. I honestly felt like I was reading a story written by a high school student. I wish I could recommend this book, but with character and plot weaknesses on nearly every page, I can't.
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Summer camp! A magical place, where one can frolic and enjoy nature, while sipping bug juice and applying ample amounts of sunscreen and insect repellant. It is also a place, where fast, and sometimes, lasting friendships form. Such was the case for Archer, Isla, Jade, and Lauren. 

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because of strong female friendship, and indeed, I definitely got that from. However, I wasn't so sure these four were going to gel, because they came from such different backgrounds, and each was also grappling with some sort of emotional baggage. As each young woman began to reveal more of herself, and place more trust in the others, their friendship grew and flourished. 

I liked the diversity in the issues that each girl was facing. Lauren was the scholarship girl, and also an orphan living in a group home. Isla was a wealthy Manhattanite, who felt inferior in her family of overachievers and also struggled with her overprotective parents' rules. Archer came across as angry at the world with her rebellious hair and clothing, but suffered from isolation from her peers, as well as her mean-girl sister. Jade was weighed down by guilt and grief after suffering a great loss, and was reluctant to allow any happiness into her life. 

 Yes, the author touched upon many issues, but I never felt overwhelmed by them because they were spread out over four different people, and they were interspersed with so much fun and joy. It was quite satisfying to see each young woman work through her issues, and it warmed my heart the way they supported each other as they figured things out. 

Jade's storyline made me cry - every time, but it was Lauren, who touched me the most. She sort of had the least out of all the girl, but she was super optimistic, and found so much delight in all the little things that we often take for granted. I wanted this to be the best summer of her life, and I had NO problem, whatsoever, with the ending Ellingsen gave her. It was sweet and precious, just like Lauren, and it's ok that it wasn't super realistic, because it warmed my heart and brought some serious happy tears to my eyes. I wasn't a super fan of Archer's storyline, though I was very, very pleased with the resolution. 

I would say, I liked all four Fireflies, and I wanted them to find their way, make good choices, and have an incredible summer. And, it seemed like these four were really making the most of their time at camp, though, I felt they read a little older than 11-years old at times. Maybe it's me, since I haven't been 11 in quite some time, and my daughter is now 24, but they seemed upper middle school to me. 

Overall: This was a lovely tale of friendship in a fantastic camp setting, which only added to the warmth and fun of this story.
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First off thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company for providing this eARC!


The Girls of Firefly Cabin by Cynthia Ellingsen was such a perfect summer camp read filled with a great story of friendship! We have four main characters: 
-Lauren: A girl who has been in and out of the foster care system and was highly anticipating her summer at Blueberry Pine Camp.
-Isla: A girl from NYC who wants nothing more than to go home and focus on her small business.
-Archer: A girl who just wants to be able to be at camp, make friends, and not have to worry about her sister starting rumors about her....but then again that is hard since her sister is attending the same camp.
-Jade: A girl who lost her best friend tragically, feels guilty, and wants nothing more than to have her back. 
With very different backgrounds, each of these girls come together for a summer of a lifetime. 

This was a fun read and definitely tugged at my heart. I loved how each of the characters were described with great detail and the author was able to show their struggles very well. I would highly recommend this to others!

My review of this book will be on my blog www.simplynicolemarie.com on 05/01/2019
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This book is a very slow burn.  My daughter and I read it together and we liked the 4 different storylines but felt like it was a little too slow.  I think if my 11 year old were reading it on her own, she would have lost interest and not finished.  The book did remind me of camp and the descriptions were spot on.  The author is a great writer.
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Lauren is in a foster home but won a contest to stay at a summer camp ,the blueberry Pine camp for girls She felt so lucky.Lauren is part of the firefly cabin.i liked how the book was focused on different characters each chapter.
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Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgally for review purposes.

I feel like it's been a while since I've read a middle grade book and I missed it. They were my happy place back then and the wholesome content was such a refresher to where I am now...which is continous murder mysteries and true crime related books. 

The girls of Firefly cabin are all different, all with their own inner turmoil to go through. They find friendship in their struggles and honestly for young girls to realize these things are normal and okay is a really big deal.

I'm definitely not the target audience but I did enjoy it and felt like if I was younger, I would have completely loved this.
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I received a complimentary copy of this eBook from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Lauren gets a scholarship to attend the Bluebird Pines Summer Camp, she is excited and hope to make friends with the girls she is sharing a cabin with as Fireflies. Can they become good friends and be the winners of the Faces of Blueberry Pines contest? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good YA middle-grade read about friendship, Summer Camp, and more. If you love these types of stories, be sure to check this book out when it releases to bookstores and wherever books are sold online on May 1, 2019.
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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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This is the first middle grade novel I’ve read in a while and I really enjoyed it.  Ellingsen did a great job of balancing age appropriate writing and real life topics.  The characters were well-written and easy to become invested in.   Parts of the book were semi-predictable but for a middle grade novel, that’s not a problem for me.  As a librarian, I will absolutely get a copy for our shelves and would feel confident putting it in the hands of girls looking for a great read about friendship and relationships.   As a reader, it was nice escape from real life that had me remembering my own summer camp days. Where’s my flashlight and OFF mosquito spray?

https://wordpress.com/post/ispeakforthebooks.home.blog/21
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This is a sweet little story about people of different backgrounds and how a common experience at camp can help form friendships of a lifetime.
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Middle grade read about four girls away at summer camp. After some false starts the girls learn to trust each other with their problems. As the summer progresses they learn the truth about each other and end creating life long friendships. A nice reminder about being honest and relying on friends in times of need.
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