Ida B

Ida B . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan

If Ida B is any indicator, Katherine Hannigan is a writer to keep track of. You will want to read anything she writes once you have finished this one.

I confess that if a book can make me cry, I consider it a great book. In this regard, Ida B is a great read.

Ida B Applewood is a character you soon learn to love. She believes there is never enough time for fun. She has spunk, determination, and imagination. She’s smart in some ways and not so smart in others. I was completely caught up in her thoughts and emotions.

After a disastrous few weeks in kindergarten, Ida B has been home schooled. Her life on the land with her father and mother is idyllic. She talks to the trees and creek and they seem to talk back to her.

One day they tell her that a storm is brewing and there will be trouble ahead. Unfortunately the weekend storm is only the beginning of her problems. Her mother is diagnosed with cancer and they have to sell off part of their land to pay for the medical bills and Ida B has to start going to public school.

Upon hearing this, Ida B’s heart was transformed. It became a “sharp, black stone that was small enough to fit into the palm of (her) hand. It was so hard nobody could break it and so sharp it would hurt anybody who touched it.” In her anger and pain she is determined to hate everything but most especially school and her parents. In the end, she ends up doing something that she regrets.

Her teacher, Mrs. Washington, is the kind of teacher we all wish we could be. She perseveres until Ida B eventually talks to her and along with the love of her parents, begins to heal.

I would give this book to anyone who is a fan of Kate Dicamillo, Phoebe Stone, or Deborah Wiles.

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