By Rachel Popa
As the grandmother of the protagonist in “The Light of the Fireflies” says: “There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light.”
The story follows the life of an unnamed 10-year-old boy who lives in a basement with his mother, father, grandmother, older sister and brother. The boy was born in the basement and has never left.
The book gets its title from the boy’s fascination with fireflies, which are the only light in the darkness of the only home he has ever had.
His family tells him that the outside world is a dangerous place, and to leave the basement would cause him pain. After his sister starts telling him stories from the past, they begin to devise a plan to escape the only place they have ever known.
Throughout the course of “The Light of the Fireflies,” the reader is left guessing why the family chooses to live in a basement instead of venturing out into the world.
Author Paul Pen creates suspense through exploring the family’s troves of dark secrets.
“The Light of the Fireflies” is an engrossing and emotional tale of a family and their struggles to deal with the past, as well as the consequences of keeping secrets.
Four out of five torches