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Katherine Hannigan Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights

ida plans world avoid

Born 1987, B.F.A (painting), 1997; Rochester Institute of Technology, M.F.A (painting), 1991.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Greenwillow Press/HarperCollins Childrens, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.

Career

Educator and writer. Head Start, former education coordinator; instructor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, and Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY; Iowa State University, Ames, instructor in drawing, then assistant professor of art and design, 2001–c.04; full-time writer.

Honors Awards

Book Sense Book-of-the-Year Honor Book designation, Best Book of the Year designations from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Child magazine, and Gold Award, Parents's Choice, all 2005, all for Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World.

Writings

Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, Greenwillow Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Adaptations

Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World was adapted as an audiobook read by Lili Taylor, Books on Tape, 2004.

Work in Progress

Two stories for middle-grade readers.

Sidelights

Growing up in western New York, Katherine Hannigan was constantly surrounded by books, as well as by the rodents adopted as family pets and a succession of stray cats and dogs. With a vivid imagination, she developed a knack for creating stories involving playthings, such as a pair of clay figures she manipulated from behind her second-grade pop-up desk; paper characters cut from Valentine's Day cards; and the dolls populating her closet and who starred in Hannigan's early theatrical performances. Continuing to draw on that imagination as an adult, Hannigan is the author of the entertaining middle-school novel Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World.

Before beginning her writing career, Hannigan studied art in New York and obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in painting. After teaching in upstate New York for several years, she moved west, teaching art and design at Iowa State University. While in Iowa, Hannigan once again found inspiration in her surroundings, and she began to develop the title character for her first children's book. Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World was still in its draft stage when Hannigan decided to take a writing workshop conducted by children's author Kate DiCamillo in 2002. After Hannigan submitted a chapter from her unpublished work and won the praise of the veteran author, DiCamillo passed along the manuscript to a literary agent and the novel was published by Greenwillow Books in 2004. Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World became a New York Times bestseller and won numerous accolades from critics.

In an interview with an online BookBrowse contributor, Hannigan noted that her title character, Ida B, was developed from "a love of laughter," and "a fondness for Cover of Katherine Hannigan's Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, featuring artwork by Dana Tezarr. (Text copyright © 2004 by Katherine Hannigan. Jacket art © 2004 by Dana Tezarr/Potonica. Dana Tezarr/Photonica/Getty Images. Published by Greenwillow Books.)people with a good dose of puckishness in them." Ida B, is indeed, a distinctive and "unforgettable heroine," as School Library Journal contributor Faith Brautigam noted, while a Publishers Weekly critic dubbed her a "firecracker of a character." In the book nine-year-old Ida B speaks to the trees and the brooks that surround her family farm and spends the majority of her free time making arts and crafts. Home-schooled throughout her life, she is accustomed to freedom and tranquility. Things drastically change, however, when her mother develops cancer and her parents decide to sell a portion of the family's apple grove—which also happens to be Ida B's playground—to help pay medical bills. Matters are exacerbated when Ida B is sent to public school, but it is at this point that the girl decides to deal directly with the changes taking place around her. As pressures mount, she becomes an embittered nine year old and feels as if everything in her life has betrayed her.

Reviewing Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, critics hailed Hannigan for her ability to realistically portray the mind-set of a nine year old. Faith Brautigam, writing in School Library Journal, noted that "Ida B is a true character in every sense of the word." Likewise, Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper commented on Han-nigan's ability to fully capture "the fury children can experience" and "the tenacity with which they can hold on to their anger." Another tactic Hannigan employs can be seen in the resolution of the story, as Ida B begins to appreciate the changes in her life. Horn Book contributor Susan Dove Lempke stated that Hannigan "skillfully depicts the slow climb back … where Ida B can allow herself to express happiness again."

With her skills in characterization, plot, storyline, and writing style, Hannigan impressed many critics. Cooper noted in Booklist that the writer "gets it down brilliantly," while a Publishers Weekly reviewer regarded Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World as an "insightful, seemingly intuitive first novel." In a similar fashion, a Kirkus Reviews critic noted that the book is a "funny debut from a promising new author," while Lempke described Hannigan as "clearly an author to watch."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, p. 1924; January 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, interview with Hannigan, p. 843.

Horn Book, November-December, 2004, review of Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, p. 709.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2004, review of Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, p. 686.

Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2004, review of Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, p. 55; December 12, 2004, Jennifer M. Brown, "Katherine Hannigan," pp. 30-34.

School Library Journal, August, 2004, Faith Brautigam, review of Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, p. 122.

ONLINE

BookBrowse, http://www.bookbrowse.com/ (April 10, 2006), interview with Hannigan.

HarperChildrens Web site, http://harperchildrens.com/ (April 10, 2006), "Katherine Hannigan."

Jennifer Hansen (1972-) Biography - Personal, Career, Writings, Work in Progress [next]

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over 6 years ago

Hey. Okay, so this might sound really weird, but, I am related to u. C, one of your cousins,Patricia or Tricia, have two kids. I am the oldest. My name is Kathleen White aka Katie, aaka The Rocker. I was wondering if you could email me your email address so I could ask you something. I love your books. Love you!!!!!!! <3!!!!!!! ;) (:)

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almost 6 years ago

I have been waiting, without patience, for your next novel from the day that I finished reading Ida B. I was brousing the bookshelves at Barnes and Nobel last night and couldn't believe my eyes. I am half way through "True (sort of)" and alrady have wonderful new friends in Delly, Brud and Ferris. You have such a gift for creating beautiful, rich characters. I have loved Ida B and have read that story every year as a read aloud to my mulit-age 4/5 class. Please keep writing. I now have a new novel to share with kids. Bless Your Heart!

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almost 6 years ago

Could you please send me your snail mail address? I am a teacher and I had a book club with some students who read Ida B. I'd like to send you their letters.



Thanks!

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over 6 years ago

Hey Katherine!!! I know that u might think this is really weird, but, I am related to u. One of your cousins, Patricia or Tricia, two kids and i am the oldest. My name is Kathleen (or Katie) White. I love your books and was wondering if you could email me your email address so I could ask you something!!!!! Love you!!!!!!!! <3 ;) (:)

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over 6 years ago

My name is Ida Bernstein. I would love to get a poster of the book cover if at all possible. i feel like the cover of "Ida B." really captures who i am.

thank you.

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almost 6 years ago

I have a student who has an unusual set of personal circumstances. It would be a great favor if you could send her a personal note. I am giving her a copy of Ida B. She is very much like Ida.

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about 2 years ago

Hi, my name is Alexis and I have a couple question for you from your book Ida b, its my favorite book ever. but anyways if you could email my back i would really appreciate it.
thank you, Alexis