Ida B, Katherine Hannigan, HarperCollins Publishers, 2004, 264 pp
My boss handed this book to me last January when I began work at the bookstore. It is quite good. Ida B (not to be confused with her mother, Ida) is a happy homeschooler who talks to trees and the brook in their apple orchard, who believes in fun and who always has a plan.
Then her mom gets cancer and everything goes wrong. Despite any plan she can make, things keep going more wrong and Ida B has to learn some hard lessons about herself, others and life. It is a fine story, sensitively told and Ida B is one heck of a strong female character.
Some of the vocabulary is of a fairly high level because Ida B is so intelligent. There is some great stuff about how to learn math. Good all around. (Recommended for 8-12 years old readers)