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The Firefly Summer


About The Book

The Penderwicks meets The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street in this summer romp by New York Times bestselling author Morgan Matson in her middle grade debut about a young girl who gets to know her mom’s side of the family 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. Lost in the crush of such a tight-knit and boisterous band, Ryanna has never felt more out of place.

It’s over the course of this utterly astonishing summer that Ryanna learns how to be open to the unexpected, let go of the preconceived, and find where she truly belongs. And while she’s at it, she just may find a way to become part of the Van Camp family camp—for good.

About The Author

Photograph (c) Gina Stock

Morgan Matson is the New York Times bestselling author of six books for teens, including Since You’ve Been Gone and Save the Date. She lives in Los Angeles but spends part of every summer in the Pocono Mountains. Visit her at

Why We Love It

“Morgan Matson brings her signature humor and warm family dynamic to her middle grade debut. Her writing is as witty as ever, and this will be perfect for readers of The Penderwicks and The Vanderbeekers, who are looking for another laugh-out-loud, raucous story of a large, close-knit family clan in an atmospheric setting that is drenched in summer sun.”

—Justin C., SVP, Publisher, on The Firefly Summer

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 2, 2023)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534493377
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

“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 bestselling author of

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More books from this author: Morgan Matson