“Some of the story was a little contrived but written well. ”Amanda K wrote this review Thursday, September 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bell completely recreates the voice of a modern high school girl stuck in a vacation horrorland. Gen finds herself stuck in Camp Frontier, a recreation of a community circa 1890. Her 21st century family must find a way to accrue points to "win" the summertime camp experience.
The story is a real page turner as Gen texts her opinions for uploading into a blog. The adults find out the teen's secrets and the tale truly winds up. Recommended for grades 6 and up. ”
“ Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Family vacations should be fun. They should include things like amusement parks, loaded cruise ships, motel swimming pools and room service, and maybe an odd national park or two. Vacations should most definitely not include weeding a cornfield, a constant diet of cold grits and beans, doing the laundry by hand, and sleeping with your little brother. Gen Welsh has some opinions about family vacations, and the one her family takes is certainly not what she expected.
Gen is looking forward to a summer of soccer camps and time with her friends by the rec center pool. When her mother announces that the family will be going to Camp Frontier for six weeks and living like it is the 1890's, Gen is sure she must be joking. It is not until they actually arrive at the reenactment vacation site, and she has handed over her iPod and traded in her clothes for stockings, a petticoat, and a bonnet, that reality hits. They will be joining three other families to eat, sleep, and live in another century.
Crammed into a stuffy cabin no bigger than their garage, Gen finds herself sleeping with her little brother in the same crowded loft as her mom and dad. Every modern convenience she can imagine is suddenly missing from her life. They will be cooking on a wood stove - if her mother can figure out how to light it. They will do their laundry by hand, milk a cow twice a day, care for four acres of corn, and use an incredibly unpleasant outhouse.
The only thing that makes life bearable is the new cell phone Gen is able to sneak in. She uses it to quietly text her friends back home to vent about the horrible conditions and the odd characters sharing her vacation. When one friend begins using Gen's text messages as the feature for a blog project in her summer school computer class, Gen's story becomes part of something she never could have imagined.
Author Cathleen Davitt Bell takes readers on the vacation from hell. Her descriptions of living life as it was back in 1890's are enough to make any modern-day, tech savvy teen cringe. It might be interesting to visit a museum with an old time village or farm setting, but to actually live it for almost two months would strike horror in most. Bell includes a nice mix of humor, mystery, frustration, and danger to create a captivating read. ”
“Very cute, very funny. Gen's 13 yr old voice shines thru in this original story of a teen whose mom has lost her mind and has forced her family to spend their vacation living like the Ingalls family. Description of "prarie" life is factual!”SORAYA L wrote this review Sunday, July 11, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Gen's mother is a big Little House on the Prairie fan girl and signs up the whole family for Frontier Camp for the entire summer. 13-year-old Gen sneaks in a cell phone and texts her friend all of the horrors of life with no electricity and heavy dresses. Really funny book!”Joy A wrote this review Monday, November 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was okay - I didn't like the worldyness about it.”Anne B wrote this review Sunday, June 20, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Bell, Cathleen Davitt Little Blog on the Prairie, 288 p. Bloomsbury, MAY 2010. $16.99. Content: G. Usually family vacation consists of beautiful beaches and lush reorts – Gen, her brother and her father should have paid better attention when Mom was making this year’s plans. Now the whole family is stuck in 1890 – well, almost. How about a horribly icky recreation site, where they live without electricity, conveniences, and lots of back-breaking chores. And Gen’s family aren’t the only ones being thus tortured – meet Caleb, a hottie, Ka, a 12 year old goth and Rebecca – the camp directors’ daughter, who has lived this way since she was small. Well – almost. Gen snuck in a cell phone and Rebecca has access to electricity and the internet. How much trouble can Gen cause this summer? Plenty! Gen, her family and her friends are entertaining and exasperating all at the same time. I can’t imagine voluntarily going to such a place for the summer – but I certainly enjoyed reading about this group! EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.