Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: a little scary for true middle graders
Larissa Renaud isn’t afraid of her family’s antique shop, in a big old Victorian house in Louisiana, but she is creeped out by the doll case, which houses a doll that seems to follow her with its eyes. Then, antique phones start ringing, and every time Larissa answers, a girl is there to give her directions about something she needs to do. Larissa soon realizes that she needs to right a wrong from deep in her family’s past in order to save the life of her mother and infant sister in the present.
The Time of the Fireflies is a well-crafted, engrossing story. Little does a lovely job capturing the bayou setting of the novel, and of tackling the challenges of writing in multiple time periods. It’s interesting to me that this book was considered middle grade. Larissa is twelve, but could just as easily be fourteen, and the book felt more like a YA Speculative novel. This book, with it’s dark magic and incredibly scary doll, would scare the freaking pants off of many middle grade readers. As an adult reader, I loved the story and Larissa, but still had to fight the urge to look deeply into the eyes of the dolls all around my house.