In many ways, Ivy is confused and questioning her place in the world. Her family’s home where generations of Aberdeens have grown up, is destroyed in a tornado that rips through the town. Thankfully all six Aberdeens are unhurt and find shelter in a tiny hotel room thanks to the kindness of others. Ivy’s new twin brothers are a handful and as the middle child, she feels kind of invisible. All of her hopes and dreams and doubts go into a journal/notebook brilliantly illustrated with her drawings. A lot is changing and it is all chronicled there. Including her questioning that she might have a crush on the new girl June. When her journal goes missing and messages start appearing in her locker that reveal that the sender knows her inner most thoughts and secrets, Ivy is in despair.
She is especially fearful about her feelings for June. But how do you know if what you are feeling is real when you’ve never felt that way before? She might trust her 16 year old sister Layla with her doubts but overhears what she thinks is disapproval when Layla’s best friend comes out to her. Who can she trust?
Finding a gay mentor in the owner of the hotel, Robin, feels so right. Robin is a great support and assures Ivy that it is okay to not be sure. The complex feelings between friends and siblings, misunderstandings and inner dilemmas , trust and family love make this a warm and emotionally strong story that embraces all the very real characters. I loved Ivy, her friends and family and you will too.
And you might understand why the Dickinson quote is on the first page.
Tessa's Picks, 5th-6th grade, 5th Summer 2018, Contemporary Fiction, Family life, Friendship, LGBTQ, People of color