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list price: $13.95
edition:Paperback
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published: Feb 2021
pages: 216
ISBN:9781770865983
publisher: Cormorant Books
imprint: DCB

Firefly

by Philippa Dowding

tagged: self-esteem & self-reliance, homelessness & poverty
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $13.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Feb 2021
pages: 216
ISBN:9781770865983
publisher: Cormorant Books
imprint: DCB
Description

Firefly lived in the park across from her mother’s home. It was safer there. But after the bad night happens, and her baseball-bat-wielding mother is taken away, social services sends Firefly to live with her Aunt Gayle. She hardly knows Gayle, but discovers that she owns a costume shop.

Yes, Firefly might be suffering from PTSD, but she can get used to taking baths, sleeping on a bed again, and wearing as many costumes as she can to school.

But where is “home”? What is “family”? Who is Firefly, for that matter … and which costume is the real one?

About the Author

Philippa Dowding is an award-winning children’s author, a poet, musician and a copywriter. Her many literary nominations include the Silver Birch Express, Red Cedar, and Red Maple awards. She lives in Toronto.

Author profile page >
Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
4 to 7
Editorial Reviews

“I believe the author provides readers who have had a hard life some comfort in knowing that others go through troubled times too and gives others a glimpse into harsh realities that some kids endure. The book is enlightening and invokes empathy in the reader.”

— North Texas Mensa

“This is a terrific read from an accomplished author.”

— Monica Kulling, author of <i>Mary Anning's Curiosity</i>

“In this affecting novel, 13-year-old Firefly is sent to stay with a relative, after her mother gets taken into custody. Life with Aunt Gayle, who owns The Corseted Lady costume shop, offers a beacon of light out of the darkness of the “Bad Night.” Firefly’s compelling story unfolds through her indomitable and spirited first-person narration, and flashbacks revisit her troubled childhood of neglect and parental struggles with addiction. Aunt Gayle’s care and kindness wraps around Firefly like a comforting, hand-knit blanket. Being surrounded by steadfast support, along with seven million costumes in the shop, allows Firefly the opportunity to try on different identities and begin to discover her true self in the process.”

— Linda Ludke, Collections Management Librarian, London Public Library

“I know Philippa Dowding is better known for her speculative fiction like Oculum, The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden and Everton Miles is Stranger than Me but I think her first foray into realistic fiction has demonstrated that she has important messages to share and she doesn't need to dress them up in the fantastical. Reality can be just as powerful and colourful, even if stitched with anguish.”

— CanLit for LittleCanadians

“In Firefly, Philippa Dowding presents serious topics such as homelessness and mental health in a way that fosters the readers’ compassion for the dramatis personae, thus allowing them to develop sympathy for the characters that are often vilified. The novel would be useful as a natural segue to the mental health literacy component of the curriculum for senior elementary students.”

— Canadian Children's Book News

Firefly was an enjoyable read filled with interesting characters, emotional moments, and mental health awareness and education. A realistic book that youth may easily relate to. Highly Recommended

— CM Magazine