No Ivy League

No Ivy League

When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compell...

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Title:No Ivy League
Author:Hazel Newlevant
Rating:
Edition Language:English

No Ivy League Reviews

  • Maia

    Hazel grew up white, middle-class, vegan, and home-schooled in Portland, OR. Lacking a social circle outside other home-schooled teens, Hazel had no idea how sheltered she was until she started a summer job pulling invasive English ivy out of parks in youth nature summer program. For the first time, Hazel worked along side teens from different schools, races, backgrounds and with different goals. It's a rude awakening, but ultimately an enlightening one. Newlevant (the author now uses they/them

    Hazel grew up white, middle-class, vegan, and home-schooled in Portland, OR. Lacking a social circle outside other home-schooled teens, Hazel had no idea how sheltered she was until she started a summer job pulling invasive English ivy out of parks in youth nature summer program. For the first time, Hazel worked along side teens from different schools, races, backgrounds and with different goals. It's a rude awakening, but ultimately an enlightening one. Newlevant (the author now uses they/them pronouns) hasn't cut themself any slack, and their honesty leads to a story which is at turns humorous and uncomfortable, but always compelling. I picked up an advanced reader copy at BookExpo 2019, which is printed in black and white. The final volume will be printed with ivy-green washes, highlighting the nuanced watercolors. This is an important, timely, and engaging story and I can't wait for its official release! Full disclosure, the author and I share a publisher and we are friends :)

  • Bryan

    This is definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year and probably will always be one of my favorites. My teenage self had much in common with teenage Hazel so that relation made my reading of the story very enjoyable. Also, my first interactions with other teens from different high schools at my first summer job as a rec counselor totally felt similar to Hazel's peer interactions.

    My biggest takeaway from this book or why I LOVED it so much was the kindness and overall char

    This is definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year and probably will always be one of my favorites. My teenage self had much in common with teenage Hazel so that relation made my reading of the story very enjoyable. Also, my first interactions with other teens from different high schools at my first summer job as a rec counselor totally felt similar to Hazel's peer interactions.

    My biggest takeaway from this book or why I LOVED it so much was the kindness and overall character of Hazel. Like I mentioned before, my teenage self was very similar to teenage Hazel. A #METOO sort of moment happens in this story and I really admired how Hazel handled the situation. There were many times in my youth I was bullied, teased, or threatened because I was different and my parents/authority figures NEVER supported me like Hazel's did. As a teacher now, I'm happy to own a book like this to reference this scenario and share with my students.

    Currently I'm a 4th grade teacher so unfortunately there is language used that would deem it inappropriate to have in a classroom library. However, I did bring the book in today to "gush" about it to my students and explained how I hope they seek it out themselves once they start middle school. Personally, I think this book is SO perfect for that middle school age group.

    Thank you Hazel for creating this and I totally look forward to whatever project you'll be releasing next!

  • Drewthereader20

    This was such a fast and fun and even cute read at the time! It's not my favorite graphic novel but it's still good!(:

  • Emma

    I think this book only touches the surface of a major problem which is white privilege. Hazel doesn’t realize how sheltered her life has been until she has the chance to work alongside a group of very diverse people. This story deals with her coming to realize some truths not only about the outside world and what she has never encountered because of her homeschooling but also about her fa

    I think this book only touches the surface of a major problem which is white privilege. Hazel doesn’t realize how sheltered her life has been until she has the chance to work alongside a group of very diverse people. This story deals with her coming to realize some truths not only about the outside world and what she has never encountered because of her homeschooling but also about her family life and her parents. I would have liked the graphic novel to delve more into these themes, instead of lightly touching upon them.

  • Rod Brown

    A large part of this graphic memoir is about homeschooling, and I must be up front and admit that I have a knee-jerk negative reaction whenever I'm confronted with that subject. I hear homeschooling, and my first thought is of parents who are religious fundamentalists like in the recent book

    or weirdos like in

    This book adds a couple new wrinkles that do not help improve my opinion.

