If you have ever experienced a power outage, or had your phone, laptop, or tablet die on you with no place to recharge, you are familiar with the excruciating torture of being disconnected from technology. How would you cope without smart phones, fridges, microwaves, or flushing toilets?
Meet Gen, an average teenager, who intends to spend her summer relaxing at Club Med and preparing for soccer team try outs in the Fall. Gen, who has been begging to have a cell phone for years, finally convinces her parents to allow her to have one, but there’s a catch. She must join the family at Camp Frontier, a historically themed ten-week “vacation” in the wilderness of Wyoming that promises the ultimate experience of living as an American pioneer of the late 1800s. Gen deals with the harsh reality of wearing petticoats, squatting in uncivilized outhouses, and must find ways to save her sanity in her new life on the prairie. Things may turn out to be OK after all when she manages to sneak in her cell phone to secretly update her friends on the horror stories of living on this (as the book states it) “Little Hell on the Prairie.”
Things continue to look up with the introduction of the cute guy named Caleb, who lives in the next clearing over. Her friends, who she has been regaling with stories through text, have been posting her stories in a highly popular blog on the Internet, gaining her an audience of huge proportions. However, Gen has more important things to worry about like churning butter, pulling weeds, or milking her cow.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, although the plot and character development seemed shallow. It was an easy read with a bit of romance between Gen and Caleb and moments that will leave you giggling. The story is good for a tween and teen girl audience, but more advanced readers may be frustrated. The idea of Camp Frontier seems far-fetched. What family would embark on a ten-week pioneer experience in the middle of nowhere? Also, it’s hard for me to accept how the short texts provided between of the narrative could fill up a whole blog that attracts lots of dedicated followers. The texts provided were amusing, but they didn’t paint the whole picture of pioneer life to the blog audience. I didn’t dislike the book, but many parts of the plot were not credible.
If you read Little Blog on the Prairie without thinking deeply, you’ll find it an entertaining light read. Although Gen may seem shallow at times, her reactions are very amusing and easy to relate to. The book’s content and language level suits readers 11 years old and up. I recommend this book specifically for tweens and teens.
– Sophia U., 10th grade