Reading THE TIME OF THE FIREFLIES by Kimberly Griffiths Little is like eating comfort food. Think brownies just out of the oven. It’s a wonderful mix of favorite middle grade fiction themes: a curse, time travel and coming of age all wrapped up in mystery flavored by its setting: Louisiana.

I was hooked from the beginning, when twelve-year old Larissa answers an old telephone ringing in her family’s antique shop. It isn’t plugged in! The girl on the other side of the line tells her to find the fireflies. So she does and in the process finds mystery, magic, friendship and healing.

The voice of this story is honest and believable. The mystery is engaging and the plot will keep readers turning the pages. I must admit I was a little disappointed with the ending. It was a little predictable. But then that’s why the story is like comfort food. It gives you what you want: a mystery with a happy ending in an expected way. Here are some specifics without spoilers.

Twelve -year old Larissa Renaud has a hard time fitting in because her family moves around so much. Now they have returned to where her Mother grew up and opened an antique shop. But things aren’t better. Although her mother seems ready to face the tragedy of her sister’s death, that’s all forgotten when Larissa almost dies the same way. Is there a family curse? You bet. Larissa is scarred for life both figuratively and literally. Only when she solves the mystery and breaks the curse will her scars begin to fade. But doing so will require some courage and forgiveness. And most of all, it will require some time travel!

The Time of the Fireflies offers just enough mystery, history, suspense and heart to make it a winner.