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

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  16,672 ratings  ·  1,332 reviews
Who is Ida B. Applewood? She is a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and her story will resonate long after you have put this book down. How does Ida B cope when outside forces—life, really—attempt to derail her and her family and her future? She enters her Black Period, and it is not pretty. But then, with the help of a p...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 17th 2004 by Greenwillow Books
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Allyse
THINGS I LEARNED FROM IDA B.
That..there is more than one way to tell each other things, and there's more than one way to listen too.
That...Even when you think you're in heaven, you need to stay alert and have a plan...but some things are very hard to plan for.
That...When your heart changes, you change, and you have to make new plans.
That...Sometimes our head knows something, but our hearts refuse to feel it.
That..Sometimes our unhappiness is the quiet kind, that doesn't do much and says even...more
Meg J.
In this book, I saw so many similarities between the character and myself. This quote describes how I reacted to things many times growing up.

Quote: "I couldn't do anything except curl up like a ball on the floor of the barn and lie there, crying. The kind of tears that burn your eyes, and the sort of sobs that make your chest ache so that you're sure it's going to bust open. And when the sobs finally ran out, the tears kept coming, so I lay there with my mouth wide open, but I hardly made a so...more
Sarah
Apr 09, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grade 3 and up, Adults
Ida B. is an only child in a perfect world. She spends her days making miniature rafts with questions attached like, "What is life like in Canada?" Her best friends are the apple trees, with whom she has long conversations.

Then one day the apple trees are worried, daddy seems worried, and mommy doesn't seem the same. Her parents tell her that her mother is sick and while she's trying to get better, Ida is going to have to stop being homeschooled, and instead go to school in town. Ida is furious,...more
rachel
I am getting old. All I could think as I was reading about Ida B. proceeding from one bratty, precocious, stereotypical only child action to the next was "Get this kid stricter parenting!"

The story is this: Ida B, her parents, and their many animals live on many acres of land with trees and a brook. Ida B loves to take her animals to the brook and talk to the brook and the trees, which she has given names and which talk back to her. She went to school (for like three days btw) and hated it, so...more
Kristin
Feb 15, 2008 Kristin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor about kids
Recommended to Kristin by: Katie - a great student
I wanted to read something yesterday when I was in bed with the flu, and I wanted a story. My currently-reading list is all nonfiction right now, but Ida B, with its brightly colored cover, called to me from the bookshelf. What a fun, quirky character Ida B is! I read the entire book quite quickly. Althought it's a little younger than the other YA books I read (Ida B is a fourth grader), this is a delightful story written in a creative and humorous voice. Just what I needed for an uplifting read...more
Heidi
The B could stand for "Brat." She is a likeable character--because I do hearing her voice throughout the book, no matter how at times it seemed a bit too advanced for a 4th grader--but she's still a brat. Too much of the only child home-schooled with little interaction with society so she has gotten too used to her own way, her own feelings, her own everything. In short, SELFISH. And is she ever!

And yet the story is told in such a way that you can't help be at least a little sympathetic for her...more
MissDziura
Ida B is a simple girl that loves her mom, dad, and the nature that surrounds her. Katherine Hannigan's book is most appropriate for readers in grades 5th and 6th grade. Ida B talks to the trees in her orchard and the stream that runs through the property, and all is seemingly perfect until her mom becomes sick. Ida is sent to school, some of the land has to be sold and life for her changes so much that she becomes resentful. Throughout the book she is battling with her thoughts and her feelings...more
Rebecca
Another gift from a dear friend... I read this to my children. At first, we had a hard time following Ida B's conversations with the trees, but once we had a feel for Ida B., we figured it out. I loved seeing into Ida B.'s heart, and I appreciated how it reminded me that we don't always understand what is hurting others or why they act as they do... I cried bucketfuls at a couple different spots--I think it made me hard to understand.;)
Emily
Dec 13, 2010 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: evan mencke
Shelves: childrens
This book is precious. I was afraid the narrator's voice would become grating after a while, but it doesn't; it rings true and sweet-but-not-too-sweet throughout this midwestestern girl's story. I think the book's title and synopses are a little misleading, making it sound like another girl power book. It is about girl power and fun, but it's deeper, sweeter, and - dare I say - more mystical than that.
Kimberly
Dec 14, 2010 Kimberly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants an amazing, touching, kind of sad book
Shelves: drama, adventure, humor
Ida B was so sad but cute and touching and Katherine Hannigan did an amazing job with developing everybodys' characters!

