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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Sybil Ludington believes in the legend of fireflies--they appear when you need them most. But it's not until her family is thrust into the dangers of the Revolutionary War, and into George Washington's spy ring, that Sybil fully experiences firefly magic for herself--guiding her through the darkness, empowering her to figure out who she's supposed to be and how strong she really is--as she delivers her imperative message and warns against a British attack. BY THE LIGHT OF FIREFLIES is the captivating tale of a young girl's journey as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a spy, and eventually a war hero, completing a midnight ride that cements her place in history as the "female Paul Revere."…

By the Light of Fireflies

by Jenni L. Walsh

Overall Book Review:

I absolutely loved I Am Defiance, so when I saw that Jenni L. Walsh had a new book, it was a must-read. Even with the high expectations, Walsh didn’t disappoint with By the Light of Fireflies. It’s always great to read about unexpected things that occurred in history, especially when those who were typically thought less of or were given fewer opportunities were given a chance. Due to difficult circumstances, Sybil and her sister were not only given that chance but went above and beyond what I’m sure many expected of even those twice their age and male. Walsh makes the interesting story even more so with her beautiful writing. As with any historical fiction novel, we get to learn about history but in a way that tends to be so much more compelling than a standard history book, and the way Walsh brings the story to us, you feel engaged and emotionally invested in the life of the Ludingtons and the war. Enough good cannot be said about this book and it will definitely leave you wanting more. Those who enjoy an historical fiction novel will love By the Light of Fireflies. 

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy Provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis

Profanity/Language: Reference to adult and child saying expletive but word not given. 

Sex/Nudity: Few (5) brief incidents including references to a married woman’s pregnancies; character asks another if she has a crush; character imagining trying on a boy’s pants (to make riding a horse easier) and getting embarrassed thinking about him taking them off; reference to a young girl having a husband some day; man makes crude remarks (no specifics given).

Violence/Gore: Many (22) brief incidents including character imagining what a fire would do to her house; character thinking about the risk of her nose freezing and falling off; reference to hornets stinging; character being worried about accidentally shooting her foot; character thinking about the possibility of getting eaten by wild animals; verbal threats; character worrying that someone could be armed and come after her; characters attempting an attack; references to battles and war; reference to family dying in war; second-hand reports of characters getting hanged; reference to town getting set on fire; second-hand report of character getting roughly arrested; young character getting tossed from a horse (not injured); hearing chicken being butchered.

Mature Subject Matter

Reference to urine getting used to clean clothes.

Alcohol/Drug Use


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I love being able to help busy parents who just don’t have the time to pre-screen all their children’s books and know how much I appreciate it as my sons have gotten older. I feel very blessed that my amazing husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home mother to four amazing boys. When not reading or enjoying time with my family, I like baking, especially trying new recipes, and the occasional sewing project.