Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Katherine Hannigan... and Her Plans to Enrich our Reading Lives

Don't you love Katherine Hannigan?  Ida B. is one of my favorite books for children.  And with True (Sort of...) she's added a compelling new book to my growing list of "must haves."  I secretly love the covers of her books, books that are as beautiful between the pages as they are on the outside!
     There's something endearing about Delly, the main character of this book.  She's got a rough edge about her and makes decisions to change.  She forms special relationship with Ferris Boyd, her little brother Brud, and RB which creates for us, the reader, something special.  Together, the four characters teach us so much about compassion and caring... and by the end we grow to love them.  Four friends who eventually help each other deal with life.
     I love that Ms. Hannigan writes about teachers with such honest light.  Lionel Terwilliger is the teacher in this book.  I read that Ms. Hannigan says about the teachers in her books, "I focus on the wonderful ones, though, because that's what I'd wish for every kid every day!"  Perhaps that's why I find her books so intriguing, because she finds those of us in our profession so intriguing! 
     When you read a book by Katherine Hannigan, you leave for the better.  You leave with a little more compassion.  You leave with a little more insight about childhood.  You leave with an understanding of smart writing craft.  You leave with some laughter.  Most importantly, you leave knowing that her next book can't help but be beautifully written.
     In Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possible) Save the World, Katherine wrote:  "I closed my eyes, put my right hand on top of the book, and passed it lightly across the cover. It was cool and smooth like a stone from the bottom of the brook, and it stilled me. A whole other world is inside there, I thought to myself, and that's where I want to be."  That's exactly what I did when I picked up True (Sort of...).  I knew I wanted to be in her book as soon as possible!  It's a great find.

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