May/June 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“When Ryanna is invited to spend the summer with the grandparents she barely knows, she has no idea that she’s in for a summer filled with new cousins, family secrets, and a whole lot of fun. This is a perfect summer read!”
— Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books, Millerton, NY
The Penderwicks meets The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street in New York Times bestselling author Morgan Matson’s middle grade debut about a young girl who gets to know her mom’s side of the family and hunts for hidden treasure over the course of one chaotic summer.
For as long as Ryanna Stuart can remember, her summers have been spent with her father and his new wife. Just the three of them, structured, planned, and quiet. But this summer is different. This summer, she’s received a letter from her grandparents—grandparents neither she nor her dad have spoken to since her mom’s death—inviting her to stay with them at an old summer camp in the Poconos.
Ryanna accepts. She wants to learn about her mom. She wants to uncover the mystery of why her father hasn’t spoken to her grandparents all these years. She’s even looking forward to a quiet summer by the lake. But what she finds are relatives…so many relatives! Aunts and uncles and cousins upon cousins—a motley, rambunctious crew of kids and eccentric, unconventional adults. People who have memories of her mom from when she was Ryanna’s age, clues to her past like a treasure map. Ryanna even finds an actual, real-life treasure map!
Over the course of one unforgettable summer—filled with s’mores and swimming, adventure and fun, and even a decades-old mystery to solve—Ryanna discovers a whole new side of herself and that, sometimes, the last place you expected to be is the place where you really belong.
About the Author
Morgan Matson is the New York Times bestselling author of six books for teens, including Since You’ve Been Gone and Save the Date, and the middle grade novel Firefly Summer. She lives in Los Angeles but spends part of every summer in the Pocono Mountains. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.
"Matson’s vibrant setting, peopled with an easygoing extended family that encourages free play, is irresistibly rendered, while Ryanna’s quest to learn more about her mother, as well as her father’s falling out with the family, imbues the carefully plotted central mystery with emotional resonance."
— -Publishers Weekly, STARRED
"Like a great summer camp, this tale evokes the best of the past while setting the stage for something new."
— -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
"Morgan Matson’s middle grade debut is brimming with heart, summer nostalgia, and a bit of mystery too! This is the kind of book you wish you could live in."
— -Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times Bestselling author
"The Firefly Summer is a deeply satisfying story - well crafted, evocative and so funny. It's whole hearted and deliciously timeless-capturing the feeling of a truly magical summer."
— -Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award nominee and author of The Beckett List
"A sparkling middle-grade debut."
— -Sarah Mlynowski, New York Times bestselling author of Whatever After
"The Firefly Summer is heartfelt and hilarious, witty and wise, with indelible characters and laugh-out-loud humor. A fantastic read for any season of the year."
— -Stuart Gibbs, New York Times Best Selling author of Spy School
“I loved this book - I laughed and cried and immediately craved s’mores.”
— - Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of The Area 51 File
"The Firefly Summer is an ode to warm summer nights, bittersweet memories, and the enduring love of family. I loved every page of this charming, clever story."
— -Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of The Only Black Girls in Town
“Mystery! Humor! Dead lizards? The Firefly Summer has it all - I loved it!”
— – Max Brallier, New York Times bestselling author of the The Last Kids On Earth