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Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

This book gives you an inside look about how other people in different parts of the world live. Some live in rich, high class cities, but others live in small run-down towns without electricity. It is unique representation of how kids interact with each other despite their differences. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June helped open my eyes to different challenges that other people face in this world.


Faith, Hope, and Ivy June is a story of two very unique girls, who participate in a student exchange program. Ivy June Mosley lives in a very small town in the mountains known as Thunder creek, Kentucky. She lives with her Mammaw and Pappaw in a small house with a tin roof, because there isn’t enough room at her parents house. She has three other crazy siblings, two younger, Howard and Danny, and one older, Jessie. Catherine Combs lives in the nice suburbs known as Lexington, Kentucky. She lives in a big house with her mom, dad, and younger siblings Peter and Claire. Catherine attends The Buckner Academy for Girls in Lexington.


Naylor’s writing is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Throughout the book, the girls are required to write their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences in a journal to share with everyone when they come home. After each chapter, Naylor incorporates each girls journal note from that day. You can really get to know the character through their journal entries because it’s coming straight from them, it’s their own personal thoughts and opinions. Something that I thought was a little odd and confusing at times was when Naylor sometimes acted as a narrator in the book. At certain times he would call Ivy June’s parents by their first name, instead of using Ma or Dad. It was hard to follow what she was saying because of this.


The girls experienced things they never knew existed before. Coming from two completely different towns is hard because you don’t know what to expect. Ivy June lives in the mountains with absolutely no connection to the outside world, so everything was so new to her in Lexington. Catherine on the other hand was surprised when she got to Thunder Creek, because she wasn’t at all used to bathing once a week in a tub outside with cold water. Both girls faced big challenges while at eachothers houses. Whether it was something happening at home that was on their mind, or problems while in their own town, they had each other to help them get through it. That made them develop a really great friendship throughout the book.




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