Excerpt from Ida B by Katherine Hannigan, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Ida B

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

by Katherine Hannigan

Ida B by Katherine Hannigan X
Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2004, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I'm not revealing my sources," he said.

"Did you hear something, Viola? How about you, Beatrice? Or is Paulie T. just talking out of his branches?"

"Ida B, don't pay him any mind," Viola told me. "We heard something on the wind about a storm headed your way, and we were all settling in and hoping you were okay, too. That's all."

"There's no storm coming today," I said. "Can't you feel how beautiful it is?"

"You take care of yourself now, Ida B," said Viola. And then they all just stood there, like they were sleeping standing up.

Well, I got tired of feeling like I was alone in that particular crowd, and I was peeved about Paulie T.'s pleasure at my expense. "All right then, I'm headed off to have some fun somewhere else," I said.

And none of them said a word back.



Once Rufus and I got to the brook, I asked right off, "Did you hear something about me and some trouble?"

"Did you bring the rafts? Are you ready to play? Get 'em ready and get 'em in so we can play, Ida B," said the brook, ignoring my question.

"In a minute. First I want to know if you heard something about trouble heading my way."

"My-oh-my, and will you look at that," the brook replied. "I'm late for an appointment, Ida B. Gotta go, gotta go.

"Better talk to the old tree," the brook went on as it rolled away. "Yep, yep, that's a good idea," it called as it tumbled over the rocks and around the mountain and was gone.

Now, by that time I'd just about lost my patience with the bunch of them. But talking to the old tree was a good piece of advice, so I didn't mind the brook's rudeness too much.



Rufus and I hiked up the mountain—which isn't really a mountain, but "hill" is just too tiny a word for it—till we got to the old tree that has no leaves and hardly any bark. That tree's bare and white, and people think it's dead but it's not; it's just older than old. It hardly ever speaks, and even if it does you often have to wait awhile. But when it does you want to listen, because it's also wiser than wise. And it always tells the truth, unlike some of the young trees that tell you what they think you want to hear or are just too, too clever.

When we got in front of the old tree I said, "There's a rumor around that I'm in for some trouble. Now that's from Paulie T., and you and I both know that his word's worth about two fake pennies. But I was wondering if there's something I need to know?"

Then I climbed up into the tree's branches, and Rufus settled in down at the bottom of the trunk. I rested my head on one of the limbs, closed my eyes, and got ready to listen with my insides, because that's what you have to do with that particular tree.

I was sitting there for quite a while, and not minding a bit. The branch against my face was warm and smooth, and it still felt like a nothing-could-go-wrong day. I was ready to believe that Paulie T. had just been working his mischief, when all of a sudden I got a cold feeling inside of me and I saw a dark cloud at the front of my closed eyes.

And I got a message, but not in words. That tree lets you know things, those things go into your heart, then they find their way up to your head, and once they get there they turn into words. At least that's how I think it works. So, if I had to give it words, this is what I'd say the tree was telling me:

"Hard times are coming."

Well, my eyes flipped open so I wouldn't have to look at that darkness anymore. I jumped out of the tree, almost landing on Rufus the Saliva Factory, because I felt like I'd gotten a shock right through me.

"What?" I asked. "What did you tell me?"

From Ida B. Copyright © 2004 by Katherine Hannigan. All rights reserved.

Reproduced by permission of Greenwillow Books

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.