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The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore ARC {3 Stars}

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore is a futuristic utopia for middle grade readers. I loved that the utopian society felt believable while still leaving room for a few kids to find out something was wrong and work to fix it. If you have a young reader who isn’t quite ready for the YA dystopian trend yet, this would be a great place to start.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Firefly Code from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore ARC {3 Stars}

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blackmore
Published by Bloomsbury on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, MG
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known?

3 Stars


  • Everything about Blakemore’s vision of the future felt very believable in a kid-friendly way. The main character lives in a secluded town where genetic engineering and neural tweaking are used to make people better, though ethics laws are in place to keep things from getting out of hand.
  • It’s awesome to find a middle grade female character who loves science even when her friends think she is weird for caring about planting a variety of tree species (its better than all the same!) and naming them all ;-).
  • I always seem to notice how balanced the genders of the various secondary characters are and I’m happy to report that the adults in the periphery don’t fall into stereotypical gender roles. There are a lot of female scientists doing great work and the kids see no problem with that.


  • I am a stickler for how science is portrayed in fiction and found myself getting really annoyed. There was a lot of anthropomorphizing of biological processes and saying things like the bees evolved because they wanted to and nature makes everything perfectly. Check out all the weird things in nature to see how imperfect and inefficient they are!
  • The ending seemed rather strange, especially for a middle grade. Things aren’t really concluded and the moral of the story seems to be run away from home when there is a problem?
  • Mori’s friends are really freaking mean to her sometimes and nothing is done to address this. Her best friend growing up gets jealous of Mori befriending the new girl and gets very ‘mean girls’ style controlling. I didn’t like seeing that portrayed as normal in a middle grade.


The Firefly Code is a fun middle grade spin on the utopia/dystopia trend and shows that nerdy girls can be heroes and scientists. I have some quibbles with how the science was described and the moral aspects, but it was a fun read.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blackmore

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. The strengths all appeal to me, but the weaknesses you list would drive me up a wall. I should probably pass on this one. Thank you for reviewing it!
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