Saturday 25 January 2020

Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go - Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall - Ivy and Bean Book 2

Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go
Ivy & Bean Book 2
Annie Barrows
Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)

Chronicle Books
eISBN 9780811876520
ASIN 9780811849111

I have read this book twice, four years apart. First with my oldest daughter and then with my youngest daughter. My son who is between the girls has shown no interest to the books, but he did listen as his sister read it to me, usually while he did his piano practice. When I read this with my oldest, she was a very reluctant reader and we alternated pages, and if ever there was a shorter page she wanted to swap for it. With my youngest even though she struggled occasionally she read the entire text to me. Usually a chapter or 2 a day to get her 20minutes reading time in. My oldest rated it 4/5, I rated it 4/5 both times, and my youngest rated it 5/5. My Son gave it 4/5. So overall a 4/5. 

I still have some reservations about the book and series. The whole Ivy being a watch and seeing ghosts. And ultimately creating a potion and trying to banish the ghost. For some it is a fun read. For others it will be scary and can be a cause of concern. And Ivy and Bean have no qualms about lying, misbehaving, and defying parents and teachers. In my opinion not great examples. But On the other hand, they are books my girls have wanted to read, and have kept reading. My oldest lost interested after 4 books and moved on to the Stella Batts books. We will see what happens with my youngest. But any book that keeps them reading and developing their skills is one I will read with them for now. But we always talk about the content of these books, and that the behavior modeled is not to be copied.

In this story Ivy, instead of admitting she can’t do a cartwheel to the girls in her class, pretends she is seeing a ghost by the washroom across the field. Soon the whole grade is talking about the ghost. And one girl sneaks to the senior school to use the washroom because she is afraid to use the haunted one. Ivy tells the kids the school was built over a burial ground and the ghost is mad and is opening a gateway. Ivy and Bean make a potion and offering to drive the ghost away. 

Ivy and Bean have a knack for getting in trouble and stirring things up. And they do a good job of that in this volume. These are not my favorite books, but the kids seem to really like them.

In this story the mothers of both Ivy and Bean (Bernice) have been telling them they should become friends. They live across a cul-de-sac from each other. But both girls have hesitations and have not bothered acting on the advice. Until the day Bean is about to get in big trouble, and Ivy encourages her to run from her older sister who is getting their mother. And helps bean to hide and formulate a plan. Ivy believes she is a witch and from the set up of her room she has fairly liberal parents. She has a spell book she got from an aunt that is over 100 years old. The two plot to put a spell on Bean’s sister to force her to dance non-stop. To do so they need worms, lots and lots of worms.

There is something witchy about their friendship. And Ivy, who outwardly appears ‘normal’ but inwardly reminds me of Wednesday Addams. And Bean seems a little awkward and weird on the outside but seems to just be a kid with a knack for getting in trouble. We are told that “The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn't be friends.” But circumstances brought them together and a bond was formed. A bond that now spans 11 books.

The books are a great leveled reader. Both my girls read it the first month of grade 4. At grade 4 if reading at grade level this book should be an easy read. If they are a little behind grade level, they will need some help. But both girls love the book and the story. But I had to want my youngest that it is a story and not an instructional manual, she cannot do to her sister what bean did to hers! And I have a feeling based on my youngest that I will be reading the whole series soon.

Note: My youngest read the paperback to me, and I followed along on my phone. The pictures are much larger and integrated into the text in the print edition.

Books in the Ivy and Bean Series:
Ivy and Bean
Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go
Ivy and Bean and the Fossil Record
Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter
Ivy and Bean Bound to Be Bad
Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance
Ivy and Bean What’s the Bid idea?
Ivy and Bean No News is Good News
Ivy and Bean Make the Rules
Ivy and Bean Take the Case
Ivy and Bean One Big Happy Family

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