Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
New York : Delacorte Press, 2009
Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs are both seventh-grade girls in Kentucky. That is where the obvious similarities end. Ivy June lives in Thunder Creek, in the mountains near the coal mines. She lives with her grandparents because her parents house is too full. They only live a stone's throw apart so she has chores at both households. There is no indoor plumbing and life is just plain simple in a complicated way. Catherine lives in a large house in a nice neighborhood of Lexington. Each of the children has their own bedroom and bathroom. They have a maid helping their mother as she recovers from an illness. Catherine has a cell phone and her own computer. Someone from Catherine's private all-girls school thinks up this fabulous idea of an exchange program between the two drastically different schools. Catherine and Ivy June are the lucky winners. Will they be able to form a friendship despite the prejudices and stereotypes held by those around them? How will each of them react to tragedy striking close to home?
A book full of fascinating characters. The girls' journal entries gave a realistic glimpse into their emotions and their heart. I am not embarrassed to say that I got a little weepy a few times while reading. I hope that kids who read this book will understand the lessons being taught and will learn why we shouldn't let stereotypes rule our thinking. Don't be surprised if Faith, Hope, and Ivy June pops up on the Newbery lists.