Guided reading level: S
Matthew
I read this book so long ago, I can't remember much about the when. What I do remember is how much I loved the story and the quote that was printed at the top of the front cover from Kate DiCamillo that caused me to read the book in the first place. It read, "I feel a deep gratitude that Ida B exists." At least, that's how I remember the quote having gone. In any case, it's a good quote and a true one. I feel the same way. Ida B is one of the few unparalleled joys that children's literature has...more
Aleisha
I want to know Ida B. I want to run through the orchards with her and I want her to teach me how to listen to the wind. In her world, the wind will whisper wisdom and truth in your ear. You just have to know how to listen for it. It's magical.

I learned many lovely and wise things from Ida B, from reading her story. A few favorites:

1. We are the earth's caretakers. We take care of all the things on it, and when we are done we should leave it better than we found it. AND the earth takes care of u...more
Kris
Katherine Hannigan’s Ida B. is such a beautiful story. Ida B. (not just Ida, that’s her mom) lives with her mom and dad. She loves the nature that surrounds her home, making friends with the apple trees and stream. She has a beautiful dialog with the trees. During one of her night time walks with her father he talks about how they must be caretakers of the earth. Ida B. says, “the earth takes care of us too.” This is very much a theme in this book. Ida is home schooled and lives a beautiful life...more
Amy Musser
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 o...more
Apzmarshl
This is the kind of book that would have depressed the heck out of me for weeks when I was little.

Ida B. is a very charactery character. She is precocious. A trait I have never enjoyed in others. As an only child she has had a lot of indulging. Her imagination is lovely. She loves a good plan, which I can totally get with! She has the run of a large piece of land with trees, and water, and mountains.

Ida B.'s mom becomes ill with breast cancer and Ida B.'s bubble of perfectness pops. She must g...more
Annabelle705
I remember once i was about to brake something that my mom gave to me, because i was angry at her, but before i could do so i realized how doing that would affect me. My hand clasped the jar she had painted, and images flashed through my mind of how, when i broke that, more than those pieces of clay would lay broken and scattered on the ground. All throughout life i think we face those kinds of challenges, a hurdle that asks you to chose between yourself and someone else, no matter what decision...more
Sheila
Katherine Hannigan tells this beautiful tale from the viewpoint of child in an almost magical way. The reader gets to see the thinking process of a child whose blissful world is blown to bits when her mother is stricken with cancer. Ida B. has been home-schooled up until this point so when she is made to go to school she views it as punishment from her parents. Ms. Washington (her teacher) is the most patient person on the planet! (Don't you love it when teachers get a good representative!!!) Sh...more
Jackie
"(I)thought about the magic that happens when you tell a story right, and everybody who hears it not only loves the story, but they love you a little bit, too, for telling it so well. Like I loved Ms. Washington, in spite of myself, the first time I heard her. When you hear somebody read a story well, you can't help but think there's some good inside them, even if you don't know them."
This is my favorite quote from the book, but there are a lot of little gems packed in this touching coming of ag...more
Jessica
I would highly recommend this book because of the wonderfully childish voice the narration has. The author has managed to capture the creative, inventive language and thinking process that children use, and Ida B is very realistic and believable because of it. Even when she is being angry and vindictive, that creative narration keeps the reader going. This book also does a good job of showing cause and effect. It teaches children that when something bad happens, making yourself miserable does no...more
Rachael
Feb 03, 2009 Rachael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachael by: donna
Definitely 4.5 stars if possible. I'm just holding out for truly perfect 5 star books.

This is so much more than your average children's book. Her voice is clevery and witty, a little Ramona or Junie B. At first it didn't feel authentic to me, but by the end of the book it really suited the story. I loved how real her problems were, I loved how she talked about her heart shriveling into a tiny black lump that wouldn't let any happiness inside. Despite her best efforts to resist the unwelcome cha...more
Melissa
I read this book because a young reader friend of mine was enjoying it and I thought it would be fun to read a book at the same time she was. It was a cute book - geared toward a younger audience, but with a good message for all of us. It is important for us to take care of our earth and in turn it will take care of us. Ida B is a young girl trying to make her way in the world while her mother is fighting cancer and her father is trying to keep his farm and apple orchards financially strong. A s...more
Tricia
Fantastically refreshing, though I'm not entirely sure of the audience. Ida B. is a much younger character (fourth/fifth grade-ish) than I would expect for the age level this book is written for. I'd recommend for YA readers with a weekness for childhood nastalgia - not middle graders.

