Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent

I love so many things about Jerry B. Jenkins--his writing, his passion...and his heart for new authors. Operation First Novel has brought us some great new names in fiction. Topping my list is Jennifer Erin Valent, winner of 2007.

"Fireflies in December" starts out with a bang...the assumption that 13 year old Jessilyn Lassiter has murdered someone. Try living life with THAT hanging over your head!

That passionate beginning opens up to a stellar novel about prejudice, racism, and ignorance: three things that still plague us in today's information saturated world.

Jessilyn's best friend is Gemma, and no one has a problem with that. Until the night Gemma's parents are killed in a house fire and little Gemma has no other place to go but the Lassiters.

Suddenly, the fact that Gemma is black causes a problem--a big problem. When a disorganized group of the Ku Klux Klan raises its ugly, white-sheeted head in this southern Virginia town, will evil win after all? Or can the good that God gives each of us by knowing Him triumph?

Innocence is lost for Jessilyn and Gemma this fateful summer. All too often, our children lose their innocence far too early in this world we live in. Lessons can be learned from Jennifer's debut novel.

Lessons of what tolerance really is, how to love our neighbor as yourself, and how to stand firm in the face of bigotry and hatred without losing your self in the process. The fight for Civil Rights was both a blessing and a blight on our nation.

Let us never forget, and may we allow God to change us through the reading of His Word and through great fiction like Jennifer's "Fireflies in December". I'm giving this debut novel five out of five bookmarks, with a little black kitten as a charm.

"Fireflies In December" releases from Tyndale this month...put it on your wishlist today! I'm looking forward to more great reading from Jennifer (and from Tyndale--we've got great books ahead!)

Happy Reading!



C.J. Darlington said...

Great review. I enjoyed this novel, too!

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks so much for participating in my blog tour and for your great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed Fireflies In December!