Ivy + Bean: No News Is Good News: Ivy + Bean, Book 8

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Ivy + Bean: No News Is Good News: Ivy + Bean, Book 8 Book Poster Image
Girls start a newspaper in fun, mischievous adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers see some of  the tasks involved in making a community newspaper.

Positive Messages

Ivy + Bean: No News Is Good News espouses positive messages about integrity, a strong work ethic, and accepting responsibility for the consequences of your actions; it also promotes friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ivy and Bean are likable, relatable young girls -- smart, a little precocious, well-intentioned but mischievous, curious, and realistically stubborn. Adults are present and engaged, but also portrayed with realistic frustrations and limitations.

Violence & Scariness

Minor instances of risky behavior: In one scene, a few kids toy with the idea of setting a leaf or a bush on fire with a magnifying glass. In another, two girls play dead by putting fake red cheese wax on their faces. Both instances are humorous, but parents should be aware of the potential risk for copying the behavior.

Language

No profanity is used, but there are references to "bad words" being used a lot, and in one instance, a girl writes down the first letter of the bad words she overheard.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ivy + Bean: No News Is Good News, Book 8 of the popular Ivy + Bean series, has a few very minor instances of mischievous behavior (playing with fire with a magnifying glass, pretending to be dead, and spying on neighbors to write about them for a community newspaper). However, it's all done with a very light touch and lots of humor, and the girls ultimately learn some lessons about the lines they've crossed.

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What's the story?

Everyone at lunch has low-fat Belldeloon cheese in single servings, and more important, they get to play with the red wax coating that can be molded into a thousand different shapes and uses. But Ivy and Bean can't get their hands on the expensive cheese until they score $10. To do that, they'll have to earn it, and when one of their fathers suggests collecting money for creating a neighborhood newspaper, they think they've hit the jackpot of easy money. Only now, they actually have to produce the newspaper, and what's more, the neighbors will read it!

Is it any good?

The eighth book in the Ivy + Bean series is by turns funny, relatable, heartwarming, silly, and prankish. It's an engaging read for young girls, with delicate black-and-white pencil drawings that portray the title characters' trials, tribulations, and fascinations with realism and wit. This book celebrates differences and girl friendship -- Ivy is quiet, Bean is loud, and in spite of their best efforts to resist their parents' urge to pair them together as friends, they realize they really do like each other. 

Readers will find a sidesplitting adventure that speaks their language, and parents can appreciate that this is the sort of book series that fosters a deep love of reading and sparks curiosity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about boundaries. Have you ever crossed a boundary you shouldn't have? What happened? How did the situation turn out?

  • Do you ever see stories in the newspaper or on the news that feel like they invade the privacy of the subject? How can the media be more respectful of the lives of the people they cover? 

  • Do you earn an allowance? If so, what does it teach you? If not, do you think it's a good idea? What tasks or responsibilities do you have?

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