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IDA B by Katherine Hannigan Kirkus Star


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

by Katherine Hannigan

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-073024-2
Publisher: Greenwillow

When Ida B’s mother undergoes cancer treatment, the idyllically secure world that has informed her character crumbles. With her mother seemingly cut off from her by illness, with the family finances in ruin from medical costs, Ida B’s beleaguered parents terminate her home schooling and sell off some of their orchard land for development. Ida B, believing she can no longer trust anyone, hardens her heart to even the kindest overtures and declares war: against her family, against her new teacher and classmates, and most determinedly against herself. Readers are intimate witnesses to her inner struggle. Hannigan has a rich way with metaphor, whether it is describing the natural world of trees, which are literally alive to Ida B, or the ever-deepening anger to which she clings. If the ending is a predictable reconciliation, this preternaturally sensitive and precocious child reaches it, not through the intervention of supportive adults, but through the puzzling out of her own difficulties—even after many false starts. A poignant, affirming, and often funny debut from a promising new author. (Fiction. 9-12)