Otherwise the euthor does an incredible job of creating a character out of the setting of the book, providing rich, subtle relationships, and maintaining a enthralling, upbeat voice throughout a difficult journey...more
NS-Lisa Skrzypczynski
Ida B., by Katherine Hannigan, is the story of a girl in fourth grade named Ida B who loves living in Wisconsin. Ida B is home-schooled by her mother and loves nothing more than being outdoors and playing in her family’s apple orchard. However, Ida B’s world is turned upside down when her mother finds out that she has breast cancer. Not only does Ida now have to worry about the fate of her mother, but she must deal with the fact that her parents need to sell part of their apple orchard, where he...more
Rosalyn
This was another great middle grade book (why did I not know there were so many amazing middle grade writers out there?). I didn't like it quite as much as True (Sort of), but it was a lovely story about Ida B., who lives an idyllic life on a farm with her parents until her mom gets sick, Ida B. has to go to public school (instead of being homeschooled) and she generally thinks her world is falling apart. But Ida B. has a plan to save everything . . . maybe. The writing was sharp and the charact...more
Lili
This was really lovely. The voice of the protagonist, 10ish year-old Ida B., is just delightful and a mixture of precocious and sweet all at the same time. Homeschooling is shown in a v. positive light, which is nice, but of course the book involves her return to public school and eventual acceptance and even enjoyment thereof.

The title kind of annoys me. I wish it were just called Ida B. without the subtitle. It really doesn't reflect what the book is about (child dealing with emotional turmoi...more
Janette
I don't usually like character-driven novels all that much. Give me plot and I'm happy. I usually don't like character driven novels because most of the times I don't care all that much about the character and so reading them is like being at party but trapped on the couch by the person who is telling you all about their last spat with their in-laws. You know something fun should be going on, but you're not seeing it.

That wasn't the case with this book. Ida B is so charming and the writing is s...more
Susan Wight
Ida B went to school briefly but hated it and her parents decided to home school instead. Ida B thrives learning at home and has a special affinity with the trees and the creek. Her way of life is thrown into turmoil when her mother gets cancer and Ida B has to return to ‘that Dungeon of Deadly Dullness’: school. Ida B is determined not to enjoy school and radiates ‘foul meanness of the most terrible kind’ but a caring teacher helps her fit in and she begins to enjoy it in spite of herself. The...more
Priyanka
Posted this review on my blog http://www.PriyankaReads.com - check out this and many more young adult book reviews and recommendations there.

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Rating : 4.4 out of 5 stars

Age Recommended: 8 and up

Ida B. is a great book about the ups and downs of homeschooling. Katherine Hannigan shows how school can be great for some, while not so great for others. This book was really inspirational in terms of what a person could do when they put their mind to something.

Ida B. was a character whose ingenious id...more
Megan Anderson
I. Love. This. Book. Why didn't it win an award? It's brilliant, and it has all the right pieces: a loveable main character, gorgeous prose, and a plot so realistically drawn that it's easy to fall into. It struck a chord with me, and I found myself laughing even as tears poured down my face. Such a beautiful, beautiful novel--first novel, especially.

This book is made of win, and everyone (especially teachers!) need to read it. Now.

5/5 on here, 10/10 for myself
Joe Padon
Hannigan, K. (2004). Ida B…and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World. New York: Harper Collins.

Ida B is fourth grader with the perfect world. She is homeschooled and enjoys life to the fullest. Then her world takes a new turn. Her Mom becomes ill with cancer and she must go back to dreadful school.

Book Links 09/01/04
Library Media Connection 02/01/05
Booklist starred 08/01/04
Parents' Choice Gold Award 2004
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 11/01/04
Publi...more
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Katherine Hannigan's first novel, Ida B . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World was a New York Times bestseller, a Book Sense bestseller, and a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, and it appeared on more than twenty-five state award lists. She (and several wild rabbits) live at the edge of a meadow in northeastern Iowa.
More about Katherine Hannigan...
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“...if a child waited to speak until all the grown-ups settled down and gave her some room to say her piece, the most important things would never get said.” 39 likes
“Apologizing is like spring cleaning.” 31 likes
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