Friday, January 11, 2013

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

Image from
Scholastic, Inc. 2005. 
Only child Ida B Applewood has figured out a routine that allows her to maximize the good, fun things in life. But her happy life as a homeschooler is disrupted when her mother gets sick. Not only does Ida B have to go to public school, she is devastated because some of the family’s land, along with many of her beloved apple trees, is going to be sold to pay for the hospital bills. Ida B knows she has to come up with her best plan yet, one that will change everything back to righter than right once again. 

This witty and poignant book is set on a farm in present day rural Wisconsin. Imaginative, creative, and intelligent Ida B is an independent only child and a spunky narrator. Hannigan doesn’t shy away from dealing with the anger and frustration Ida B feels as she comes to terms with her mother’s illness and the changes in her formally orderly world. The characters are three dimensional and Hannigan realistically presents their virtues and faults. Homeschooling and public schooling are presented and discussed, with the positive sides of each rising to the top.

Step into Ida B’s world by reading an excerpt of the book.

Read other books with homeschooled protagonists. Compare and contrast the different methods of schooling. What subjects do the characters study? When do they study? How is it the same or different than your school?
Skellig & My Name is Mina by David Almond
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

*Ida B’s father tells her it’s important to take care of the earth because it takes care of us. Tie this book in with a discussion about environmental issues. What are some of the ways Ida B takes care of the earth? What are some of the ways you take care of the earth? Check out Hannigan’s suggestions for (possibly) saving the world.

*Check out the reading group guide published by Greenwillow Books for great discussion questions. 

*More books by Katherine Hannigan:
            Emmaline and the Bunny
            True (…sort of)

Age 8+ / Grade 3+


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