Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake | SLJ Review

Gr 4-6 –A sweet story of a first crush and being stuck in the middle.

redstarBLAKE, Ashley Herring. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World. 320p. Little, Brown. Mar. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316515467.

Gr 4-6 –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-CrossedVERDICT Relatable and engaging. A first purchase for public and school libraries.–Jenni Frencham, Columbus Public Library, WI

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

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