Finalist for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature - Text
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?
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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”
“This is a terrific read from an accomplished author.”