…its lively mix of text and both large and small black-and-white illustrations in a reader-friendly design of plenty of white space is a welcome variation in middle-grade storytelling…Barrows's deadpan omniscient narrative voice is brilliant…Fellow fourth graders will love Iggy for his honesty and humor. But everyone will probably love him most for his motto: "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time."
From the New York Times bestselling author of Ivy + Bean comes a hilarious new series featuring a high-energy, lovable troublemaker.
Meet 9-year-old Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he's done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's no problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.
Iggy is sorry he did it. He is really, really, really sorry.
"For what?" you might ask. "What did he do?"
Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.
Things Iggy will NOT do in this book:
Be the most polite kid ever.
Play the cello.
Think before acting.
Learn a lesson.
Regret his actions. (Most of them, anyway.)
“All of us do things we wish we hadn’t done” begins this lively illustrated series opener about Iggy Frangi, a mischievous, good-hearted nine-year-old who frequently lands himself in trouble and only sometimes regrets it. The omniscient narrator describes Iggy’s world with a dry tone (“He has to stay in his room until dinnertime. It’s two thirty in the afternoon”), detailing the events—described as “extenuating circumstances”—that have contributed to Iggy’s ill-advised actions. Short chapters tell the story of three occurrences: Iggy inadvertently goading Jeremy Greerson into jumping off the roof onto a trampoline, raiding the family medicine cabinet for an overzealous prank, and racing classroom desks toward an unsuspecting fourth-grade teacher. Of the three, the last inspires regret and thoughtful introspection. With Iggy, Barrows (the Ivy and Bean series) has created a realistic kid—passionate, funny, and sometimes misguided—whom readers will surely root for as he gains awareness of the relationship between choices and consequences. Black-and-white illustrations by Ricks highlight Iggy’s antic nature. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Assoc. Illustrator’s agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Jan.)
Gr 3–7—Iggy isn't a bad kid—he just lives by the motto "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time." He blames his friends, his parents, his teacher, but will he ever take responsibility for his actions? Scene transitions feel choppy, but the plot is amusing and Iggy is relatable—though mischievous, he's a good kid deep down. While character development is thin, the cast is engaging and grows on the reader. Funny, detailed illustrations complement the text well, though the font may be difficult to read for some. VERDICT Fans of Barrows's "Ivy + Bean" series and books about kids who often find themselves landing in trouble will appreciate this laugh-out-loud tale. For libraries where humorous realistic fiction is popular.—Kira Moody, Salt Lake County Library Services
The portrait of a boy as a young rascal: Iggy doesn't really mean to be "bad," does he?
A narrator in an amusing direct address and somewhat adult voice serves as both apologist and somewhat bemused observer of three incidents recounted in 20 very short chapters. Iggy Frangi is 9 and in fourth grade. He likes his teacher and tolerates his family—mother, father, sisters Maribel (older) and Molly (younger). Like many people his age, Iggy doesn't realize that something is wrong with what he is doing until either he is in the middle of doing it (and is reprimanded) or until it's too late. Ricks' cartoon illustrations portray Iggy and his family as white-presenting and his lively friends as slim boys with dark skin of various shades. In the first story Iggy defends his own honor and dignity with a strategy involving a skateboard, ladder, and trampoline in a way that only just avoids complete disaster. In the second, Iggy's flair for going big gets slightly out of hand when he "los[es] his mind" in an incident involving shaving cream and lipstick. The third story involves his teacher and a minor injury and is an incident Iggy regrets "even years later." Authorial asides combine with amusing cartoons (the universal strikethrough symbol is enlivened by repetitions of "nope" forming the outer circle) to enlist readers as co-conspirators.
Funny, silly, and fairly empathetic—and perhaps even consoling to young, impulsive people who hope to be better (someday). (Fiction. 7-10)
An Indie Next Pick, Winter 2020
A Junior Library Guild Selection
An Apple.com Most Anticipated Book of Winter 2020
★ “The first of a series, this slender chapter book is inviting to pick up, hard to put down, and near-impossible to read without laughing out loud.” –Booklist, starred review
"Barrows's omniscient narrative voice is brilliant. . . Fellow fourth graders will love Iggy for his honesty and humor. But everyone will probably love him most for his motto: 'It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.'" The New York Times Book Review
"Fabulously funny and perceptive . . . Let’s just say that children with impish tendencies will finish this book feeling seen and understood. And the next time they get into trouble, you can expect to hear all about the extenuating circumstances.” –The Wall Street Journal
“[A] lively illustrated series opener about Iggy Frangi, a mischievous, good-hearted nine-year-old who frequently lands himself in trouble and only sometimes regrets it. . . With Iggy, Barrows (the Ivy and Bean series) has created a realistic kid—passionate, funny, and sometimes misguided—whom readers will surely root for as he gains awareness of the relationship between choices and consequences.” –Publishers Weekly
“The portrait of a boy as a young rascal. . . Funny, silly, and fairly empathetic—and perhaps even consoling to young, impulsive people who hope to be better (someday).” –Kirkus Reviews
“Young readers, especially those with a passion for mischief, will hope there are more chapters of Iggy’s exploits to come.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Fans of Barrows’s ‘Ivy + Bean’ series and books about kids who often find themselves landing in trouble will appreciate this laugh-out-loud tale.” –School Library Journal
“Humorous and action filled . . . [students] will be reminded that reading can be fun.” –School Library Connection
“This book is deeply ethical and totally hilarious. It's wise, generous, and delightfully unsanctimonious. Seriously: The Best of Iggy is one of the finest and funniest middle-grade books I’ve read in years.” –Mac Barnett, author of the bestselling Kid Spy series
“Warning: Do not let ‘extenuating circumstances’ keep you from getting to know the inimitable Iggy. You’ll be laughing so hard—pancake everywhere—that you won’t even realize the young troublemaker just stole your heart.” –Megan McDonald, author of the Judy Moody and STINK series
“Only Annie Barrows could have penned this outrageously clever, laugh-out-loud book, a magical feat that somehow combines hilarious hijinks with a thoughtful look at why we make mistakes — and how we make amends. I haven’t adored a well-intentioned troublemaker this much since Henry Huggins and Junie B. Guaranteed fun, this is the perfect family read.” –Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal Winner for The One and Only Ivan”
“You’d have to have a heart of stone not to love Iggy. It’s not his fault he’s always in trouble. Well, it’s mostly his fault, but there are Very Compelling Extenuating Circumstances. Wise, sensible, smart children everywhere will hurl themselves (safely) at this hilarious new series from Annie Barrows.” –Sophie Blackall, Caldecott Medal Winner and illustrator of the Ivy + Bean series
“If you've ever done anything you regretted, or never regretted anything you've done, IGGY is for you.” –Jon Scieszka, inaugural National Ambassador for Young People's Literature