Published on August 16th, 2019 | by Chris O'Connor
No Ivy League Review
Summary: Take a fly on the... tree, look at life from home school to the wider world and all that entails.
Often biographical works can be the most touching, especially when the author is willing to lay themselves bare. Hazel does just that… there is no glossing over things, no spin on the events, just putting to paper what happened and letting the lessons speak for themselves.
Life is the great educator and while we all learn from our own experiences, it can often be helpful to learn from other people’s experiences too. No Ivy League lets us learn through Hazel’s life experience, going from a somewhat insular homeschool environment to mixing with people of all sorts of backgrounds with a variety of different views. In presenting the story in an autobiographical fashion, Hazel is able to show the impact of different forms of privilege without being preachy about it. The simple change of seeing only a small portion of the world and it’s peoples to being presented with people of many ethnicities, socioeconomic standings and life experiences. The writing doesn’t rub your nose in it or force you to consider anything… it simply lays out the events and lets the reader take away from it what they will.
Hazel has a lovely touch with water colour. Images that started as very nice line work become much deeper and more engaging with the various shades infused into the pages. From my absolutely minimal experience with watercolours I can certainly appreciate the skill involved in making images that aren’t a mess but rather bring life to images with depth and warmth.
I quite enjoyed No Ivy League and can see how it would be a bit of an eye opener both for people who have limited knowledge of what homeschooling is all about and also for people who have come from a homeschooling background and are perhaps branching out into the wider world. Hazel has done a great job sharing their experience and letting us learn from what they have been through. Certainly a good choice for the target audience to help get conversations started and to spark the mind into considering other people and what they have been through or are going through.
Publisher: Lion Forge
Writer: Hazel Newlevant
Artist: Hazel Newlevant
Genre: Autobiographical, Young Adult, Non-Fiction
Format: 217pgs, B&W
Release Date: 21st August, 2019