________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 19. . . .January 19, 2018


Kasey & Ivy.

Alison Hughes.
Victoria, BC: Orca, March, 2018.
182 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $10.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1574-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1575-9 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1576-6 (epub).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Janet Beauchamp.

* /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Dear Nina,

It’s two o’clock in the morning of the longest night I’ve ever spent wishing for the morning to come. And that includes every Christmas Eve and the night after we watched part of that horror movie when I slept over at your house. Why did I ever let you convince me to do that when I’m a total chicken? Do you still think about that movie? I do. I’m definitely thinking about it right now, when I am alone and unprotected. Even though I tell myself to stop it, I keep thinking of clown puppets with evil red eyes and pointy fangs slinking down the hospital halls in the gloom…


Kasey and Ivy is a story about a girl who gets a diagnosis which is going to keep her in the hospital for a month. Kasey then proceeds to write a series of letters to her best friend, Nina, who lives next door, letters in which Kasey explains her daily experiences while in the hospital. From learning how to use a 24 hour clock to having to stay in the seniors ward, Kasey struggles to stay positive for the duration of her stay. Her new constant companion, Ivy (her intravenous pole), goes with her on all of her adventures. The personification of Ivy was underwhelming as I was expecting much more from that unique character.

      After I found out why Kasey was staying in the hospital, I lost interest in the story. I found myself choosing other books while this one continued to sit on my night table. My 10-year-old daughter still has not finished it, and she usually finishes the books I review before I even start them. She says she likes it, but clearly she has also chosen other books first. I found the letters to be filled with complaining as clearly Kasey would rather be playing soccer or going to school with her friends than living in the senior ward of her local hospital.

      I also found it interesting that my favourite character was not the protagonist. I found myself awaiting the return of Louise, the snack cart girl. She was an interesting character who brought some life to the daily grind of Kasey’s boring hospital life. I could see a child in the hospital relating to this story, but I did not find it very interesting. The twist of Kasey’s living in the geriatric ward did not help create characters relatable to the target audience.

Not Recommended.

Janet Beauchamp, a high school teacher and teacher-librarian and the mother of three girls, lives in L’Amable, ON.

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