Summer Brenner, Author
Brian Bowes, Illustrator
PM Press, June 2011, Paperback
Suitable for: Pre-teen Fiction, (Ages 9 and Up)
Themes: Homeless, Poverty, Hope, Friendship
Ivy Homeless in San Francisco, is a compelling and riveting novel that reflects the alarming increase in the number of children who are homeless and living in poverty in America. Ivy is one of those children. Summer Brenner has masterfully crafted a book that is realistic, heartbreaking and funny. It won the 2011 Silver Award Winner for the Children’s Literary Classics Book Awards under the category of pre-teen fiction, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. This is a book that should be required reading for kids in Grade level 4 and up, because the face of homelessness is changing. It offers students insight into the lives of those who live on the streets or in shelters.
Ivy is your average 11-year-old girl who lives in an artist loft with her father, Poppy. She attends school and has a circle of friends. One day everything changes when Poppy loses his job and they are evicted from their home. Ivy and her father find themselves homeless, living in sleeping bags in the park above the city at night, eating in shelters, and washing and brushing their teeth in public restrooms. Ivy is embarrassed her friends will find out at school. Because they are always on the move, Ivy begins to miss school. Her classroom becomes the life she’s living, with nature lessons, visits to museums and libraries with Poppy. Life may be harsh among nature’s elements, but it can also bring resilience, hope, adventure, quirky new friendships, kindness and an unexpected surprise.
Reach and Teach is a peace and social justice learning company, transforming the world through teachable moments. To learn more about homelessness and to find educational resources, lesson plans, and concrete ways to get involved in reducing the impact of homelessness on people of all ages, please visit www.reachandteach.com/ivy. Recent studies show that one in 50 kids are homeless. That represents 1.5 million children a year. For more information contact the National Center on Family Homelessness and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.