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Gen, her parents, and her 10-year-old brother Gavin are forced to give up all their modern conveniences (from Crisco to Clearasil) to join four other families for eight weeks of partying like it’s 1890 – complete with cow-milking and period dress. But Gen, who sneaks her cell phone into camp, stays calm by texting her back-home friends about everything: sharing a bed with Gavin, figuring out how to use an outhouse in the dark, dealing with the resident mean girl, and making new friends over a game of Kick the Can (that, ironically, uses all her contemporary soccer skills). Her friends turn her texts into a blog that goes viral, earning Gen more attention than she realizes until the outside world barges in. Throughout the narration, Plummer keeps Gen likeable and sympathetic (even when she’s behaving like a genuine 13-year-old), and gives the other voices in the story—Gen’s parents, Gavin, Gen’s new friends, her crush – easy, distinctive personalities as each one realizes that life on the farm isn’t exactly what Little House made it out to be. Whether you’re a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan who’d appreciate a more realistic take on the chores that Ma made sound so simple or a teenager setting out on yet another family vacation, this version will make the chores (and the car ride) a lot more entertaining. Blythe Copeland
It turns out frontier life isn't without its good points, like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Champlain Mom on 07-04-10
Absorbing and fun story for range of ages
This wonderful novel kept my 8, 11 and 14 year old daughters equally happy on a long road trip. The 14 year old identified with Gen's unhappy predicament and the logic of wanting to stay connected to her friends via texting; the younger two were completely caught up in the "prairie" experience, and enjoyed assuming the roles of Gavin and Gen for days after we listened to the book. The deft descriptions of pioneer life were fun and then often suddenly moving without seeming heavy-handed. Nora made a great villain. The book was neither too earnest nor too ironic, a subtle area that my children adore.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By K. Helms on 07-22-10
All around great story!
The story of a family going on "vacation" to an 1890's Frontier Camp is both funny and engaging and I was absolutely hooked on this story from the start all the way through to the end!
Basically, as with a lot of family vacations, the teenagers are none too happy about being forced into the experience and the parents aren't quite so sure if they understood what they were getting themselves into. The experience provides lessons to be learned of course; but the author writes in such a way that you can both understand what they are going through, while also laughing a bit at the situations they find themselves in. The narrator also did an excellent job of making the characters in the story come to life just with the tone of her voice. This is really a good story for the entire family - children, teens, and adults!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful