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Month in review

Reviews
Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bow Wow by Spencer Quinn
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
Field Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch
Ivy by Katherine Coville
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue
Lumberjanes Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt
Otis by Loren Long
Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
Outside In by Jennifer Bradbury
Queen and Country Volume 1 by Greg Rucka
Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game by Amy Gutierrez
Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
We Are the Engineers by Angela Melick
Winnebago Graveyard #3 by Steve Niles
A Woman's World Tour in a Motor by Harriet White Fisher
Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 27)
October 2017 Sources
October 2017 Summary
Reading Goals for 2018

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Ivy: 11/18/17

Ivy by Katherine Coville

Ivy by Katherine Coville and illustrated by Celia Kaspar is a fantasy novel for young readers ready to move onto chapter books. Ivy lives with her grandmother at the edge of Broomsweep where they care for anyone (human, animal, or magical creature) who needs help.

The blurb suggests this is a book for fans of Jessica Day George (her shorter Fairy Stories) and E.D. Baker. I agree but the set up the book is also a good companion piece to Woundabout by Lev A. C. Rosen. Both book feature towns with homogenous, uptight, strict residents — and main characters who are outsiders and rule-breakers.

On most days, Broomsweep leaves Ivy and her grandmother alone. While they prefer to have all the stoops swept twice a day and all the yards neat and tidy, the healer and her granddaughter are allowed to slip because they are useful. That is until the new Queen begins a tour of the kingdom with the promise that her favorite village will be the host of a huge party to celebrate her coronation.

So that's the set up. Broomsweep decides to crack down on Ivy's family to make sure the village is picture perfect for Her Majesty. Of course there are immediately problems — sick patients, all of them magical, needing a place to stay and heal. All of them make a mess. All of them make it difficult (impossible) for them to clean.

This book would work well in a classroom story time. Tucked in with the magical hijinks, there are messages about taking time for family, prejudice, and kindness to strangers.

Finally, the illustrations help bring the characters to life. They are done by Celia Kaspar who also works in animation. Her character designs have a Chuck Jones feel to them.

Three stars

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