Friday, January 27, 2012

My Thoughts On "faith, hope, and ivy june"

Source:  Goodreads

From the back cover...
     Two Kentucky girls, Ivy June Mosely of Thunder Creek and Catherine Combs of Lexington, are participating in their schools' seventh grade student exchange program.  Taking turns, each girl leaves home for two weeks to live and attend classes with the other, and writes about the experience in a journal.
     In some ways, the girls are worlds apart.  Ivy June lives up in the mountains with her grandparents, Mammaw and Pappaw Mosely, because it's so crowded at her parents' place.  Catherine lives with her family in a beautiful house with plenty of space for everyone.  As the girls spend time in each other's neck of the woods, they find out that they've both been keeping secrets.  And when, without warning, Ivy June and Catherine face the terror of not knowing what's happening to their loved ones, they discover that they may be more alike than different.

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Source:  Goodreads


Faith, hope, and ivy june is a book that my daughter (8) bought at her school book fair, and this is one instance where I'm so glad that I read the book before she did.  It's simply not appropriate for her.

It's not a bad book.  I enjoyed it mostly.  I really like the characters, Ivy June and Catherine.  They were likable, funny, and honest.  I enjoyed reading about life in the eastern Kentucky mountains.  What I didn't realize is that this book has a lot of coal mining in it.  You see Ivy June's "Pappaw" is a coal miner, and that's fine.  My husband is a coal miner.  We are proud of coal miners!

However, there is a lot of talk in the book about how much Ivy worries about her grandfather while he's down in the mine, they talk about working in the mine like it's a form of cruel and unusual punishment, and in the end there is a mining accident with lots of details.  There are references to real life mining disasters, descriptions of the families waiting at the church for news, and descriptions of what may or may not be going on down there...explosions, rock falls, floods, drowning, deaths...all very scary, especially if your Daddy is a coal miner.

The danger of working in the coal mine is not a foreign concept to my daughter.  She is very smart and she knows.  I know this because she's shared her fears with me.  I know what she worries about, and that's why I'm so glad she didn't read this book.  I see no need in her reading a book that will bring up new fears or bring to the forefront fears that most days she tucks away.  I won't throw this book away, but I will tuck it away in the back of the cabinet.  Maybe she will read it some day, but for now it hits too close to home.


  1. Great review! And, I agree about putting the book out of sight. My dad taught in a very dangerous inner city school when I was in middle school. I remember seeing many of the movies and news reports about gang violence, and it terrified me. I worried constantly. So, good decision! And, by the way, we love our coal miners, too!