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Ida B
by Katherine Hannigan
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1.What would be a good thing about being homeschooled? What would maybe not be so good about missing out on going to a regular school?
 
2.What do you think about the way Ida B talks to and listens to the trees and the brook?
 
3.Ida B has always been called Ida B, except when she's in trouble and her parents use her full name. Do you have a nickname your family calls you at home that is different than what teachers call you at school?
 
4.The "B" in Ida B must stand for a middle name. What do you think would make a good middle name for Ida B?
 
5.Did you ever have a teacher like Ms. Myers, Ida B's kindergarten teacher, who would only call people by their first names, even if they preferred a nickname? What do you think about that rule?
 
6.What did you think about Ida B's invention of The Soap Mask that meant she didn't have to wash her face as often?
 
7.Ida B's mother's health seems to be much better at the end of the story. Even though her mother's cancer made the story very sad, were you expecting the story to have a happy ending or a sad ending? Why?
 
8.Ida B thinks that "if a child waited to speak until all the grown-ups settled down and gave her some room to say her piece, most important things would never get said." Do you think kids in general get enough chances to "say their piece"? Why or why not?
 
9.Ida B eats the same food for breakfast and lunch every day because "she's got too many things to think about." Do you like to eat the same foods all the time? Or do you like variety?
 
10.How would you have felt if you were Ida B, when her father told her he'd sold some of the apple orchard and that she'd have to go back to public school?
 
11.When Ida B has to go back to public school after being homeschooled for four years, it seems much different than it was when she went in kindergarten. Do you think that it was school that had changed? Or do you think Ida B was now different?
 
12.Why do you think Ida B seems more lonely when she goes back to school, where there are lots of other kids, than she had been when she played by herself most of the day?
 
13.Ida B comes up with a plan to try to scare away the people who are building a house on the land that her father sold to them. Why do you think her plan backfired? And what could she have done differently?
 
14.Ida B's new teacher, Ms. Washington, seems to know what Ida B needs: time to adjust, space to herself, and important things to do, like helping Ronnie with math and reading aloud to the class. Would you like Ms. Washington for a teacher? Why or why not?
 
15.Ida B expected Clare, her classmate whose family is building a house on the land her father sold, to get back at Ida B for yelling at her and scaring Clare's little brother. But Clare doesn't do anything mean to Ida B. Were you surprised? Why or why not?
 
16.Despite all of Ida B's plans, things get out of her control  especially her emotions. Is it possible or even a good idea to make plans for everything? Why or why not?
 
17.If you were to write a different ending to this story, what might it be?
 
18.If you had Ida B for a friend, how would you try to help?
 
19.How can you tell Ida B likes trees? And how can you tell the author does?
 
20.Growing frustrated with her attitude, Ida B's daddy yells at her several times, which is out of character for him. Why do you think he reacts this way?
 
21.Who in the book "outplanned" Ida B?
 
22.Do you have a special tree or outdoor place?
 
23.What do you think Ida B means when she says "Apologizing is like spring-cleaning"?
 
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