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

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Not receiving our email newsletter? Learn What are Novel Studies Collections? What is Common Core? I can kind of see that if I squint, but for me the message about loving nature was a much softer undercurrent, not the main point of the book at all. For me, this is a book about Big Feelings, and about a child going through those feelings for the fir After finishing this book and failing to find words for how much I loved it, I checked out some other people's reviews here and on Amazon for inspiration.

For me, this is a book about Big Feelings, and about a child going through those feelings for the first time and not knowing how to cope with them. It's about feeling so angry and disappointed and betrayed that you don't even remember how to be a friend anymore, and about going through months of life with that hurt being the only thing animating you.

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And then it's about how to come back alive from that place, how to apologize and forgive, and how to let joy and love back into your life even when the paradise you once had is lost forever. This is very heavy and very deep subject matter for kids, but it's important even at a young age. The way it's presented in the book is very relatable, and often quite a lot of fun. As I was reading and saw the plot start to unfold, I was worried that this was going to be an "I used to be homeschooled but now I'm in public school and it turns out to be even better" story.


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I was pleased to find that that didn't turn out to be the message at all. Ida B learns to get along in public school, and even to like it a bit, but it's clear that she's remaining there because of her family situation, not because it's a better option than homeschooling. And I think that's a very important message as well -- that an ideal situation may not be possible, or that the best available solution may be different as time goes on and circumstances change.

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

I read this for myself, but I'm going to read it aloud to my six-year-old too. He's definitely too young to read it on his own, and he might be too young to fully grasp the insights in the novel, but I think these are messages he could benefit from hearing, and I want to give it a try. Apr 03, Sarah rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Grade 3 and up, Adults. She spends her days making miniature rafts with questions attached like, "What is life like in Canada? 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, Ida B. Ida is furious, hurt, and betrayed. It takes the loving, and patient help of a 4th grade teacher, her parents, and ultimately Ida herself to break down the stony exterior she builds up, and find a way to heal.

There is an element of environmentalism and protecting the earth's natural resources in the book, too, which works well with older elementary students. The voice of Ida B. The book absolutely screams to be read aloud. Ida will make you laugh, shake your head in amazement, and probably shed a tear or two for an amazing little girl who tries to find a way to be herself when her world is turned upside down. From the first page: " 'Ida B,' Mama said to me on one of those days that start right and just keep heading toward perfect until you go to sleep, 'when you're done with the dishes, you can go play.

Daddy and I are going to be working till dinner. I could already hear the brook calling to me through the back door screen, 'C'mon out and play, Ida B.

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Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up. 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 In this book, I saw so many similarities between the character and myself. 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 sound. Just air going into me, and a heavy wind full of sorrow coming out.

But as I cried, my heart was being transformed. It was getting smaller and smaller in my chest and hardening up like a rock. The smaller and harder my heart got, the less I cried, until finally I stopped completely. By the time I was finished, my heart was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. It was so hard nobody could break it and so sharp it would hurt anybody who touched it.

May 15, rachel rated it did not like it Shelves: kid-lit , own , I am getting old. All I could think as I was reading about Ida B. 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 I am getting old. She went to school for like three days btw and hated it, so her parents chose to homeschool her.

Then her mom gets cancer, her dad has a hard time managing time and money, and he has to both stop homeschooling her and sell the land that Ida B's tree friends are on. He sells the land to a family that ends up cutting them down. Ida B freaks out and is mad at everyone about the trees and about the fact that she has to go to public school. I know that it is totally normal for 9 and 10 year olds to only be thinking of their own needs.

And maybe my ability to read stories like these is tarnished by being closer to the parent's age than the kid's age now which still seems like an odd thing to say in one's mid's. But that doesn't make Ida B.

I was hedging towards finding it OK around the time when she starts to see that her cruel actions were an offshoot of the anger she had from her mom being sick. Then I lost all that goodwill at the part where she apologizes to trees for her behavior, but not really her parents I swear I did not make that up and then she and her dad are talking about how "nature takes care of us" and I'm like, "Wait, wasn't she a super brat to her cancer-stricken mother?

Was that not actually the point of this book??? View 2 comments. Oct 28, Megan Anderson rated it it was amazing Shelves: ratedstars , , realistic-fiction , formystudents , mental-health , illness-handicap. 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! It's not easy to be an Ida B in our world. From an early point in this book, it's plain to see that Ida B's quirkiness extends beyond that of most other kids, into a range of idiosyncrasy that will always make it difficult for her to accept when her well-laid plans don't go the way she envisions. Most people shrug off unwanted changes and deviations to their plans with relative ease, knowing that our world is too crazy and unpredictable for us to ever realistically expect everything to go our wa It's not easy to be an Ida B in our world.

Most people shrug off unwanted changes and deviations to their plans with relative ease, knowing that our world is too crazy and unpredictable for us to ever realistically expect everything to go our way, but not Ida B. I know the burden of how it feels to always care too much, to dream so big that a letdown is crushing beyond one's ability to cope, because I'm an "Ida B", too.

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And the positives of being an Ida B are indescribably wonderful, emotions so vivid and sweeping that they can carry a person off in their wake on a thrill ride the likes of which few will ever experience. But in our world, where the ability to scramble when plans change and to adapt to the bitterness of unmet expectations are the ultimate survival mechanisms, being an Ida B can be a wobbly tower that is destined for a hard crash to the ground, often sooner than later.

And how does one, being an Ida B, recover from that? If I were to select a handful of the freshest voices in literature from the timeframe, Ida B's would certainly make the list. Sort of a cross between Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones and Caitlin from Kathryn Erskine's Mockingbird , Ida B's manner of speaking is as memorable as it is indelible, and it's her unique personal style, more than anything else, that will make this book unforgettable to readers.

Just take her beginning school experiences in kindergarten, for example: Ida B needed more freedom than the conventional education system allowed, and being made to sit through regular school everyday was a drain on her bright and beautiful spirit that simply could not go unchecked.

This is why, from the first pages of Ida B , she is home-schooled by her parents, who understood as far back as when she was in kindergarten that their daughter's needs were different from those of other kids, and took the necessary measures to provide her with what she needed. However, it was only a matter of time before Ida B's fragile peace with her immediate world would be broken, and that is the story we find in this book.