When I first started reading this new novel by Phyllis Naylor, I thought I was reading something less than her usual quality of work. However the more I read, the more I began to see that Faith, Hope and Ivy June is perhaps one of her best works in recent memory. Though understandably readers may find the language spoken by Ivy June and other characters in the book hard to understand, this should not take away from the quality or the clear message that Naylor is portraying in this novel. While Ivy June and Catherine are exchange students and the novel deals with all of that and of their growing friendship, it is the theme of tolerance that is foremost in the story. It is refreshing to see a story that talks at an appropriate audience level and does not try to sugar coat the issue of intolerance. Ivy June and Catherine come to realize they too must overcome intolerance in themselves if their friendship is to survive. And when the dramatic final crisis arises, the girls learn to look toward each other for support as only true friends really can. Girls will definitely enjoy this novel.
(Mark Taylor, Benjamin Branch Library)