Thursday May 27, 2010
Little Blog on the Prairie
by Cathleen Davitt Bell
May 11, 2010
Goodreads Summary: Gen’s family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen’s mom signs them up for Camp Frontier—a vacation that promises the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at “Little Hell on the Prairie,” as she’s renamed the camp.
It turns out frontier life isn’t without its good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation—and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had.
Review: As I was reading this book I kept thinking about the rebellion I would have on my hands if I came to my own three kids and told them we were going on a "Little House on the Prairie" type family vacation....I shudder to think of the mutinous response! No cell phones, computers, Xbox's, ipods or television? Seriously, I think that my husband and kids would burst into flames....
To be honest the concept intrigues me because sometimes I feel like all this technology in the world keeps us a part. One kid in his bedroom playing video games, one daughter with headphones on listening to music and the other online talking to friends. Maybe getting away from it all would bring us closer together....sounds good right??!! Well lets just say great minds think alike and thats exactly what Gen's mom had in mind...
I think that this is a really fun read and will be especially meaningful to middle grade readers who live and die by technology. Gen is the last of her friends to be without a cell phone and her mother bribes her in to going on this vacation by showing her the cell phone she'll receive when they get back...so of course she complies but can't resist the impulse to take it with her. In order to save the battery (where the heck will she recharge it???) she only sends her best friends random text about the crazy vacation they are on (milking cows, living off of beans because her mom can't figure out how to cook 1890's frontier style and of course the cute neighbor guy Caleb.)
When her friends devote a blog to her frontier style vacation, thats when things get crazy...who know so many people would be interested? What happens if the owners of the camp, who are VERY serious about being completely authentic when it comes to 1890's living, find out about her hidden technology? Does Gen want to get kicked out or has living frontier style grown on her? She would have to leave Caleb and her new friend Ka behind...not to mention that this "vacation" has brought to light some stuff about her parents relationship she hadn't noticed before...are they having problems?
Like I said, a super fun read that middle grade teens will totally relate to...maybe I should mark this book as "Horror" because I'm sure the concept will terrify them!