Ivy & Bean (Book 1)

by Annie Barrows

Paperback, 2007



Local notes

PB Bar (c.2)




Chronicle Books (2007), Edition: 1, 120 pages


When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.


Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2008)
Bluestem Award (Nominee — 2011)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — 2011)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

120 p.; 7.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member cflorap
Bean was sure she didn't want to be friends with the new neighbor, Ivy. She looked so "nice." She wore dresses, had long hair, read books, and just seemed totally boring. Bean was more interested in playing tricks on her big sister than playing with some prissy girl. When one of Bean's tricks ends
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with her running desperately away from her sister, she stumbles into Ivy's yard. Before she knows it, Ivy offers her shelter in a secret hiding spot. A few crafts, pranks, and schemes later, they have become an inseparable duo with plenty of adventures sure to come.
This first book in the Ivy and Bean series is funny and genuine. It is written for girls in elementary school and should appeal to this audience easily. It is similar to other popular books about spunky girls such as Judy Moody and Clementine, but having a pair of protagonists offers a different approach since these two girls complement each other so well. Tomboys and girly-girls alike will find something to enjoy in the adventures of Ivy & Bean.
Illustrations and fairly large type and leading allow this book to stretch out to 120 pages while still being a manageable and unintimidating read for children transitioning into chapter books from easy readers. This series is recommended for public and elementary school libraries, especially in suburban areas.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The eponymous Ivy and Bean discover that sometimes appearances can be deceiving in this amusing first entry in Annie Barrows' series of easy chapter-books for the primary school set. Although each is encouraged to play with the other by their respective mothers - who foolishly trot out the old "she
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seems like such a nice girl" line - they resist, until circumstances intervene, in the form of Bean on the run from the consequences of her latest stunt, and they are thrown together. The irrepressible Bean, who has something of a penchant for trouble (especially if it involves teasing her older sister, Nancy), discovers that just because her new neighbor wears a skirt, and has her nose stuck perpetually in a book, doesn't mean that she's boring; while Ivy, intent on becoming a witch - if studying can bring it about, it will happen! - learns that Bean is anything but the sweet paragon held up to her.

I was curious to see what I would make of this story, after reading a friend's negative review, which compared the character of Bean unfavorably with Beverly Cleary's Ramona, so when I found myself stuck in the city the other day with nothing to read, and happened upon a book-sale, I snapped up the first few volumes of the series. All in all, although I came away with some concerns, I wasn't as disturbed as my friend. I like stories about little girls that aren't sweet - think Ramona, Clementine, or Junie B. Jones - as I think that the social pressure on girls and women, to just be nice (all the time! no matter what!) are still very strong. I found Bean an engaging character (I liked Ivy a lot too), and laughed at many of her outrageous escapades. Most importantly, I didn't find her irredeemably bad - she had a conscience, she (sometimes) knew she was doing wrong, even if that didn't stop her - so much as realistically human. Then again, I fought like cats and dogs with my own closest sister (we are sixteen months apart) as a girl, so perhaps I identified with that aspect of the story, even if I agree (and I do!) that Bean's parents are a little too lax.

In sum: I found this an engaging read, one that I think will appeal to young girl readers - particularly the ones that get into scrapes - and I also appreciated the charming artwork by Sophie Blackall.
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LibraryThing member guamgirl99
Meet Ivy and Bean. Ivy is one of those girls who likes to read big books. Bean is those "jumping bean" girls. She thinks Ivy is boring. One day, all of that changes...find out how they make friends in IVY AND BEAN!!!
LibraryThing member hjyamamoto
friends; good for kids who like Junie B. Jones
LibraryThing member RoseMarion
This is a cute little early chapter book. It's all about Bean, a mischievous 7 year old who likes to antagonize her 11 year old sister Nancy. Bean is a typical 7 year old, albeit perhaps a bit more of a trouble-maker than most 7 year olds.

