Little House on the Prairie?
Great book. Horrible idea for a vacation!
Genevieve Welsh has a nice, normal, regular summer all planned out. That is, until her mom signs the family up for Camp Frontier, a theme vacation that promises its guests the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. And even though she’s forced to surrender all her modern possessions, Gen manages to secretly keep in touch with her friends back home, regaling them with all the horrible day to day details of life on this “Little Hell on the Prairie.”
In truth, frontier living isn’t all bad. There’s a cute guy named Caleb who lives in the next clearing, and who knew Gen would prove to be so good at churning butter? Besides, by the time Gen’s friends turn her stories into the most popular blog on the internet, Gen’s got more important things to worry about–like finding a way to keep her family from failing the frontier competition, and trying to keep the resident “Nellie Olson” from stealing Caleb. Yet just when it seems Gen might pull through the summer in one piece, someone gets a hold of her blog–someone determined to interview the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation–and perhaps in the process ruin the best vacation Gen has ever had. (summary from author's website)
Bell's modern day homage to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie is a book I just had to read! I remember watching the show when I was a kid - my Mum loves it! A teenager forced to give up all the conveniences of today and take part in a Frontier Camp? Oh, I could already imagine the mishaps!
I truly enjoyed reading this book and had many laugh out loud moments. Gen's voice is witty and real - some of the one liners she came out with were pure gold, so it's no wonder that not only did her friends decide to create a blog of them, but that it became so popular. I liked Gen, though at times I thought she came across older than fourteen. Sometimes teen characters can bother me just a little (which isn't a bad thing, but to be expected, I think), but I took an instant liking to Gen. It was interesting learning the ways of Frontier Life along with her and watching her grow without her even realising.
Bell has created a truly varied set of characters, which made both the book and the camp that much more fun. I wonder if a camp exists like this for real? I don't think I'd survive, that's for sure. Ron and Betsy (camp owners) were a tad scary in their ethusiasm, and I felt for Nora. I can't imagine living that life permanently rather than just for the summer! Caleb and Ka were a great addition to Gen's experience, and I loved that we got a little insight into their lives after camp. I would have felt bereft otherwise! Caleb and Gen's romance was slow building, which felt much more believable considering their ages. Like always though, I couldn't help but cheer for them. I'd have to say, however, that my favourite character is Gen's little brother, Gavin. He is just too cute, crusading to save Pumpkin!
Overall, a very light and fun read that was able to also be informative! Do you know how to churn butter? I do now...not that I will ever put that knowledge to use! I hope! Little Blog on the Prairie did leave me wondering what I could survive without...let's just say not much at all. Diet Coke for sure!
Date Published: May 2010