    Frankly, the first half of the book is pretty dull as Newlevant slowly establishes her homogeno

    A large part of this graphic memoir is about homeschooling, and I must be up front and admit that I have a knee-jerk negative reaction whenever I'm confronted with that subject. I hear homeschooling, and my first thought is of parents who are religious fundamentalists like in the recent book

    or weirdos like in

    This book adds a couple new wrinkles that do not help improve my opinion.

    Frankly, the first half of the book is pretty dull as Newlevant slowly establishes her homogenous homeschool friends and the many diverse coworkers at her summer job weeding invasive ivy out of a large Portland, Oregon, municipal park. There's pretty standard coming-of-age stuff like crushes and social anxiety, but in the second half there is some sexual harassment that topples dominoes leading to Newlevant having to confront her white privilege and one of the reasons behind her parents' decision to homeschool. This turn elevated the book from ho-hum to worthwhile for me.

  • ~ Althea | themoonwholistens ~  ☾

    eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

    coming-of-age- themes

    Cursing, Under-Age Relationships

    3.5/5

    This was.. interesting… (in a good way)

    This is a story I probably would not have picked up nor would I have enjoyed if it wasn’t a graphic novel.

    />/>*Thank/>*All/>/>READ

    eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

    coming-of-age- themes

    Cursing, Under-Age Relationships

    3.5/5

    This was.. interesting… (in a good way)

    This is a story I probably would not have picked up nor would I have enjoyed if it wasn’t a graphic novel.

    The book tackled problems that Hazel, as girl who grew up homeschooled and sheltered, encounters when she meets other kids who grew up practically the opposite of her environment. I like how you can clearly see the difference in her headspace and how her actions/reactions differ from the those that in the “No Ivy League” with her.

    ((you also learn a bit about Ivy plants :D))

    There is a lot of mature themes in this novel so consider yourself warned because I was not. I was a bit shaken at the beginning but it proved to be important in the plot. It also makes for a good coming-of-age novel. There are important lessons that I think a lot of people can benefit from.

    Though, there some topics that I felt like were never closed properly and just simply ended.

    I really enjoyed seeing Hazel develop as a character and I have to admit that I was rooting for her every step of the way. I loved seeing her grow and I feel like she is someone that a lot of people can relate to at one point in their lives.

    Even though I’m still not the biggest fan of how awful most of the No Ivy League people were to her (this was one of the things that I felt wasn't closed properly).

    This was also not a long read so it's easy to get through.

    ★★★☆☆

    ★★★★☆

    ★★★★☆

    ★★★★★

    ★★★★☆

  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    Insulated in her homeschool group, Hazel has no idea how privileged she is as the daughter of vegan, middle-class hippies in Portland, Oregon. Many of her preconceptions and ignorance are challenged, however, when she accepts a job at No Ivy League, a youth program designed to get city kids working in nature pulling ivy.

    I enjoyed this, but felt like it would have been better if it was a little longer and explore the major theme of white privilege a bit more instead of dancing across

    Insulated in her homeschool group, Hazel has no idea how privileged she is as the daughter of vegan, middle-class hippies in Portland, Oregon. Many of her preconceptions and ignorance are challenged, however, when she accepts a job at No Ivy League, a youth program designed to get city kids working in nature pulling ivy.

    I enjoyed this, but felt like it would have been better if it was a little longer and explore the major theme of white privilege a bit more instead of dancing across the surface.

    I did like that Hazel explored her discomfort and realized that her actions (like reporting the sexual comments of a Black coworker) would have different ramifications for him and would be treated differently than the incident of boys sexually shaming another girl for her choice in reading (that the team leaders saw). While his words were completely uncalled for and the incident was alarming, Hazel realized first hand the differences in repercussions and how unfair a system can be.

