From Publisher's Weekly:
The Time of the Fireflies, Kimberley Griffiths Little. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-545-16563-1
Little returns to the Louisiana bayou setting of The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets in a summer story that follows 12-year-old Larissa Renaud in her quest to save her family from past tragedies that are bleeding into their future. It all begins with an ominous call from a disconnected phone in the antique shop her family has moved into. “Find the fireflies. Trust the fireflies,” insists a mysterious voice that somehow knows who Larissa is. Her family has recently returned to her mother’s childhood town so Larissa’s mother can make peace with her sister Gwen’s death. After Larissa learns that the fireflies can transport her to the past, she tries to unpack decades-old secrets that may threaten her family in the present day and that seem to be connected to a doll that belonged to her mother’s late sister. Little’s strengths lie in building a strong sense of the history of a place, its inhabitants, and how one can greatly affect the other. A satisfyingly creepy mystery, wrapped up in the bonds of family. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Aug.)Reviewed on 05/16/2014 | Details & Permalink
Disconnected vintage telephones occupy an entire section of Bayou Bridge Antiques. When one of them suddenly starts ringing, the eeriness quickly escalates.
The voice on the line orders Larissa to follow the fireflies, and when she obeys, she is transported through time to witness scenes from various moments in her family’s past. As she tries to puzzle out what is happening to her, Larissa realizes that there is a constant in all of the riveting vignettes she witnesses: the presence of a beautiful, perhaps-magical doll that is now one of her mother’s prized possessions. Larissa must figure out how the doll figures into her family history, which has been plagued by tragedies, including Larissa’s own near-drowning, before her mother and unborn baby sister become the next victims. Suspense builds quickly and doesn’t falter until the mystery is solved and restitution is made for long-ago transgressions. Larissa’s first-person narration is fresh and engaging, and the richly evoked south Louisiana setting serves to ground this ethereal tale in a real time and place while contributing to the mysterious mood it requires.
For those fond of exceedingly creepy but not-too-violent stories of the supernatural. Fans of Mary Downing Hahn (The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall, 2010, etc.) will devour this one. (Paranormal thriller. 9-12)
School Library Journal – May 2014