Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

Posted August 7, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 25 Comments

LGBT+ MG Novel

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

Review by Lauren

Source: ARC from Karen at For What It’s Worth

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?

Review: Thank you so much to Karen for sending me a copy of this book. It’s an MG LGBT+ book and I love that because you don’t get a lot of LGBT+ books for the middle grade audience. I’m glad to see this slowly, but surely, changing, and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is a wonderful addition to what is already available.

The theme of a tornado was done really well – both externally and internally too. You see, Ivy and her family’s’ home is destroyed one night during a tornado and while everyone is okay, it means the family is essentially homeless. This is obviously the external tornado. At the same time, Ivy has a bit of an internal tornado as she’s dealing with a lot and doesn’t really know how to talk about it. She’s mad at her sister for something that happened with her sister’s friend, her mom is too busy with the twin boys to pay much attention to her, and oh yeah…she might have a crush on a girl.

Emily Dickinson Quote

One of the main ways Ivy deals with her swirling emotions is through art. She keeps a notebook with her where she can draw out her feelings. Unfortunately, her notebook goes missing the night of the tornado (she had it at the school where they take shelter for the night, but the next morning, it’s gone) and she’s afraid of who will see it and if they know it’s her pictures. While there are a variety of drawings, Ivy does a series of treehouse drawings where she’s always with another girl – she’s not sure at first what it means but when she develops a real life crush, she knows that it definitely means she likes girls. The missing notebook is obviously a source of stress for Ivy, on top of everything else.

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World - #bookreview of an LGBT+ MG novel. HIGHLY recommended! #bookbloggers Click To Tweet

However, Ivy’s real-life crush is a relatively new girl named June who I just adored. Like Ivy, it’s so easy to feel for June, because she definitely has her own issues to deal with. At the same time, she’s really sweet and bubbly and helps make Ivy feel good about herself and her drawings when it seems like nothing will be the same again.

While this book is for a middle grade audience, I highly recommend fans of YA read it too because it didn’t feel young. The author never talked down to the audience, and I think all ages could find someone to relate to in the book – whether that’s Ivy, June, or even June’s older sister or parents. Definitely recommended, though be warned, it might make you cry a little!

25 responses to “Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

  1. Oooh, tornados freak me out. That sounds like an interesting book, I’d def. want to know who is putting her drawings in her locker one by one. I love the cover of that second book!


  2. Wow, I honestly thought this would be just another book about friendship based on the cover. But when I read the summary and the review, I fell in love with the author. I mean, LGBT+ books, you rarely see them. Specially, when it comes to middle age group. I think this is really beautiful and anyone really could read this book.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful book, Lauren! 🙂

  3. The internal/external tornado is a great observation Lauren!

    As you know, I LOVED this one and I really think it should appeal to everyone.

    It would be great for parents with kids going through big changes as well to understand what these things feel like from a child’s perspective.

    I’m so happy you liked it 🙂

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  4. This sounds so good! I don’t read a ton of MG but would like to read more, and this one sounds like it’s definitely worth trying!

  5. This book sounds so, so great – I’ve never read anything by the author, but all of her books are on my TBR because they all sound fantastic (and also all seem to have amazing book covers for some reason, I don’t know, I am in love haha). I can’t wait to read that one now!
    Wonderful review! <3

  6. This sounds like a great read, even if it is a MG book! I’m actually reading a MG level book right now too, sometimes simplicity is good. And I think it’s awesome that there are more LGBT books expanding into this age level!

  7. Danielle Hammelef

    I read and loved this book. The writing is amazing and spot-on middle grade. The message is important for middle graders who are trying to figure out why their feelings aren’t the same as their friends.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.