Monday, August 28, 2017

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – THE FIREFLY CODE by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Reading this book transports you to a different world!


Description from the publisher:


Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known?

The Firefly Code was written by Megan Frazer Blakemore and published by Bloomsbury in  in 2016.


Why you want to read this book… 

This story explores interesting ethical ideas, but even if you don't want to think about it on that level, it’s a great read with a little bit of mystery, problems with friends and some surprising events along the way. I really enjoyed the friendships between the characters. The ending was a bit abrupt so I was glad to see from the author's website that a sequel is coming. I would gladly spend more time with the 'Firefly Five' on their adventure.

 “I held my arms out wide and looked up at the gray night sky, a smile spreading across my lips. I knew I was not going to tell anyone about this breach. It didn’t matter. After all, it’s not fences that keep us safe. It’s us.”


If you’re a writer… 

You will appreciate the lovely, poetic way that Megan Frazer Blakemore uses words to create sensory images. Even though it moved along at a good pace and had an intriguing storyline, care was taken to choose just the right words, without overburdening the story with description. I really love the writing style!

“All the smells of the forest came up to meet us, the smells of things growing and alive.”

If you’re a teacher…

There are so many interesting sparks for discussion in this story! The whole idea of a utopian community is fascinating (and would make for an interest project for students to work on as a group). There are also some interesting lesson plans related to building community on Megan Frazer Blakemore’s website). You could talk about artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, environmental issues, politics and ideas about safety, friendship, diversity, community – there’s really a lot to think about here. This would be interesting as a classroom read aloud.
  
“It’s only when you get out to the edges of the forest that you have the wild old trees: oaks and pines and maples all mixed together. That’s another reason why I like it out there: things were left to nature to figure it out, and nature tends to be smarter than people.”



Opening Line:

“Everyone goes to sleep at the same time on Firefly Lane. You can watch the lights switching off around the cul-de-sac like dominoes falling.”

Other Info:

Megan Frazer Blakemore is the author of several middle grade novels, including The Water Castle, The Friendship Riddle, and The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill.

THE DAYBREAK BOND, Book #2 in The Firefly Code series is scheduled for release in September 2017.

Check out this video on how she comes up with her ideas.








4 comments:

  1. I'd agree that nature is smarter than people. Love the lines you quoted. Sounds like a lovely book, and I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks.

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  2. This sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for featuring it.

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