By: Ashley Herring Blake
Review by: Ivy
“She felt raw, a painting that wasn’t dry yet. One hard nudge and she’d smear all over the place.”
Ivy Aberdeen is twelve years old. She loves having her mom braid her hair, pondering mysteries with her best friend, running around her hometown, and playing with her baby brothers. At night, she pulls out her secret notebook and draws pictures. Pictures of Ivy holding hands with girls.
When a tornado destroys her house, Ivy loses her secret notebook, and is terrified knowing that someone else has seen her pictures. Then the drawings start appearing in her locker, with notes encouraging Ivy to talk to someone about her secret. As she begins to develop a crush on a female classmate, she thinks it might be time to reveal her secret to the world. But with her family still shaky after the storm, and her friendship seeming to be falling apart, Ivy debates whether living her truth is the most helpful thing right now. Keep a secret, or love out loud?
This was a beautiful middle grade novel told through lyrical writing and the poignant thoughts of a young queer girl. I don’t have that much to say individually, other than that it was a very powerful and sweet book. You see all of Ivy, not just her sexuality, through how she responds to the other issues in her life.
This is an extremely unique kids book, and I recommend it to anyone who appreciates a heartfelt story with a happy ending. Rating: Four/Five
- “The feeling was wild and sort of unpredictable, like a good summer storm.”
- “The whole world was crying as everything fell apart.”