Monday, August 12, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Little Blog on the Prairie

Today’s Pick: Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Published by Bloomsbury USA, 2011

From Amazon:

Camp Frontier promises families the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. Gen will be thrilled if she survives the summer stuck in a cabin with her family and no modern amenities. But ever the savvy teen, Gen sneaks in a phone and starts texting about camp life. Turns out, there are some good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. But when her texts go viral as a blog and a TV crew arrives, Gen realizes she may have just ruined the best vacation she's ever had.

My Take:

I really enjoy pioneer stories, and I loved the idea of a modern family trying to live like pioneers (though after reading this book, I’m kind of glad just to read about it, rather than experience it).  I liked all the details about how Gen and her family had to adapt to pioneer ways. The friendship between Gen and one of the other kids, Nora, was interesting and it was fun to read about Gen’s crush. I think middle graders who are interested in or learning about pioneer life would enjoy this story.

As a writer, I was intrigued by the concept, since at one time I had an idea to write something similar. I liked the way the author showed all the details of pioneer life through the main character's eyes.

Opening Line:

“At first, it felt like a normal family vacation.”

Favourite quotes:

“We’d be pretending to live in the time before even Monopoly was invented, not that I like that game.”

“Food should be something you just walked downstairs to the kitchen for, without having to argue over killing it or whether there was enough.”

Other Info:

Cathleen Davitt Bell lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Although I came across a website (, it wasn’t working when I tried it. But I did track down an interview on ChasingWords, where Cathleen Davitt Bell talked about what inspires her to write: “When I finish a good book, I am so excited to get down to writing myself. When a writer is really good, they make it look easy...and that makes me want to give it a try myself.”

Other Books  By This Author:

The Amanda Project Book 4: Unraveled with Amanda Valentino

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by the incredible Shannon Messenger. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!



  1. Sounds like a different book. And the title is definitely intriguing. Thanks for the review.

  2. This sounds like a book I would have loved when I was a middle-grader. I'm sure there are lots of girls out there who would love it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I read this one - such a fun concept, and it definitely delivered!


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