In this story, Bean's (her real name is Bernice) mother
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keeps trying to get her daughter to become friends with the nice new girl, Ivy, from across the street. Bean thinks Ivy seems very boring because she is always reading, and Bean is just too cool for bookworms. However, one day Bean gets into trouble with her sister Nancy, and Ivy helps her to hide. Soon Bean learns all about Ivy's desires to become a witch, and the two little imps become fast friends.

The hijinks of Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows are appropriately 2nd grade type of behavior so this book should appeal to children within that age group. Furthermore, there are plenty of adorable illustrations to keep their attention.

While I didn't love this book, I believe it is a cute early chapter book with a decent plot. I plan to read the next book in the series, Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go.
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LibraryThing member danusia
cute! i'm a dork, i kept reading the book to see how it ends. the simple, pretty, pencil drawings add just the right dimension to the story to keep the reader interested and informed. nice story about friendship. Bean is careful not to hurt Ivy's feelings. This makes a good basis for a lasting
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friendship. Nice lesson for children. language is modern and accessible, perfect for third grade.
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LibraryThing member sunnyburke
This is an adorable story of two friends who may appear to be very different but end up finding out that they have a lot in common. Bean is a rambunctious 7 year old who is always pestering her older sister. Ivy is a new girl who lives across the street and is a big bookworm. Although Bean's mother
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tries to encourage her to become friends with Ivy, Bean doesn't want to becasue she thinks Ivy is boring. When Bean pulls a nasty trick on her older sister, it is Ivy who comes to the rescue! Through all kinds of hilarious adventures, Ivy and Bean become the best of friends and learn to apprecite their differences. Thyis book will keep the reader engaged all the way through and the little drawings are the perfect touch to this cute book. It is a great book for beginning readers and teaches children that they should not judge a book by its cover!
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LibraryThing member GaylDasherSmith
Anatomy of the start of a wonderful friendship. A nice lesson in first appearances being misleading.
LibraryThing member johnlobe
The indomitable characters of Ivy and Bean are the key to this very engaging book. Young girl (and boy) readers are bound to feel a connection to the tomboyish Bean or the imaginative Ivy. Annie Barrows allows the reader a window into Bean's twisted logic to great effect. Sophie Blackall's
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illustrations help to enrich the understated humour.
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LibraryThing member jdieder104
Good book about a new friendship. Ivy and Bean live across the street from each other. One day they have to talk to each other, they find out they have a lot in common. The story is about new friendship and stepping over the line in becoming friends. The book could introduce children to making new
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friends and the adventures of having a new friendship.
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LibraryThing member eurbanowicz
Two little girls that judge each other upon first glance quickly realize that they are more alike than they seem. Ivy and Bean become fast friends and get into mischievous adventures. RESPONSE: Very cute story about how appearances aren't everything. I like the black and white images throughout the
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book, they provide a good transition from picture to chapter book. THEMES/CONCEPTS: friendship, adventure, superficiality
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
Bean is constantly being told to play with her new next-door neighbor Ivy, but Ivy is so BORING that Bean just rolls her eyes. One day, Bean inadvertently starts talking with Ivy and discovers that she is actually quite entertaining and a potential partner in crime. The result is an
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adventure-filled day that only Ivy & Bean could have.

Meh... I think this book could appeal to young readers looking for more books in the Ramona ilk, but it didn't really do it for me.
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LibraryThing member BellaTheBookGirl
Ivy and Bean where not friends at first but then they became friends because of a little ghostly trick.

