Customer Reviews for

Fireflies in December

Average Rating 4.5
( 140 )
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5 Star

(80)

4 Star

(38)

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(12)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 140 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 7
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Loved this story! One of my favorite stories ever!

    This story was one I could'nt put down from beginning to end.I've already purchased the sequel. Definitely a must read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    excellent Depression Era historical tale

    In 1932 in Southern Virginia just turned thirteen years old Jessilyn Lester has her theory confirmed that bad things happen in the summer. When she was five her Granny Rose died; when she was seven her dog Skippy ran away; when she was eleven the drought killed the corn crop. However, the worst has just occurred when the parents of her best friend Gemma die in a fire.<BR/>---<BR/>Her Christian caring parents bring Gemma into their household with Jessilyn¿s dad vowing to the Lord he will raise the grieving child as if she was his biological daughter. However, the ¿unholy¿ actions of the Lester family disturb the townsfolk as they are white and Gemma is black. The neighbors shun them and stare at them with loathing in their eyes as if they are the devil. As the locals continue their insidious campaign of scorn and demand de jure segregation laws be enforced between the races, the Ku Klux Klan learns of the white family nurturing with love an inferior race child. They bring their brand of violence to town as hatred grows towards the family and their newcomer with the courageous patriarch refusing to bow to the dangerous pressure as he knows he has the Lord on his side for doing the right thing.<BR/>--- <BR/>This is an incredible Depression Era historical tale that provides insight into overt racism especially the effect on the innocence of the young. Readers will admire Mr. Lester for taking his stand though he would scoff at us insisting he only did the Christian thing. The two young females are fascinating protagonists as each is a recipient of hatred and outrage. Whereas Gemma has previously tasted this before, this is new to Jessilyn who questions her dad¿s wisdom as she becomes a pariah. Fans will enjoy this deep 1930s small Southern town saga in which ironically de facto segregation is more important to the well-being of the locals than the impoverished economy.<BR/>---<BR/>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Amazing book!

    I absolutely could not put it down! It left me turnimg pages left and right.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Loved It

    It was a great book, truly enjoyed it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Loved it!

    I enjoyed this book so much that I can't wait to start on the others!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

    Anonymous

    Great story..Loved it..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2014

    Be a light in a cold, dark world It was the title that first ca

    Be a light in a cold, dark world

    It was the title that first caught my eye but the story completely drew me in.  Set in the hot summer of 1932 in western Virginia, it tells of a rural white family who took in an orphaned black girl and stood strong against all that happened because of it.  It's told through the eyes of the 13-year-old daughter of the family experiencing a &quot;coming-of-age&quot; summer. The title comes from advice the father tells his daughter - that to do what is right is to shine a light in a cold, dark world, like &quot;fireflies in December.&quot;

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  • Posted December 17, 2013

    This is the first book by Ms. Valent I have read and it is absol

    This is the first book by Ms. Valent I have read and it is absolutely wonderful. This is a story of friendship, courage, and being a Christian during difficult times. When the parents of Jessilyn's friend Gemma, who is black, dies her father takes Gemma into their home. Not an easy thing to do in the 1930s South. Jessilyn learns first hand the destructive power of prejudice and hatred BUT also the power of forgiveness and living out one's Christian faith. Strongly recommend this novel to everyone. I am anxious to read the next 2 in this trilogy.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    I wasn┬┐t sure what I would think about this book. Seeing as it w

    I wasn’t sure what I would think about this book. Seeing as it was set in the 30’s in the Deep South—I was honestly worried about the southern speech. Though I have lived in the South my entire life—I cannot stand to see books with a lot of stereotypical southern speech. This book did have a lot of southern slang and speech patterns but it was more in a speaking style rather than misspelling words to point out the southern accent. Therefore, I actually did enjoy reading this book. In this story we are taken back to a time of deep prejudice—a time when the Klan was in full power. I didn’t particularly enjoy some of the racial slurs used in the story because those slurs hurt me so deeply to read. I know it was necessary for the type of story but it still hurt me to feel such hatred based solely on skin color. This was a reality and I think books like this are important to remind us of the dark places we have been to in our history.

