Libby Chester's Reviews > Fireflies in December

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 26 to April 02, 2012

Excellent book! A probing study into the effects of racism on families and communities. The characters are readily believable. Jessilyn, the 13 year old protagonist is engaging and likeable. The things that Jessilyn cares about, her friendship with Gemma and her relationship with her parents and within the community suit the place and time, 1932, southern Virginia. There's a staunchness of character and values displayed by Jessilyn and her parents as they reach out to help Gemma, when Gemma loses both her parents in a tragic fire. Supported by neither the white nor the black community, they do what they feel is right through genuine love and caring for Gemma. The family finds a good friend and supporter in their neighbor, Miss Cleta, but others whom they trust and care for as good neighbors and friends turn out to be more than just disappointing. The descriptive language the author uses so well reminds me of stories my Mother told me of her growing up years. Jessilyn reminds me of the kind of girl I think my Mother was, scrappy and not taking any foolishness from anybody, yet filled with kindness and the joy of life. A wonderful meaty book!

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Reading Progress

03/26/2012 page 86

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