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Saint Ivy: Kind at All Costs



by
Laurie Morrison

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Abrams
Imprint
Amulet
ISBN
9781419741258
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Medical: Reproductive/Sexual Reference/Discussion , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use
$20.22   $16.85
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A thoughtful middle-grade novel about caring for others and for yourself––and what it truly means to be kind and vulnerable.

Thirteen-year-old Ivy Campbell has always been a good kid: She supports her soccer-star brother, bakes with her nana, and puts her friends’ needs before her own. So of course, Ivy is 100 percent supportive when her mom decides to be a gestational surrogate, carrying and giving birth to her friends’ baby. But when Ivy finds out the surrogacy treatment worked and her mom is pregnant—and has been for weeks—she’s shocked that she’s jealous and worried about what others will think. And most of all, she’s ashamed that she isn’t reacting to this news in the right way. The Ivy way. Ivy is determined to prove to herself that she’s just as unselfish as she’s always believed, and she gets the chance to do that when she receives an anonymous email from someone who needs her help. But the more Ivy dives into helping this anonymous person, the further she gets from the people she loves—and from the person who she wants to be.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Medical: Reproductive/Sexual Reference/Discussion , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

336

Trim Size

8" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Sep 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Kindness. Conduct of life. Family life. LGBTQ families. Gestational surrogacy. Friendship. Email.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6–Thirteen-year-old Ivy knows what she is good at: being kind to others. Like many middle schoolers, Ivy is grasping for an identity, and has decided that being kind is her “thing,” the way sports or academics are for other kids. Ivy is not so good at being kind to herself, however, and her relationships with her family and friends suffer. Ivy is always ready to help others, but won’t share or let herself be helped in turn. The lively narrative projects an authentic middle school voice and the Philadelphia setting is vivid, populated by nuanced characters and situations. Ivy’s caring mother regularly asks Ivy to share her feelings, but then hides the risks of her surrogate pregnancy. One of Ivy’s oldest friends, alienated by her determination not to share any vulnerabilities, decides that their friendship has run its course. Ivy is Jewish; her father has a male partner while her friend Lila has two mothers, and Ivy has Black and Latinx friends at school. The story shows the benefits of living in such a diverse community: Ivy’s Nana encourages her to “embrace all the parts of herself,” and Ivy embraces this in others too. When she first encounters Lila’s blended family and wonders about their history, she quickly understands that she “doesn’t need to understand the inner workings of Lila’s family.” Surrounded by all sorts of loving families and community members, it’s no wonder that Ivy has found a knack for being kind. VERDICT Relatable realistic fiction for upper elementary and middle school readers navigating friendships, boundaries, and identity, with appeal for fans of similarly themed stories such as Varian Johnson’s Twins, Shannon Hale’s Real Friends, and Celia C. Pérez’s Strange Birds.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn P.L.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6–Thirteen-year-old Ivy knows what she is good at: being kind to others. Like many middle schoolers, Ivy is grasping for an identity, and has decided that being kind is her “thing,” the way sports or academics are for other kids. Ivy is not so good at being kind to herself, however, and her relationships with her family and friends suffer. Ivy is always ready to help others, but won’t share or let herself be helped in turn. The lively narrative projects an authentic middle school voice and the Philadelphia setting is vivid, populated by nuanced characters and situations. Ivy’s caring mother regularly asks Ivy to share her feelings, but then hides the risks of her surrogate pregnancy. One of Ivy’s oldest friends, alienated by her determination not to share any vulnerabilities, decides that their friendship has run its course. Ivy is Jewish; her father has a male partner while her friend Lila has two mothers, and Ivy has Black and Latinx friends at school. The story shows the benefits of living in such a diverse community: Ivy’s Nana encourages her to “embrace all the parts of herself,” and Ivy embraces this in others too. When she first encounters Lila’s blended family and wonders about their history, she quickly understands that she “doesn’t need to understand the inner workings of Lila’s family.” Surrounded by all sorts of loving families and community members, it’s no wonder that Ivy has found a knack for being kind. VERDICT Relatable realistic fiction for upper elementary and middle school readers navigating friendships, boundaries, and identity, with appeal for fans of similarly themed stories such as Varian Johnson’s Twins, Shannon Hale’s Real Friends, and Celia C. Pérez’s Strange Birds.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn P.L.

Grades 6-9
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