Laridian (laridian) wrote,
Laridian
laridian

Book review: Little Blog on the Prairie

Little Blog on the Prairie, Cathleen Davitt Bell
Tween narrator Gen (short for Genevieve), her brother Gavin, and her parents all go to "Frontier Camp" for the summer, where you live and work like it's 1890, including the clothes, outhouse, crops, animals and laundry and bugs. Gen's mom loved the Little House books and so thinks this will be great. Her father is an animal-phobe; her brother quickly names the chickens and then cries when the family is chastised for not getting around to killing one of the birds to eat it.

There are other families too, and Gen thinks this will be the most miserable summer ever. She's smuggled in one modern thing: a cell phone, which she uses to text messages to her friends about her progress (or lack of) in Life In 1890. She learns to milk a cow, tries to make friends, notices the cute boy in the next cabin, and then discovers the camp secret.

This is pretty good for a YA book. It feels true without being forced. I think most families would be hard-pressed to stay happy and cheerful in the face of unaccustomed hard physical labor (and harder beds, and no baths) and grits or beans three meals a day because they don't know what else to cook on a wood stove. Gen learns she can do more than she thought, but she also has to deal with consequences - like when someone finds her phone, or her texts about the other campers become public knowledge.

I'd recommend it for Little House fans - the series is name-checked and, of course, the book title Little Blog is a callback - and those interested in survivalist fare like me. Even though the family isn't doing long-term survivalism, it's still no-electricity 1890s frontier life. It's also not a book about dating vampires or werewolves, so yay!
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