A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, as in other works by Alison McGhee, there's a lot of loss woven into the story in Firefly Hollow: A child has recently died, leaving his pal bereft; a character is the sole survivor of a flood that killed his whole village; young Firefly's mentor "turns into a star" (dies); characters have faithless friends who forget them. An important character nearly dies in an accident, while another's friend, a cricket, has been disabled for life by a carelessly discarded lollipop stick. The strong, relatable characters and Christopher Denise's plentiful illustrations (including several full-color plates) draw the reader into a lively, uplifting tale. But for many, there are a few tears ahead in an often-poignant story.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the world of FIREFLY HOLLOW, young Cricket and Firefly aren't like the other youngsters of their species: Cricket wants to learn to catch, like Yogi Berra, because if he could have caught the flying lollipop stick that flew through the air and hit her, his friend Gloria wouldn't be disabled; and Firefly wants to leave the Hollow and fly to the moon. Also, they break their elders' biggest rule when they make friends with a human boy, Peter, who's devastated by the death of his friend. Meanwhile Vole, last of a seafaring race wiped out by a long-ago flood, dreams of setting sail.
Is it any good?
Sweet and relatable, this charming tale of independent-minded youngsters following their dreams and coping with loss may be too emotionally intense for some readers. Author Alison McGhee puts a lot of affection into her characters, and illustrator Christopher Denise brings them charmingly (and colorfully) to life.
The story's a natural for kids whose dreams and interests aren't popular or stereotypical. And there's a lot of gentle wisdom and courage along the way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animal friends and why stories about them are popular. What are some of your favorites?
Have you ever been really excited about something your friends didn't understand, even though you tried to show them how cool it was? How did you feel? What did you do?
Why do you think some people try to tell others whom they can and can't be friends with? Does anyone you know have to deal with this problem?
- Author: Alison McGhee
- Illustrator: Christopher Denise
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Adventures, Bugs, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Atheneum
- Publication date: August 18, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
Our editors recommend
For kids who love stories of animals and friendship
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.