    About the Story
    Jessilyn is a young girl that has just turned thirteen. Jessi and her parents have hired help that they treat more like family and when tragedy strikes—the Lassiter family is determined to do the right thing by offering a home to young Gemma. This strikes fury in the hearts of the local Klan members who start to harass young Jessi and her family. From burning crosses in their yard to killing their pets and making very serious threats—this family is in turmoil but refuses to back down to the racism that is prevalent in their home town. When young Jessilyn laments that she has no idea what God expects her to do, her father catches a firefly and teaches her a beautiful lesson from which the title of the book is taken.

    &quot;That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky so a man can see it a ways away. That’s what God expects us to do. We’re to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world. Like fireflies in December.”


    This is part one in a three-part story so while the story is concluded somewhat—we do not see the full set of trials that Jessi and her parents face while providing a home to a young “colored” girl. What we do see though is a final showing of love from both the white and black community as they pull together to support a man and his family that are determined to stand for what is right in a time when it could have cost him his life. Fireflies in December is a powerful story of acceptance and love that is told from the eyes of a thirteen year old girl who is coming to age in this very trying situation. I do wish that I could have seen more of the bond between Gemma and Jessi but that is a sacrifice you pay when you’re reading in first person. Otherwise I thought that while this book had some racial slurs (again, to show the situation of the day) and some violent themes—it was beautifully written and could be used as a way to talk to your young teen about racism and the hurt that it causes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    A must read.

    This is an excellent, excellent book dealing with an ugly, ugly topic. The perspective of a young girl gives it fresh and honest treatment. Her father is at once hero and comic relief. While espousing the "right" attitude toward race relations per our modern society, it does feel like these were 21st century characters placed back in time. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Love Triumphs

    A wonderfully written book about how the human spirit triumphs over hate and violence. A real page turner. Hard to put down.

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  • Posted July 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very emotional read! Reading through the eyes of Jessilyn as sh

    Very emotional read!

    Reading through the eyes of Jessilyn as she endures the racial prejudice of the south during the 1930&rsquo;s, opens your heart to what she had to endure. Her parents took in Gemma, her colored friend when Gemma&rsquo;s parents died in a fire. Life was not easy and hate is a horrible thing, but the strong will survive. I felt like I was right there in the midst of the south during that time. I am glad that read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Stripepaw

    Stripepaw- *result nine

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    This was an excellent book. Growing up in the south I can relate

    This was an excellent book. Growing up in the south I can relate to this book. The KKK has always been such a dangerous horrible group that really does exist. I would recommend this book to everyone. Once yhou start reading it you will not be able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Fireflies in December is a story about racial prejudice during the depression era, but it is also more than that. It is a coming of age story for 13 year old Jessie. It is a story of friendship, love, faith, and trust. It is about how life can be frightening and confusing when the veil of childhood has been torn away. A wonderfully complex story with interesting characters, narrated by the spunky and plain-speaking Jessie. I plan to read the other two books in this trilogy.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Amazing book

    I have really enjoyed this book. I love books like this. Currently reading it gor the second time.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wow! What a great book!

    A book tastefully and truthfully written about racial prejudice in the south in the depression-era. It certainly makes me glad (as a white woman, even) that I did not live back in this time. Author told a riveting tale, there were several times that I could not stop reading at the end of a chapter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    I didn't want this book to end.

    It's a disappointment to discover there's no sequal. Sweet story with memorable characters.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Wonderful!

    I have always loved depression era literature and this book definitely lived up to all that I hoped that it would. I would not hesitate to recommend this book series to anyone!

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Awesome :)

    Great book.... had to read it straight through!!!!

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 140 Customer Reviews
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