Monday, June 13, 2011


I only had five people enter my seed giveaway*, so I decided not to draw a name. If you're one of the five and I don't already have your address, please e-mail me, and I'll send you some seeds. Everybody wins.


And for this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, we have a book that was "printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper (that means that no trees were cut down to create the paper)" and blurbed by Kate DiCamillo: "I feel a deep gratitude that Ida B exists." Kate DiCamillo!
Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World

Katherine Hannigan's IDA B made me cry. If you don't like books that tear you up before they set things right, it might not be for you. This is a story about a girl who knows what she wants, a girl who gets angry when her plans fall apart. It's an honest look at grief and how we can find healing. I agree with Kate DiCamillo. I'm grateful that Ida B exists and that I read it.

I noticed that the blurbs and jacket copy didn't give away anything about the story. In fact, in mentioning grief, I've already given more away than they did. So, I'm just going to list a few things that the author did really well: Ida B's relationships with her parents and their land, the description of her first day of school (especially of the teacher's smile, "where your mouth turns up but your eyes look pained"), the game that Ida B comes up with to teach Ronnie his math facts, and the way she feels about reading aloud. If you read the story, you'll understand why they didn't kill trees to print this book.

I loved the writing, and I will read more books by Katherine Hannigan.

If you'd like to read about more Marvelous Middle Grades, the following people would love to oblige you: 

Shannon Whitney Messenger (our founding mother)
Have a Marvelous Monday!

*And for those of you who aren't sure how to use coriander, I'm linking to a curry recipe.  



  1. Thanks for the great review. I've been hearing about this.

  2. This one has been a to read of mine for a long time now. Perhaps too long. Thanks for the review and the reminder why this is a must read.

  3. When I read this, I teared up too. I also homeschool my kids, so it hit REALLY close to my heart. Several weeks ago, my kids and I met Katherine Hannigan at a kid's book store in our area. She was simply enchanting!

  4. Ida B is a book kids love as well. There is just something about her (Ida) that really speaks to children.

    Yum! curry!

  5. Thank you for the seeds, Myrna! I'm not sure if you have my address, so I'll e-mail you. And it sounds like I need to read IDA B, too. You always find some great MG books for me to read:)

  6. I like that description, "...when your eyes turn up, but your mouth looks pained."

    I know a woman like that. She is always smiling, and I've never seen anyone look so unhappy in my life.


  7. Oh, I read this book when it first came out and LOVED it. It's been a lot of years, but I still remember Ida B's description of school, "The sacrificial pit of never-ending agony." So funny and so touching.

  8. Yep, this one's been on my TBR list for too long. Volunteering my grand-children's library I saw how popular it was with the kids. Time for me to pick it up. Great review!

  9. This one's on my TBR list. Great MMGM pick, Myrna. :-)

  10. I need to read this book... but I also have Katherine Hannigan's latest True (...Sort of) on my TBR pile (which is approaching Eiffel Tower heights.)

  11. Great review. I haven't read this yet but it's on my radar. Would you recommend this for older or younger MGers? My daughter started reading Mockingbird but was bored and didn't really care about her brother's death. So I'm trying to decide if my kid is heartless or just still too young for books like this.

  12. Yay! I'm a seed winner. Do you have my address?

    And this book sounds amazing. Thanks to you, Myrna, my reserve list at the library is very, very long! :)


  13. Brooke, my older middle grader loved it, but I think you could go as young as first or second grade with some readers. It just depends on the kid. Does your daughter like books by Kate DiCamillo?

    I don't think I have your mailing address, Amy. Do you want both kinds of seeds or just the poppies? I hope you're sharing the middle grades with your kiddos!

  14. I've never seen this book before, so thank you for sharing it. I added it to my wish list.

  15. Oh, I so loved this book, Myrna! My crit partner just bought Hannigan's new book, True (Sort of. . .) and has raved about it.