Fireflies in December (Jessilyn Lassiter #1)
2010 Christy Award winner!
Jessilyn Lassiter never knew that hatred could lurk in the human heart until the summer of 1932 when she turned 13. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence spri
This book, however, was not one in which I make allowances for problems with plot and pacing because of my love for the characters. This book, with its wonderful cast of realistic characters, also had a perfectly paced, tightly craf ...more
All is as it should be in the south in the 30s, including segregation of the races, and everyone knows their place in the world. That is until a freak lightning strike from a thunder ...more
I just loved it. Very descriptive, bringing everything to life. The story line is a sensitive one with the KKK at its heart, prejudice, hurts, fears ect. The story took place in Virginia, the same state as I reside in. I personally have even witnessed KKK flags and meetings in a small tucked away county and when seeing it, thought I was dreaming. I couldn't bel ...more
Not surprisingly for the time, this decisio ...more
The POV of a child makes this honest rather than preachy or melodramatic, be it about racism or faith. I love the interaction between al ...more
It was a good, wholesome story and was enjoyable. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending as I would have much rather they told what happened to all the characters, especially the main character as she grew. Nonetheless, a good message overall.
That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky so a man can see it a ways away. That's what God expects us to do. We're to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world. Like fireflies in December.
Fantastic work for a first-time novelist.
FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER is a quick and endearing read with a purposeful and encouraging message. Not exactly profound literature. It's a bit fanciful at times, with underdeveloped characters; the exception being Jessilyn Lassiter, the feisty and strong-willed, thirteen-year-old narrator/protagonist. Another element that could have been more polished is dialogue. Conversations betwe ...more
In these first eleven words of Fireflies in December we realize Jessilyn Lassiter's world is pregnant with change. Not only is she walking that tenuous line between childhood and womanhood, but during the summer of 1932 Jessilyn finds herself in the crosshairs of man's hatred for his fellow man.
When her best friend Gemma's parents are tragically killed in a fire, Jessilyn's father takes the girl in. No matter that she's as dark as coffee ...more
I never do this, but I decided not to finish this book. I got to page 147, chapter 13, and decided that this book is just not worth my time to finish. I did read over half of it, so I feel that gives enough insight for a somewhat fair review and rating.
Set in the 1930's, Fireflies in De ...more
The story is well written. Jessilyn Lassiter is the protagonist of this story and as we follow her story we see how difficult it was living in the south and ...more
The people in the town of Calloway are not accepting of the decision for a white family to take in a 'colored' girl. Because of this, they are made to b ...more
Jessilynn Lassiter's 13th birthday party should have been a moment of fun in her life, full of new beginnings, but instead ushers in a season of heartache and hatred. When her BFF Gemma loses her parents in a house fire, the Lassiters take her into their home. They knew it might raise s ...more
Jessilyn Lassiter is a 13-year-old girl growing up in the south. She's blessed with a loving Christian family. Her best friend is Gemma, the daughter of a couple who help her parents out on their farm. When Gemma's parents are killed during a lightening storm, she comes to live with the Lassiter family. The problem is that Gemma is "colored" and the Lassiters are white. This does not sit well with the community. The story is set during the 19 ...more
Valent hit a home run with this story. It is set in southern Virginia in the early 1930s so it was a tad reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird because the heroine is a young girl and because the story circles around racial tensions in her ...more
This was an extremely vivid story that strikes you with its imagery. The author held me in an emotional grasp on more than one occasion as I eagerly read each page. Jessilyn runs the gammut of emotions and experi ...more
EDIT 5/31/11: I have now read Cottonwood Whispers (Book 2) and Catching Moondrops (Book 3) and ALL THREE are now on my "Favorites" shelf! This is a FANTASTIC series! I would love to provide a well worded beautiful review, but I just can't do these books justice. They were beyond remarkable!
This book is set in the 1930's in the Southern United States. Jessilyn's best friend is a black girl named Gemma. Gemma's parents work for Jessilyn's parents on their farm. Lightning strikes the home that the black family are living in, killing the parents. Gemma is taken in by Jessilyn's family, the Lassiter's.
The community turns against the family and the KKK come into the picture. It's hard to imagine ...more
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“That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky so a man can see it a ways away. That’s what God expects us to do. We’re to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world. Like fireflies in December.”
“Time meandered on without Gemma’s momma and daddy, and it meandered on without Cy fuller and Walt Blevins. . . but those of us left behind viewed life more dearly, felt it more keenly. I’d learned a bit more about God and I’d seen His powerful hands at work. As I was growing, my heart was changing. And the way I figured it, there were lessons learned in those dark days that would help me for years to come.”
“As I sat on the porch on that December day . . . I leaned my head against the rail and sighed deeply. The way I figured it just then, my summer may have been full of bad luck, but my life wasn’t. I figured as far as family went, I was one of the luckiest girls alive.”