Woodworth, Chris Ivy in the Shadows, 198 pgs. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013. $16.99.
Life for 7th grader Ivy is about as bad as it can get. Her father has never been in her life, her stepfather just left and her mother just rented out the spare bedroom in their home to the weirdest kid in school while his guardians are working as missionaries. Not only does Ivy have to navigate the mystery of Caleb, the new boarder, but figure out why her best friend Ellen is suddenly acting so differently. Life just isn’t as simple as it used to be. When Aunt Maureen, her mother’s best friend, rolls into town, Ivy has hopes that everything will be easier. What Ivy learns is that nothing is life is what it seems. Sometimes you learn the most observing life from the shadows.
Ivy in the Shadows is a coming of age story for the middle school set that shows the courage it takes to face the change that comes with growing up. The characters are relatable and demonstrate the importance of empathy and integrity in our every day lives.
EL, MS- ADVISABLE. Written by J. Hafen.