My Thoughts:
I love the book Ivy + Bean. Bean must have been a naughty little girl to run away from home. I would have never ran away from home like her! I can't wait to read more about
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Ivy and Bean and their friendship.
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LibraryThing member bookman928
It's a great easy read
LibraryThing member alexa.kirk
This book is a great story about friendship and not judging people without getting to know them. The first book sets up great potential for am early/beginner readers series.
LibraryThing member sskatherine
I chose to read this because I've seen a lot of my 3rd grade girls reading it. I really enjoy the quirkiness of both Ivy and Bean's personalities, and liked their (inevitable) path to becoming friends. The story is fun, and easy to follow, with cute illustrations interspersed throughout. Though, it
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does rotate around two suburban girls, they are interesting and non-traditional. I can definitely see why this is so appealing to my students.
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LibraryThing member amberlanda
I really enjoyed this book. I think it is a great book to read aloud in a primary classroom and I also think that older elementary students would like to read it on their own. It would be a fun book to teach about character because both of the books are pretty developed characters for the age group
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you would be reading to.
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LibraryThing member anacryan
Engaging and fun early chapter book about 2 young girls and the start of a friendship that neither one ever predicted. The first of a series. Good for girls from 1st through 3rd grades.
LibraryThing member ElenaEstrada
Ivy and Bean by Sophie Blackall is an excellent book about family and growing up. The author develops a narrative about a young girl, a tomboy, who is at first reluctant to develop a friendship with a neighbor who is very feminine. Bean believes Ivy is too different to herself because Ivy
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represents everything that a “proper” little girl should be. Ivy and Bean are an odd couple that fit perfectly together, it encourages young readers to become open to people who are different than themselves. The story is surrounded by stock characters such as a loving mother, and a nagging big sister. The language in the book is easy to read and it contains many high frequency words that young readers need to master. I would highly recommend this book to any reader who needs to develop confidence and fluency. The book is a small chapter book, and excellent choice for vacation reading.
Ages 3-5th grade
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LibraryThing member sguzick
When Ivy moves into the house across the street from Bean, Bean does NOT want to play with her. Ivy seems so quiet and boring. That is until Bean tries to play a trick on her sister Nancy, gets caught, and runs away. Ivy helps Bean “escape” and the two go on a mission to sneak back to Bean’s
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house and play an even bigger trick on her sister. How much trouble will these two new best friends find themselves in? This transitional chapter book is the first in a series about these two friends. Not only do they learn that people with opposite personalities can be friends, they learn about self-acceptance and being unapologetically who you are. Very few pages are without pictures, some bigger than others. The pictures are black and white and drawn using Chinese ink. They look as though they were drawn in pencil. Young children, especially girls, ready to make the step into chapter books will love this exciting story. The fact that they are reading a book with a table of contents may boost their confidence in their advancing literacy skills. This book is recommended for children from age six through age ten.
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LibraryThing member aevans1
The writing is fun and the story is interesting and flowing without getting stagnant, but the words and ideas are well-written for young readers. Lots of redundancy without actual repetition. Lots of explanation built into the way the characters think, without going off into boring expository
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LibraryThing member BieberLove18
a good book. read it. its a realy good book youll see if you read it
LibraryThing member cdolan10
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Critiques: This is a realistic fiction early chapter book because the setting, characters, and events are all believable, but it is not an actual true story. The setting of Bean's neighborhood and house is described as a common suburb of America. The main characters, Bean
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and Ivy, are relatable characters because they become childhood, neighborhood friends. The events of the story are believable because they are common scenarios with children that have older siblings.
The plot is presented in a chronological order, beginning with Bean setting a foundation of the content and general plot of the rest of the story. Character descriptions are brief, but lead the reader to understanding the uniqueness of each character. At the end, all conflicts are resolved, but leaves the reader wanting to read further in the series. The plot type of person against person is used.

Media: Chinese Ink
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LibraryThing member JenJ.
This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Bean's mother has been trying to get her to make friends with new girl Ivy, but Ivy just seems so....nice. Bean knows of course that nice is just a nice way of saying boring and she's totally uninterested in Ivy. Until the afternoon that Ivy helps
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Bean escape her older sister Nancy and it turns out Ivy isn't one bit boring.
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LibraryThing member hatease
Ivy and Bean are best friends. They are fun characters and are mischiefs. These series of books tell the crazy stories of Ivy and Bean.


Other editions






½ (257 ratings; 3.9)
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