End of Summer Reading

Are you ready for school to begin? In just a couple days, students will be back through our brand-new doors, and the school year will be underway. But I'm not there yet. Yes, I'm planning and unpacking and cleaning and making sure that everything is ready for this first week of school BUT I'm also taking a little time to enjoy these last bits of summer this weekend. And that means, of course, that I'm catching up on some much-needed summer reading.

I had a miles-long list of books I wanted to read this summer, and I knew I would never get through all of them, but one that I really wanted to read was Ida B. The fabulous Ms. Carr recommended this book to me one day last year, and she didn't have to say much besides "you'll love it" for me to want to read it. So, finally, many months later, I found it in our work-in-progress library and read it last night.

Ida B... And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly Save the World) by Katherine Hannigan
published 2004 by Greenwillow Books

Ida B is a lively, precocious girl. She lives on an orchard farm in Wisconsin with her mother, father, cat, and dog, and she has big plans to enjoy her life to the fullest. Every day is an adventure - she makes friends with the trees and talks to the brook (which really does babble) and has a positive attitude that made me grin. But during one of her conversations with the trees, Ida B learns that she is about to fall on hard times. She refuses to believe it, but the trees don't lie. Her entire life is about to change, and Ida B needs to decide how to deal with it. Will she make the best of a difficult situation or will she harden her heart to the people who love her?

I love (love love) Ida B! She is a pure, true, honest soul. She's not perfect, by any means, and she makes some poor decisions, but she learns from her mistakes and tries to make things right.

I'm so happy I read this book when I did because it inspired me to start this school year with a bang. Ida B has some very distinct school experiences first as a five year-old who's never had to follow so many rules and later as a fourth grade student who might actually like school after all thanks to her wonderful teacher Ms. Washington. I sure hope I can be as nurturing, thoughtful, and creative as Ms. Washington! This is one book I'll be recommending to all of our incoming 4th and 5th grade students. :)


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