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

Katherine Hannigan
Ida B. Applewood believes there is never enough time for fun.That's why she's so happy to be homeschooled and to spend every free second outside with the trees and the brook. Then some not-so-great things happen in her world. Ida B has to go back to that Place of Slow but Sure Body-Cramping, Mind-Numbing, Fun-Killing Torture—school. She feels her heart getting smaller and smaller and hardening into a sharp, black stone. How can things go from righter than right to a million miles beyond wrong? Can Ida B put together a plan to get things back to just-about perfect again?


Reviewed: 2016-09-20

           Ida B, is not the type of book teachers would typically use inside the classroom to teach a lesson or unit, but rather a book that one would suggest to a reader who loves adventures. However, the book has many teaching opportunities inside that many people may miss. The book is primarily for 3rd-6th grade, depending on if it is used as a read aloud book or an independent book.

            Ida B, is the story of an adventurous, nature loving, smart girl who lives on a farm with her mamma, dad, her dog rufus and her cat. She is home schooled and loves to fill her day with adventures in the orchard talking to all the trees and the brook that runs through the property. They are her friends, her best friends, and she could not love her life more. Until the day her mom is diagnosed with cancer, and her life changes forever. Being forced to go back to a regular public school, she must learn how to handle her change of heart, her anger and learn some important life lessons about friendship and what it means to grow up.

            This book can be used in many different ways. The flow of the writing makes it easily readable and the pages are filled with similes. One example is, “I am like a snake in the spring”, (page. 59.) The teacher could have the students turn and talk as the book is read, to discuss the similes, how they are used and what they mean. Ida B’s character development throughout the book is extremely prominent and one that many kids can relate to in many ways, regardless of their upbringing or there home life.

            Before even starting to read the book, the teacher can have the students look at the cover and predict what they think the book may be about. After reading the book, have the students go back to that main cover and have them reflect on how the image is important to the story.

            The book is about a lot more than just growth and development and has a lot more meat to it than similes. It is about the preservation of the earth, the acceptance of others and the importance of a role model.


            This book is highly recommended for all ages not just elementary school. Older people can read it as well. 

Item Posts
No posts