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Ivy : tale of a homeless girl in San Francisco
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-A naively romanticized version of life on the streets. Ivy, 12, and her father find themselves homeless after being evicted from their residence. When a friendly puppy leads them to the Orrs' dilapidated home, the elderly brother and sister immediately befriend them, and Poppy begins work as their handyman. Thus begins a succession of contrived events used to further the plot. Expected conflicts arise (run-ins with the police, spiteful shelter workers), yet resolutions seem artificial. At one point, Ivy and Poppy leave the Orrs without knowing their phone number and address. Coincidentally, a police officer takes Ivy to the Orrs' favorite restaurant where the owner knows how to contact them. Furthermore, Brenner stresses the plight of the disenfranchised to the point of didacticism. She even attempts to draw a parallel between the homeless and the convicted as outcasts. A plodding tale with a pedagogical theme.
Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
IVILLAGE.com, November 2000
Unable to put this book down whether you are a teenager or an adult....Packed with emotion and love, this is a book that needs to be read.
San Jose Mercury News, August 27, 2000
Ivy is fictional, but her circumstances are honest reflections of life for the many homeless children...good balance between reality and sensibility.
Robin Clewley, San Francisco Chronicle, August 18, 2000
"...Lolitas, Oliver Twists and Huckleberry Finns live on, and now, Ivy's tale of hope lives right alongside them."
California Educator, Volume 6, Issue 2, October 2001
"...Seventh- and eight-graders at James Denman Middle School were so inspired...they made a quilt about IVY."
ALAN Review, Volume 28, Number 1
"clarity, warmth, and understanding....vivid picture of the fragility of life on the streets....descriptions paint visuals in your mind."
Ivy is the story of a 12-year old girl who finds herself homeless on the streets of San Francisco when she and her father are evicted from his artist loft. Living outdoors because there no adequate shelters for single fathers, they chance upon the rundown house of an eccentric elderly couple. Filled with realistic touches and magical moments, the book is bound to touch all readers. Each chapter is introduced with a beautiful drawing by illustrator, Marilyn Bogerd.
From the Author
I wrote IVY to plaster a name and face on homeless children and help destroy the assumptions that have attached themselves to the homeless population. Engaging the universal elements of folk and fairy tale, I have portrayed two innocent victims of circumstance and their journey of trial and tribulation to find a way home.
About the Author
Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and migrated west, first to New Mexico, then to the San Francisco Bay Area. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry, including Dancers and the Dance (short stories about dancers) and One Minute Movies (experiemental poetry and prose). IVY is her first book for young adults.
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