Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
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Annotation: Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school.
Catalog Number: #155457
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 310 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-51546-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-51546-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017019242
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Ivy Aberdeen is not in a good place. She's lost her house to a massive tornado, her mother seems to barely notice she exists (because of the new twins), and her sister is being really mean. In the aftermath of the storm, Ivy and her family must decide what to do, and one solution means leaving Ivy with a new family until their house can be rebuilt. But when she begins to develop romantic feelings for a girl in her class, and her private notebook of sketches goes missing, everything starts to unravel. Blake (How to Make a Wish, 2017) brings Ivy and her family to life in her examination of familial connections, friendships, art, and first-time crushes, which is poignantly set against a background of destruction and displacement. This necessary and emotionally complex addition to the body of middle-grade literature offers readers a positive, complex, and courageous portrayal of burgeoning sexuality and relationships within the world of junior high.
Publishers Weekly
After 12-year-old Ivy-s rural Georgia home is obliterated by a tornado, she heads to a shelter for the night with her parents, older sister, and twin baby brothers. There, Ivy ends up hanging out with her classmate June, a budding poet who admires Ivy-s drawing talent. The same night, Ivy-s treasured notebook goes missing-a book where she brought all her secrets to life, including the fact that Ivy thinks she likes girls. Worse, the person who has her notebook starts leaving notes in her locker, telling Ivy she should share her secret with someone she trusts. Black (Suffer Love) gives Ivy the deep-thinking soul of an artist, gently examining the trauma of losing her home, Ivy-s excitement about her crush on June, and her fears that people will judge her if they discover her secret. Blake dots Ivy-s world with sensitive and knowing conversation partners, young and old, with whom Ivy shares her questions and worries. This is an emotionally sensitive and elegantly written novel about loss and the first stirrings of love. Ages 8-12. Agent: Rebecca Podos, Rees Literary. (Mar.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 46 A sweet story of a first crush and being stuck in the middle. In the aftermath of a tornado, Ivy and her family find themselves without a home and dependent upon the kindness of others. Already often overlooked as the middle child, Ivy feels even more invisible now that her family of six shares a small hotel room. What's worse, Ivy is developing feelings for another girl at school; but after hearing the way her older sister reacted when her best friend came out, Ivy doesn't know who to talk to. Filling a much-needed gap in middle grade literature, this story addresses not just the topic of a first crush, but also the invisibility frequently felt by middle children. The protagonist struggles with the disappearance of a beloved journal after a tornado and a lack of privacy while sharing one room with her entire family. She is too young to help care for her twin brothers but old enough that she is often forgotten about. Ivy doesn't feel comfortable discussing her blossoming romantic feelings with her family but is able to find a trusted adult in whom to confide. Young readers will find Ivy's challenges very real and will sympathize with her choices, both good and bad. Give to fans of Tim Federle's Better Nate than Ever or Barbara Dee's Star-Crossed . VERDICT Relatable and engaging. A first purchase for public and school libraries. Jenni Frencham, Columbus Public Library, WI
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen finds comfort in drawing; she keeps a private sketchbook the way other kids her age keep written diaries.After a tornado destroys her home, her notebook, filled with things Ivy isn't ready to talk about or trust with anyone, goes missing, and she feels the last bit of her world drop out from under her. The images are telling; there can be no doubt that the white girl with the "coiling mane" of wild strawberry-blonde hair is 12-year-old Ivy or that she's holding hands with a dark-haired white girl in every picture. When her drawings begin turning up in her school locker, Ivy's biggest fear comes true: someone knows her secret. The mystery person encourages Ivy to come out, but whom can she trust? Is she even ready? Blake's (Suffer Love, 2016) first middle-grade novel is characterized by rich, descriptive prose. The tornado scene is filled with breathtaking urgency as Ivy and her family run for safety, and the descriptions of Ivy's contradictory and confusing feelings capture the heartbreaking difficulty of a non-normative early adolescence filled with questions of identity and belonging. Most characters are assumed white; the black lesbian who owns the inn where the Aberdeens stay after the storm and who steps in as a surrogate mother while Ivy's own is occupied with insurance and a sick baby, is engaged to a brown-skinned Latina.Ivy's story is no mere niche-filler in LGBTQ middle-grade realism—it's a standard-setter. (Fiction. 8-14)
Word Count: 56,240
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 193669 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q72798
Lexile: 740L
Guided Reading Level: R

A Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Honor Book!

In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls--and children's literature at large.


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