Portrait of Ivan

Overview

"The painter, who was sitting on a stool, stared at Ivan so steadily that Ivan felt a faint touch of fear, as though he were being asked a question he could never answer." Thus begins the compelling story of an unusual relationship between a sensitive young boy and an artist whose appearance in his life proves to be life-changing.

Ivan's father is a businessman who pays little attention to him, his mother is dead, and he spends most of his time at his home in New York, attended only by the Haitian housekeeper. ...

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Overview

"The painter, who was sitting on a stool, stared at Ivan so steadily that Ivan felt a faint touch of fear, as though he were being asked a question he could never answer." Thus begins the compelling story of an unusual relationship between a sensitive young boy and an artist whose appearance in his life proves to be life-changing.

Ivan's father is a businessman who pays little attention to him, his mother is dead, and he spends most of his time at his home in New York, attended only by the Haitian housekeeper. His father commissions an artist, Matt Mustazza, to paint a portrait of Ivan, but he also gives his son another gift: permission to accompany Matt on a trip to paint an old mansion in Florida. The idea of driving all the way from New York to Florida excites him in a way he's never felt before. Ivan, Matt, and his eccentric friend Miss Manderby and her cat Alyosha pile into a "crazy old car" and head south, where Ivan meets a free-spirited girl, Geneva, and begins the painful but rewarding process of finding himself.

An eleven-year-old boy gains a new understanding of himself and his father after a trip to Florida with unusual people.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A lonely boy's acquaintance with an artist helps him to define and improve his own self-image in this finely crafted story. Ages 11-13. (October)
Publishers Weekly
A lonely boy's acquaintance with an artist helps him to define and improve his own self-image in what PW called a "finely crafted story." Ages 9-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886910607
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 125
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Fox

Paula Fox was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her body of work. Two of her best-known books are The Slave Dancer (a Newbery Medal winner) and One-Eyed Cat (a Newbery Honor Book). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

Paula Fox is the author of one previous memoir, Borrowed Finery, and six novels, including Desperate Characters, The Widow's Children, and Poor George. She is also a Newbery Award–winning children's book author. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author biography courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.

Good To Know

In our interview, Fox shared some fun facts about herself:

"My first job was working in a dress shop in Los Angeles in 1940, for $7 a week."

"I like to cook; it is, for me, a happy combination of mindlessness and purpose."

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    1. Hometown:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1923
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended Columbia University

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