Cover Image: Iveliz Explains It All

Iveliz Explains It All

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Member Reviews

Iveliz Explains It All is an absolute must-read. First of all, I love middle grade novels in verse and this one is so well-done as the book is Iveliz’s words in her journal. Secondly, this book covers some really challenging themes that I haven’t seen in any other books, but that I think many kids and teens will see themselves in. Key themes: mental health (specifically depression, PTSD, grief, and taking medication), loss of a parent, a grandparent with Alzheimer’s (this part resonated with me personally). One of the things I enjoy most about reading middle grade as an adult is reading about the dynamics between parents and children. This book gives such incredible perspective about how important it is to listen to kids and to trust them to know themselves. Adults don’t always know best, and it’s an important reminder that I think so many well-meaning parents lose sight of. I also loved how this book interspersed a lot of Spanish and how Iveliz’s Puerto Rican identity was important to the story. I highly recommend this book!
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A MG novel in verse that deals with grief and mental illness.
Iveliz is determined to make seventh grade her year. The end of elementary school was the worst of her life and last year she just wasn’t herself. Iveliz makes goals for the year by writing them in her journal, along with her thoughts and feelings. It’s what she should do every time she gets angry instead of lashing out, but her anger is one thing she struggles to control. She’s on medicine, but her abuela doesn’t think she needs it, even though her mom does. Iveliz deals with this internal fight throughout the book using her journal to write down her feelings, even when she’s not sure what they are.
This was a tough novel to read, but one that will save so many kids. The thoughts Iveliz has are ones I know so many students have felt, but couldn’t put it into words. @andreabeatrizarango debut will absolutely find a place in my library. Out 9.13.

CW: mental health issues, depression, thoughts of suicide, hospitalization, grief, death of a parent (recounted), car accident, bullying, racism
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Iveliz is in 7th grade and figuring out friendships and family life with her Puerto Rican mother and her grandmother, who has just come to live with the family. Iveliz's life unfolds as journal entries, and it's clear that under the surface is an unspeakable tragedy that no on is talking about, and a teen withdrawing more and more from everyone in her world. 

Author Andrea Beatriz Arango beautifully crafts this novel in verse about mental health, tragedy, and speaking up when it matters most. Often, the bravest thing we can do is ask for help. This was a realistic portrayal of depression and anxiety, and at the end of the book reader's will find resources to get help for themselves or a friend. I highly recommend this story for middle schoolers!
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As a disclaimer, I do not speak nearly enough Spanish to review this book in its entirety, but I felt like I was still able to enjoy it while being aware I was not the target audience. Iveliz Explains It All is ruthless in how it shows the depths of sorrow, grief, and anxiety, and is one of the few books I've read that shows the thought process in children with "anger issues". (I was one of those children, and I could never quite rationalize or explain what was wrong, so seeing it written out without judgement was a delight.) Iveliz's deep desire to be "normal", to do things right, to be a different person because of her feelings about herself and her worth, is a bare and honest thing that the reader will feel privileged to peek in on. Complicated communication issues are also deftly touched on, with Iveliz's difficulty with her feelings and actions.
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I love a novel in verse, and I love middle grade lit that tackles mental health issues, and this book was both! While I really enjoyed this book as an adult reader, I'm curious if it'll have the same impact on middle grade readers. I think some of the ideas might go above the heads of some younger readers. Also, while I enjoyed the bit that were in Spanish (and took enough introductory Spanish that I could use that plus context clues to figure out what those sections were referring to), I worry middle graders will struggle here.
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I read Iveliz Explains it All in one sitting and cried through the second half. It’s a middle-grade novel told in verse detailing mental health, friendship, and speaking up for oneself. I love its mix of Spanish and English and how it destigmatizes mental health in the Latinx community. The drawings and poems really capture the heart and soul and have me feeling so much pain as Iveliz struggles to get better. I would highly recommend this and cannot wait for it to be officially released in September!
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Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this Verse Novel. 4.5/5 stars. 

CW: mental health (disbelief, parental involvement, stigma, PTSD), suicide idealization

Wowza. This is a middle grade verse novel focusing on a Puerto Rican girl Iveliz who is struggling with PTSD and Depression following a traumatic event in her life. The novel is told through verse in Iveliz's journal depicting her struggle with her mental illness, hallucinations, medicine, her mom and grandma's (who has Alzheimer's) struggle with accepting that she isn't "normal" and isn't faking it, and struggles at school. A lot of the book emphasizes the way mental illness makes youth feel alone, especially when no one quite gets what they're going through and they don't have proper outlets to express their feelings without judgement. 