    Another thing that I liked was that Hazel bumped against her parents' own racial prejudices. I grew up in Oregon and it took me a very long time to realize that many, many free-loving hippies have racism and prejudice embedded deep into their core.

    Plus, not-fun fact: Oregon was founded as a whites only state, with some very harsh anti-black laws and a strong KKK presence. So when integration began in cities that were segregated (there were many sundown laws preventing black people from moving into many places in Oregon—it was

    dangerous to be a person of color, and in some places it still is), there was a lot of push back, in ways that rippled down through the adults of Hazel's parent's generation, as she realized when she learned

    her parents homeschooled her and why there were so few people of color among her homeschooled peers.

    Speaking of homeschooling, I did enjoy the turmoil Hazel felt when

    , particularly when she had learned many of the methodology behind children being homeschooled and had been confronted with the inequalities her coworkers at No Ivy League faced.

    However, there were some parts of this book that felt very...stereotyped, such as Aisha wanting to bring grape soda to celebrate her culture (I also get Hazel wanting to find something about her culture because she had no culture—girl, I feel you there).

    And I wasn't a big fan of the weirdness of Hazel flirting with Toño (her doing the math of 32-17=15 with an "oh, same age gap as my parents!" and flirting through music was...ehhhhhhhhh). I get it. I was a sheltered upper middle class white kid like Hazel (although I

    go to public school), and I can see the appeal of flirting with and having an attraction for an older dude. Toño's discomfort with Hazel is all over the page, showing that current day Hazel sees the cringeworthiness and inappropriateness of her flirting, but he still offers to take her home on rides and lets her borrow his ipod. I dunno. It just felt weird.

    Anywho, much of this story hit home with me (for reasons discussed in the above paragraph), particularly when you're a pretty sheltered kid with lots of privilege that you aren't really aware of. Having your privilege smacked in your face and feeling out of place can be hard. But you gotta learn to deal with it, and confront your privilege and learn. And yeah, those kids were mean to her, but they were also trying to tell her about her privilege—even what she ate showed how privileged she was that she had the options to get better food.

    Anywho, it was a decent coming-of-age graphic novel, I just wish that it had gone a little more in depth (and had kinda less of Hazel playing with Shane and Anson and less kissing? that seemed a little much? I dunno).

    I received this ARC from Edelweiss for an honest review.

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I feel like this graphic novel bit off more than it could chew, tbh. It tried so hard to do so many things and I feel like every aspect was lacking because of it. I am SO BUMMED that I didn't love this.

  • Queen Cronut

    When I first looked at this book, I'd assumed it was about Ivy League schools but as it turned out, was the memoir of Hazel Newlevant, told through a graphic novel depicting the summer she joined No Ivy League, a program for at-risk teens to clear invasive species in state parks.

    Hazel Newlevant, a vegan, home-schooled, and extremely sheltered girl finds a summer job working alongside other teens from different backgrounds leading to realize just how naive and ignorant she's been. A c

    When I first looked at this book, I'd assumed it was about Ivy League schools but as it turned out, was the memoir of Hazel Newlevant, told through a graphic novel depicting the summer she joined No Ivy League, a program for at-risk teens to clear invasive species in state parks.

    Hazel Newlevant, a vegan, home-schooled, and extremely sheltered girl finds a summer job working alongside other teens from different backgrounds leading to realize just how naive and ignorant she's been. A coming of the age story as Hazel forms new perceptions on the world around her regarding privilege and inequality in society.

    While No Ivy League does an excellent job depicting Hazel's emotions and reactions, I wish there was some more depth in exploring some of the overarching themes though I did like the portrayal of trying to find a sense of belonging.

    Highly recommended for older fans of Smile and Rollergirl

    *Thank you to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing a free ARC

  • Tatiana

    Earnest, but needs so much more reflection, because ultimately this homeschooler-meets-the-real-world narrative touches upon many issues (white privilege, racism, dating a younger and a much older man, etc.) but understands absolutely none of them.

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