Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review: At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery

Just to let you all know Davan, while still understandably disappointed about the change in plans for her birthday, was able to pull it together and both have a good afternoon at our friends' house and come up with a new party plan that she's happy with. It'll be swimming rather than sledding for a melted snow party. Over the weekend I was also able to whip through this short read.

At the Firefly Gate is a sort of coming of age story for Henry who, along with his mom and dad, move to a quite village which is quite a change for him, having previously lived in a flat in the city. He is sad to have left his best friend and unsure of how he'll fit in in this new place.

Next door is a family including a girl, Grace, a year older than him, who seems very jaded and unfriendly as well as an older aunt, Dottie, who immediately befriends Henry who reminds her very much of a Henry she used to know. This other Henry was stationed at the air base during WWII, which is now abandoned.

Our young Henry starts seeing and dreaming very vividly things regarding the older Henry. While he sorts through all of this, he is also making new friends, learning about his new school for the following year, and hating Grace.

I enjoyed this story, although Davan, on the other hand, did not even finish it. I think she just didn't like Henry very much and didn't get enough into it to get past the kind of strange start. I did find that the revelations weren't very surprising, as I think they were meant to be.

I give At the Firefly Gate a 7.5. (By the way, I keep thinking that the last name of Newbery is a pen name in a shameless ploy to be considered for a Newbery Award, however, this is truly not the case, as this is a British book and, therefore, not eligible.)

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