Iveliz Explains It All is a modern story about coming to terms with depression, grief, growing up, reaching out for help and all that is in between. It is relatable even to adults who have gone through the issues or are even currently going through the issues Iveliz must deal with. While best for ages 10 and up, even someone who is going through issues or for friends of those dealing with these issues will enjoy. Afterall, it is just a good, story. This book is a great way to teach us that we cannot know what we do not know. And sometimes speaking up is the only way we can learn those things.
Andrea Beatriz Arango’s character writes her feelings in the journal her mother gives her. This is done in prose poetry format. A fun point is that Iveliz mentions a few contemporary slam poets/spoken word poets the reader might know. However, some might not be for the 10 and up audience.
Iveliz, at first, is just going through day-to-day issues with being different at school and issues with her schoolwork. But then there are hints that things are not what they seem. And we follow Iveliz as she deals with bullies, racism, her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, her mother’s lack of affection, and dealing with the stigma of being “that girl” at school (adults will figure out the issues fairly quickly, but eventually the other shoe drops and we are told what has happened) and the girl at home who takes medication to deal with her PTSD and depression, but whose grandmother openly dismisses medication and therapy as a form of mental health care.
My only complaint is I wish there was a way for the Spanish to be translated as it was not always 100% clear with the meaning by context alone. Plus, I am curious to see what the final artwork of Alyssa Bermudez looks like (as I had a reader copy). There are sketches in the journal that gives you a peek into her world.