Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June

Posted by nliakos on October 29, 2011

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (2009)

This is the story of two seventh-grade Kentucky girls. Catherine lives in an upper middle class neighborhood in Lexington and attends a private academy; Ivy June lives with her grandparents outside of a mining community near Hazard. One spring, the girls participate in an exchange program. First Ivy June spends two weeks with Catherine in Lexington; two weeks later, Catherine travels to Thunder Creek to stay with Ivy June for two weeks.

In addition to the third-person narrative, Naylor lets the girls tell their stories through the diaries they are required to keep for the exchange program (printed in two different manuscript-like fonts).  Both girls are basically good people, smart and unprejudiced; but there are those in both communities ready to pre-judge the outsiders. Despite this, Catherine and Ivy June become friends; but their friendship is tested during Catherine’s visit to Ivy June as each faces a crisis of her own.

Although not as good as the Alice series, this is a simple story, well told. Girls from about ten up should like it.


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