Teens @ Duluth

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Little Blog on the Prairie – Catherine Davitt Bell

Posted by nancydpl on August 12, 2010

How’s this for your summer vacation: turn over your iPod. Your sneakers and sandals. Your deodorant. Your tank tops, t-shirts and shorts. And step into the world of 1890. For TWO WHOLE MONTHS! In Little Blog on the Prairie by Catherine Davitt Bell, this is what Genevieve Welsh’s family does: spend the summer at Frontier History Family Camp. It’s Gen’s mom’s dream but to Gen it’s just a big pain and she’s let everyone know it. So as a reward the night before they leave for camp, Gen’s mom shows her a cell phone that will be Gen’s…after they return. How exciting is that? That’s Gen’s dream: to have her own phone and be able to text her friends, just like everyone else. It would be OK to take it with her to camp, wouldn’t it? She won’t actually use it. Just look at it. Or maybe just send a sample text… or two. Frontier History Family Camp is way worse than Gen imagined. She can’t keep anything from her real life (sshhh: she hid the phone in the pocket of her “new” long-sleeved ankle-length wool dress), she has to share a bed with her 10-year-old brother, the food is horrible and there’s no indoor plumbing. And to top it off, the daughter of the people who run the camp hates her. To share her misery, Gen pulls out her new phone….and texts her friends. And then does it again. And again. And by then it just seems OK to Gen to go on, letting her friends know about her miserable summer. But after a few weeks, it turns out there are a few things that aren’t so miserable. There’s Caleb… When the crisis comes, how will Gen vote: stay or go? How would you do without any 21st century (or even 20th century!) conveniences? Is this the experience of a lifetime? Or just a summer to forget?

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