This is a really powerful novel, especially for middle grade and especially for latinx youth. Iveliz struggles with herself to accept the need for therapy and communicating and understanding when meds don't work while also trying to manage friendships and school and her family relationships. 

I am truly at a loss for words on how impactful I can see this novel being for so many students. It's a verse novel, so it's a quick read as well. I only deducted it 1/2 a star because there's a LOT of spanish in the novel, and without a translation of a footnote or something, I was detached a lot because of needing to translate things...but also 1) that could be added in publication and 2) I recognize the eurocentric/english centric view of that and also understand that without translations is important as well.
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Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango is a novel in verse for the tween/middle school audience (approximately ages 10-14).  Iveliz is a 7th grader that has been working on coping with anxiety, depression, trauma, anger, and grief. Her mom gives her a journal, which she uses as a tool to express her innermost thoughts and feelings. She makes a list of goals and she feels like this year might FINALLY be the year that everything is okay. Things aren't okay though and Iveliz experiences a series of challenges that leave her feeling more alone than ever. Iveliz needs help, but how is she supposed to ask for it when she doesn't even understand everything that's going on?

This book covers so many difficult, yet important, topics that most books for tweens avoid. I appreciate the fact that the author wrote about Iveliz struggling even after going to therapy and starting prescription medication because sometimes additional efforts are needed. So much of what Iveliz went through is realistic, from struggling to communicate with her mother and her friends not understanding what she was going through, to her grandmother being resistant to Iveliz going to therapy and taking medication. Besides Iveliz, there are two other young characters that play a prominent role in the story and I think that most young readers will be able to relate to at least one of these characters in some way.

I always enjoy reading Author's Notes, but this one was extremely touching. Andrea Beatriz Arango writes to young readers to let them know that she understands if they are struggling and that it's important for them to reach out for help. She took the time to explain that help may look different for different people and provided resources if they don't know anybody in-real-life that they could turn to. 

This is a book that I would 100% recommend for middle school and high school aged tweens and teens. The novel in verse format makes the book more accessible and less intimidating for youth that are struggling or hesitant readers and the subject matter is SO important for these age groups. This is a title that I would absolutely add to my classroom or school library!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to review an ARC of Iveliz Explains It All.
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A moving debut novel in verse. Iveliz is a character that many readers will be able to relate to. Many young people like Iveliz are dealing with serious issues on a regular basis. It's books like this one that will help them see that they are not alone. I loved the bits of Spanish words and Puerto Rican culture. A great book for fans of Merci Suarez Changes Gears to the Poet X.
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Iveliz Explains it All is the best middle grades story I've read in recent years. Arango beautifully captures the mental health struggles faces by so many teens, especially during this extremely stressful pandemic years. I fell in love with Iveliz and her unique yet universal voice. I will be recommend this to my MS librarian and local library. I am so looking forward to seeing what Arango writes next. I adore the cover and can't wait to see how the illustrations come out in the final copy.  

Also love the nod to a classic, Clarissa Explains it All.
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A wonderful middle grade novel in verse featuring Iveliz, a Puerto-Rican American young girl dealing with heavy things!! The mental health rep in this book was amazing!! Iveliz has PTSD from her father's tragic death, suffers from anxiety and has a hard time controlling her emotions. She's on medication and sees a therapist and talks openly about all of these things in her journal in a spoken word/verse style. Additionally she starts seeing the ghost of her father and has to help her mother when her grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer's moves in with them. Highly recommended for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne or Lisa Fipps's Starfish and sure to be amazing on audio with all the spanish verses but the drawings interspersed throughout the book will make you want to consume both formats. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance review copy!
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Iveliz is twelve, soon to be 13 when we meet her. She is struggling to adjust to the loss of her father and keeps getting in trouble at school. She turns to her journal to process her rage, confusion, and feelings but even then she perpetually feels misunderstood by those closest to her. When we meet Iveliz she is preparing for Mimi to arrive from Puerto Rico and dreading what her grandmother will say about the fact that she's in therapy and taking medication to manage her depression. 

As a therapist, I was deeply touched by the scenes where Iveliz is visited by her father- are they visual hallucinations or markers of a deep spiritual connection? It depends on who you ask. Dr. Turnip, Iveliz's psychiatrist, is a staple in the story and encourages Iveliz to express herself instead of holding her emotions in. This story does a phenomenal job of showing cultural barriers to seeking out and obtaining mental health support and while I wish Iveliz could have had a therapist that represented her own culture I was glad Dr. Turnip was eventually able to provide the family with the support they all needed to heal- Mami, Mimi, and Iveliz included. 

