Reviews for Faith, Hope and Ivy June

AudioFile Reviews 2010 April
Ivy June, an Appalachian coal miner's daughter, and Catherine, a member of the Lexington horse set, meet and share families through a school exchange program. Narrator Karen White could have gone with the obvious and given Ivy June a heavy drawl and Catherine a posh tone. Instead White follows the author's lead, using subtly distinct voices to concentrate on the similarities of two girls who both experience culture shock, school woes, and family hardships. This familiar plot gets a boost from White's depictions of the Appalachian characters. When Ivy June's grandfather is trapped in a mining accident, she explains to Catherine that he's OK because he can listen to the mountain. White makes us believe we can hear it, too. M.M.O. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 October

Gr 5-7--Ivy June lives in Thunder Creek, Kentucky, a small mountain town that is so remote that they have no phone and an indoor toilet is considered a luxury, with her Mammaw, Papaw, and 100-year-old Grandmommy. Catherine lives in a large home in the big city of Lexington, and she has all the material things that Ivy June lacks. A seventh-grade student exchange program pairs the girls, and Ivy June is off to spend two weeks with Catherine. Soon after Ivy June returns home, Catherine comes to Thunder Creek complete with preconceived notions of backward hillbillies. Through journal entries, we hear what each girl is thinking and learn how their eyes are opened by their experiences. Narrator Karen White nails the Kentucky dialect well, although it sometimes varies slightly from track to track. On occasion it is difficult to distinguish between the two girls, and they become identifiable only by their grammar and words that are peculiar to their hometown. One mispronunciation stands out as White uses a standard dialect when she refers to Ivy June's "hollow" rather than "hollar." Nevertheless, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's powerful story (Delacorte, 2009) of two girls looking for the commonalities in their lives rather than the differences is heartfelt and a wonderful testament to the varied cultures within our country. This accessible audiobook will be checked out again and again.--Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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