Ida B is a different kind of child. She lives with her mother and father on a apple orchard. Ida lives simple. She is homeschooled due to an unpleasant first school experience and she loves life exactly the way it is. She often times goes out to the apple orchard to talk to the tree, who she has all given names. She converses with the brook and seeks advice from a wise old tree on the mountain. However, Ida B’s world gets turned upside down when her mother falls ill with cancer. Her mother and father aren’t the same anymore. They are both sad and tired.
The trees all tell Ida B that something troublesome is going to happen. Later Ida B is struck with heartbreaking news. Her father is selling part of the apple orchard to make money to help pay for her mothers medical bills. If that wasn’t horrible enough they were sending Ida B back to school, something they had promised her she would never have to do. Ida B was outraged. She cried, screamed, begged, and pleaded for it all to stop, but her father had made up his mind. Fun loving, carefree Ida B had now decided to be angry and cold hearted.
She didn’t enjoy being this way and often had to try very hard at it but she was determined. Ida B refused to make any friends and refused to like her teacher, even though she did like her very much. She spent her days avoiding anyone and everyone. She finds out later that the part of the apple orchard they sold had been demolished and a house was under construction. In her creatively and angry mind she makes several posters advertising horrible (untrue) things and happening in the area to hang up all over the land.
One day she is sitting in a tree watching the family look around and she realizes that it is a girl in her class, Claire. Claire and her younger brother begin finding all of Ida B’s posters and think they are funny, which is something Ida B found the exact opposite of funny. They got closer and closer to the tree she was in and by this time Ida B was boiling mad. She hopped out of the tree an began screaming at them, so much she made Claire’s little brother cry. Ida was even shocked at her own actions. Claire was not phased like Ida B had expected and only turned around to say “you are mean” and stomp away.
At school Idea kept her guard up. She was sure Claire would seek revenge, but after weeks on edge Ida B was worn out of always watching her back. She seeks advice from her teacher that she secretly liked. Advice Ida B had to take, tell Claire she was sorry. Then she had a plan. Ida B didn’t want her apology to backfire so she yet again, kept a close eye on Claire trying to get her alone to apologize. Her plan did indeed backfire when Claire caught on that Ida B was following her. Claire confronted Ida B in the bathroom and demanded that she leave her alone.
Ida B had to get her apology out, so after school that day she went to Claire’s house. Ida B exploded her apology and everything else that had happened to her, which left Claire speechless. Then Ida decided to visit the apple orchard, something she had not done in a very long time. She apologized to the trees and after all of her apologizes Ida felt much better. That next week at school she played with other children at recess, something she had never done since starting back. Then at home she talked to her parents. Not about anything in particular, but she opened back up.
She read a book to her mother and went on a long walk with her father, something she had not done in a very long time. Use in classroom I think this would be an amazing read aloud for students. It is told from Ida B’s point of view, which makes it personal and relatable in many aspects for students. Ida B goes through several personal issues that lets students know they are not alone. A big part of the book is Ida B’s love for the apple orchard. As a class we can bring in science connections and discuss how apple trees grown.
We can eat apples for snack one day in class to collect and germinate our out apple seeds to plant. We can also get several writing activities from this book. Ida B has several issues with her parents decisions. Students could write about one problem they have with their parents and why. Then go back and try to understand just like Ida B did. Ida B talks with the trees but says they don’t talk with words they talk with feelings. We could do a short activity where we all go outside and try to talk to the trees then come back inside and write about what they said to us.
My Review 5 STARS – I fell in love with this book and Ida B. While reading it | felt like I was in her head and had all her problems. The way the author explains Ida’s feelings and problems is so heartfelt. The way Ida explains how she feels and her emotions is so innocent but honest. I loved of the first lines in the book from Ida B. “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. ” The book has such a playful but distinctive way of putting things.