The Education of Ivy Blake
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Education of Ivy Blake is a sequel to the well-received and popular Prairie Evers. The focus shifts to follow Ivy, and Prairie and her family are present but take a back seat to Ivy and her relationship with her mother. A past traumatic event involving a shooting is revisited in more detail, though still mainly through vague memories. Like Prairie, Ivy's a strong, admirable girl. There are positive messages about family and friendship, and Ivy's more about overcoming the past, deciding for yourself who you are, and reaching your goals through hard work and determination. Ivy's mother drinks heavily and smokes. She also lashes out violently, mostly damaging property, but Ivy learns she also hit someone hard enough to land that person in the hospital. A pregnant woman has a scare, and "ordinary spotting" is mentioned.
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What's the Story?
Ivy's been happy living with her best friend Prairie Evers' bustling, adorably oddball family. But now that her mother's back, Ivy can't pass up the chance to live with her again and try to form a more solid bond. Ivy hopes that if she keeps acting like everything's fine, eventually it will be. The damage her mother did and her current embarrassing outbursts make Ivy want to hide from everyone, even Prairie. Ivy learns about a local film contest and decides to put her artistic talents to the test by making her own movie and entering the contest. When Ivy realizes she really is able to do amazing things on her own, she finds the courage to confront her mother and insist that her own happiness counts too.
Is It Any Good?
In this Prairie Evers sequel, author Ellen Airgood continues to demonstrate strong writing skills as she sharpens her focus on Ivy. Ivy's inner thoughts and feelings are complicated, but Airgood gracefully guides the reader through them all. Kids will relate to and admire Ivy. Even when her choices aren't easy to understand, she's easy to root for. Familiar, beloved characters return, and new characters are colorful and intriguing.
THE EDUCATION OF IVY BLAKE is not quite the breath of fresh air that Prairie Evers is, but the thought-provoking, strong girl heroine is a worthy successor.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about sequels. Why did the author chose to tell Ivy's story this time?
Ivy loves and misses living with the Evers family. Why doesn't she want to go back to live with them?
What makes Ms. Mackenzie such a great teacher? Have you ever had a teacher like her? Who's your favorite teacher, and why?
- Author: Ellen Airgood
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
- Publication date: June 9, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 12
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
Great novel about a girl, her chickens, and her best friend.
Anne of Green Gables
Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.
Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
Memorable heroine, lush writing weave a captivating spell.
For kids who love strong girls
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