The story moves from Iveliz acting out her pain to finally accepting and processing it. She learns to let others in and use her voice to speak her truth. She fully embraces her identity as a poet and I loved that for her. I also enjoyed how the story highlights the power of friendship in adolescent development. The way Amir, Iveliz's best friend, reinforces that she is lovable and not at fault in the ways she thinks she is is a loving act that helps her remain hopeful when she thinks all hope is lost. 

The author's note at the end includes additional mental health resources and supports which was also a major plus for me. Iveliz and her story is a major game changer in the literary Latinx world and so many young people are going to find healing and connection in this story. Thank you to the author and publisher for the E-arc copy. Palante, siempre palate.
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I’ve tried writing this review so many times now but there are just not enough words to express how much I loved this book and how important it is that books like these exist. 

Iveliz Explains It All is Andrea Beatriz Arango’s debut and follows our title character, Iveliz as she navigates middle school, her mental health, and finding her voice to get the help she deserves. Written in verse, this novel allows us to be directly in Ive’s head as she writes all her thoughts down as poetry in and for her journal, and it is truly an emotional journey. 

The mental health and therapy rep in this book is done in such a mindful way. While also commenting on the stigma of mental health and medication that is present in many latine households. 

The writing is truly so honest and raw, that I found myself crying so much for Iveliz while reading and well after I was done. 

It is safe to say that this book and Iveliz will stick with me forever.

cw: depression, PTSD, grief, car accident, death of a parent, Alzheimer's, panic attacks, bullying, self-harm and suicidal thoughts

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is one that I would love to get into the hands of every child from 5th grade and up. It was so well written and touches on a lot of subjects that can sometimes be extremely difficult to talk about, especially with younger audiences. The truth though, is that these conversations need to happen so that people like Iveliz can get the help they need and feel less alone in this world. 

Iveliz had a lot of struggles relating to the death of her father, bullying, and what felt like the loss of the grandmother due to Alzheimer’s. I’m going to include just a few of my favorite lines from Iveliz’s poems below that I think are important and can be helpful to anyone who struggles with mental illness. 

“’cause she used to sometimes think my old panic attacks were about getting attention and not an anxious brain response.”

“most times I talk when I shouldn’t and am quiet when I should screech,”

“Medicine is weird in that Everybody takes it no problem for a headache, Diarrhea, or a cold, but If someone needs it for their sadness Chaos erupts.”

I loved this book of poems and wish I had a book like this when I was in school. It really reinforces the idea that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not know what to do or how to act when we experience trauma. The author did a beautiful job with this and I’ll hold it message close to my heart for a long time. 

Special thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion!
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Strong verse middle grades novel about a young girl struggling with both grief severe PTSD (violent reactions, visual hallucinations, uncontrolled memories, and flashbacks, etc) in school and home situations that have not allowed her to properly grieve or heal. Her experiences are both bettered and made more painful by the arrival of her Puerto Rican grandmother, who is experiencing increasingly serious symptoms of Alzheimer's. The story is told through poems written in (and to) a journal. Spanish phrases appear throughout, although unfortunately their meaning is not always contextually clear (thank goodness for Google Translate camera, eh?). Other topics covered include friendships, family structures, different coping mechanisms, bias against therapy, and bullying. The publisher should seriously consider including a trigger warning at the start of the text alerting readers to content about suicidal thoughts and content related to self harm.
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I loved this book so much. A beautifully written and moving story, young readers will be engaged by and appreciate the honesty and transparency that Arango uses to present her main character and her struggles. Highly recommended.
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A fantastic novel in verse showcasing an honest portrayal of teen mental health. I also think it is pertinent to acknowledge the inclusion of Spanish throughout the book, with plenty of context to help those without knowledge of Spanish read without difficulty. A definite purchase for my middle school.
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Arango didn't need to make me cry like this, but here we are. Serious conversations about mental health, therapy, and grief aren't often discussed in middle grade, so I'm happy to see this book exists.
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THIS was the book my preteen self needed. Oh how wonderful it feels to see myself and my family represented. brb as i go preorder this for my copious family members lol
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I don't usually read novels in verse, but as a Puerto Rican woman who struggles with her mental health I knew I needed this in my life and I wasn't wrong. I seriously finished this in one sitting because I couldn't bring myself to stop reading.

I loved this book so much that I just want to hug it, go back in time, give it to my teenage self and then hug her because it's what she needed. I loved the Spanglish, the mentions of our traditional food and the acknowledgement that Hurricane Maria was 100% traumatic for all of us.. Never did the story feel forced or uncomfortable or boring. It was raw and genuine. Even though I'm much older than Iveliz, I could still relate to her struggles and her pain. 

This book is simply a must read!
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