Ida B tried out public school when she was five, but her teacher refused to call her Ida B (even though everyone knows that Ida is her mother) and school has so many rules and certain things can only be done "when it's time." Well, Ida B just isn't used to all that waiting. She wants to be running outside and talking to her friends the trees and brook. When Ida B becomes so distraught, her parents agree that homeschooling may just be the trick. Ida B loves her carefree lifestyle of being homeschooled. She even started to believe that she would "never be going back to that particular Place of Slow but Sure Body-Cramping, Mind-Numbing, Fun-Killing Torture again." Everything was righter then right, that is until Ida B's mother gets ill and now she has to go to the public school. This new change makes Ida so very angry and disappointed in her parents. She vows that she isn't going to like school one bit. Yet, can Ida B keep this hardening of her heart forever?
Hannigan captures the thoughts and emotions of Ida B so well. It's so sad to see the transformation of the free spirited Ida B to the little girl who vows to not like school, her teacher, make friends or even won't like Mama or Daddy. It's the kind of story that gives you all kinds of feelings. Throughout I just felt myself emphasizing with Ida B when things in her life are turned upside down. Yet, there were also fun light hearted moments too. I really liked the character of Ida B's fourth grade teacher Ms. Washington. I loved how she approached her everyday and tried to help Ida B acclimate to school. Overall, I highly recommend this wonderful book for fifth or sixth graders. My favorite line: "After Daddy left, I was hurting something terrible, like every single part of me was cut and torn up. But my heart hurt the most." Can't you just feel her pain? Read for the Battle of the Books 2013, my copy was from the Library.