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

Chapter 1

"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."

"Yes, ma'am," I said back, but I said it like this, "Yes, may-uhm!" because I couldn't wait to get on with my business. I could already hear the brook calling to me through the back door screen. "C'mon out and play, Ida B. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up." I had three places I wanted to visit, six things I wanted to make, and two conversations I hoped to have before dinnertime.

Mama was washing, Daddy was drying, and I was putting away the dishes from lunch. And I knew that the moment I set the last pan in its place, I was free. But the way those two were chatting and laughing and acting like we had till next week to finish up, I could see it was going to be a while.

My insides started itching and my feet started hopping, one then the other, because they were ten minutes past being ready to go. So I decided to speed things up a bit.

Daddy'd hand me a dish, I'd sprint to the cupboard and put it away, race back again, and put my hand out for the next one, with my right foot tap, tap, tapping the seconds that were ticking by.

"Hold your horses, Ida B," Daddy told me. "There's plenty of time to do whatever you're planning." And he passed me a plate, slow and easy.

Well, that stopped me in my tracks. Because what Daddy said might have seemed all right to him, but it was sitting about two miles beyond wrong with me. I wasn't going to be able to put away another tiny teaspoon till I set things straight.

"Daddy," I said, and I waited till he was looking at me before I went on.

"Yes, Ida B," he answered, turning toward me.

And staring right into his eyeballs I told him, "There is never enough time for fun."

Daddy's eyes opened wide, and for a half second I wondered if I was in for something close to trouble. But then the two ends of his mouth turned up, just a little.

"Ida B," he told the ceiling while he shook his head.

"Hmmmmm," Mama said, like a smile would sound if it could.

And as soon as Daddy handed me the big frying pan, I set it in the drawer next to the oven, and I was on my way.

"Come on, Rufus," I called to Daddy's old floppy-eared dog, who was napping under the table. "You can come, too, so you'll have some company."

Now, a school of goldfish could go swimming in the pool of drool that dog makes while he's sleeping. But as soon as he heard his name and saw me heading for outside he jumped up, cleaned up the extra slobber around his mouth, and in two and one-half seconds' time, he was waiting for me at the back door.

Chapter 2

On my way out of the house, I grabbed a pencil and enough paper to make four good drawings and one mistake. And in my right pants pocket, I stuffed some string to tie the sticks together for the rafts I build and send down the brook with notes attached to them saying things like:

What is life like in Canada?
Please respond.
Ida B. Applewood
P.O. Box 42
Lawson's Grove, Wisconsin 55500

Or

If this raft reaches the ocean, will you please let us know? Thank you very much.
Applewood Raft
Construction Company
P.O. Box 42
Lawson's Grove, Wisconsin 55500

It is my belief that the brook ends up at one of those two places, but I haven't heard anything back yet to prove that. The best I've gotten so far is some old man from way up in Roaring Forks called up Mama and Daddy and told them I was sending out notes with my name and address on them and they might want to discourage that.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

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.