Faith, Hope, and Ivy June

 
(i)

 

Similarities trump differences in true friendship.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A lot of reflection on the importance of overlooking differences to form friendships based on what really matters. Characters focus less on materialism as the novel progresses.

Positive role models

Catherine and Ivy June each decide to learn about, accept, and put aside the differences of the other, even rejecting some of the beliefs of their own families and friends to do so.

Violence

A mining accident is described in detail and a few deaths are mentioned. A main character's mother falls very ill. Families quarrel.

Sex

Relationships stay at the “crush” level, with some flirting and kissing between the middle schoolers. Some talk of boyfriends, flirting, kissing, and bras. One mention of an illegitimate pregnancy: “…except being pregnant without a husband.”

Consumerism

Jell-o and a few other brand names are mentioned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some quarrels within families, as well as between friends, but that there isn’t too much to worry about. There are also issues of loss and grief, as each girl comes close to losing a close family member, one to sickness and one to a mining accident.

What's the story?

Although they live only a few hours apart in Kentucky, Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs come from two drastically different homes. Ivy June lives in the mountains of Thunder Creek, where she resides in her grandparents’ rural house with no cell phone reception and just enough means to get by. Catherine comes from a more suburban neighborhood, with white shutters, brand-name clothes, and significantly more income. To broaden their horizons, the two girls participate in a student exchange program through their middle schools to see how another girl their age lives. The two write in journals throughout the broadening journey, reflecting on their differences, but more importantly, their similarities.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In this touching tale of an unlikely friendship, the message of "the grass isn't always greener" comes through clearly. So do deeper messages of self-acceptance and the importance of being a good person over having the nicest clothes -- all great concepts for middle school girls who are constantly comparing themselves to their peers.

The vast chasm between the two girls’ lifestyles seems a bit exaggerated, and borderline politically incorrect -- most rural homes nowadays don't have outhouses. But the suburban/rural exchange premise is plausible.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about accepting what one has instead of wanting the material items or family dynamics of another. Is it better to appreciate aspects of your own house?

  • How important are material items to your family? What's more important?

  • Do you have friends from different backgrounds? Is it possible to set aside differences to become friends, like Ivy June and Catherine?

Book details

Author:Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Genre:Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Delacorte Press
Publication date:June 15, 2009
Number of pages:288
Read aloud:9
Read alone:9

This review of Faith, Hope, and Ivy June was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byUseursense August 17, 2013
 

AWESOME!!!!

If u don't know what to read, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!! It is about friendship, and it is AWESOME!
Teen, 13 years old Written byprettymix12 August 27, 2011
 

strangers come together

I think this is a very good book for kids 10 & up to read. Iloved so i think other kids would love it to.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old October 31, 2009
 

A MUST READ

I loved this story! 'Faith, Hope, and Ivy June' tells a heart-warming story about two girls, Ivy June and Catherine. These two girls lead different lives, and from each girl you learn about there life. The girls have a couple of fights, but they have their fights just like regular people. At one point in the story Catherine's mom goes to the hospitable, WHILE Catherine is at Ivy June's very remote town. At the same time Ivy June is very scared for her grandpa, Papaw, who works in a mine, and was in it while the mine flooded! I think this is a good book for kids aged ten and up, as there are some parts that nine year olds most likely won't understand and won't make sense to them, and other parts that they won't enjoy, and will seem unreasonably silly to them.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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