Don’t Call Me Ishmael

by

Michael Gerard Bauer

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Ignatius is the first Year Nine boy to join Scobie’s debating team. Ishmael describes him as being like an old man in a teenager’s body. He also insists that Ignatius is an interesting choice for debating, as Ignatius loves facts and figures and whips them out at odd times—but Ignatius also refuses to think creatively. Ignatius explains that he’s joining the debating team because, according to his mother, he needs to improve his social skills. Though Ignatius continues to struggle with creative thinking, is never a compelling speaker, and is arguably the least engaged team member, his wide knowledge base and understanding of his teammates’ strengths and weaknesses makes him an invaluable member of the team. However, Ignatius never becomes close friends with the other debating boys.

Ignatius Prindabel Quotes in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The Don’t Call Me Ishmael quotes below are all either spoken by Ignatius Prindabel or refer to Ignatius Prindabel. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Greenwillow Books edition of Don’t Call Me Ishmael published in 2007.
Chapter 4 Quotes

And if it hadn’t been my terrible fate to end up as Ishmael Leseur, then none of the disasters of my life would have happened and today I would be a happy normal teenager, like everyone else my age.

Related Characters: Ishmael Leseur (speaker), Bill Kingsley, Ignatius Prindabel, James Scobie
Related Symbols: Moby-Dick
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Even though we had improved from last time, the difference again was Scobie. It was like having Michael Phelps swimming the final leg for you in the under-seven floaties relay. As long as we could keep the opposition vaguely in sight, we knew that Scobie would reel them in and eat them up.

Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

“Well, I guess you could say that part of it’s about how power can be used in a good way or a bad way, and you could tie that to things like the power that big companies or politicians or dictators have today, I suppose. And Harry himself faces a lot of problems that I reckon would be relevant to a lot of people—you know, like coping with death and trying to fit in when you’re different…and bullying.”

Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

“Oh, and Orazio…I know we’re not headed for Mount Doom or anything, but we are on a bit of a quest, aren’t we? Maybe we’re even some sort of a fellowship.”

Razza sprawled back in his seat and shook his head slowly from side to side as if nothing made sense to him anymore. Finally he stood up, leaned over the table, and placed his hand on Bill’s shoulder.

I held my breath. I had a terrible feeling that Orazio Zorzotto’s razor-sharp wit was about to slice Bill Kingsley in two.

Razza fixed his eyes on the large form before him. “I will follow you,” he said solemnly, “my brother…my captain…my…Kingsley.”

Related Characters: Bill Kingsley (speaker), Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto (speaker), Ishmael Leseur, Ignatius Prindabel
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ignatius Prindabel Character Timeline in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The timeline below shows where the character Ignatius Prindabel appears in Don’t Call Me Ishmael. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...Year Nine meeting. Ishmael can’t decide if he wants everybody or nobody to show up. Ignatius Prindabel is the first to show up. Ignatius is an interesting volunteer. He’s smart and... (full context)
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...and they should all plan to go to the workshop at Moorfield High on Saturday. Ignatius has scouts, and Bill says he’s seeing a Lord of the Rings marathon. Razza brightly... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...circling the girls’ schools on his sheet and is giving them a “Razza Babe Rating.” Ignatius is working on mathematical equations, and Bill is doodling a spaceship. This is going to... (full context)
Chapter 24
Friendship Theme Icon
...seems to understand how to work as a team. Scobie tries to organize an argument, Ignatius offers useless information, Bill sits still, and Razza insists the topic is terrible. Instead, Razza... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...sample script of their first meeting. Razza consistently insists they got “the crap side,” while Ignatius offers useless political facts. When asked for his thoughts, Bill talks about Aragorn from The... (full context)
Chapter 25
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Somehow, Scobie pulls the team together in time for the first debate. Ignatius speaks first, then Razza, then Scobie—and somehow, they win. Ignatius is a lifeless speaker, while... (full context)
Chapter 27
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...preliminary debate against the Lourdes Girls School, when Ishmael gets a call from Scobie. Since Ignatius is busy playing the triangle in the band, the team for the night is Bill,... (full context)
Chapter 32
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Ishmael is confused by what Razza means. Scobie, Bill, and Ignatius stare and realize that Ishmael doesn’t know what happened. Ishmael doesn’t remember anything, aside from... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Razza continues to dance around and make jokes. Even Ignatius and Bill laugh. Ishmael knows he has no chance with Kelly now. He’s not only... (full context)
Chapter 33
Friendship Theme Icon
Once Bill, Ignatius, and Razza get Scobie’s joke, they laugh uproariously (and Bill shoots strawberry milk out his... (full context)
Chapter 34
Friendship Theme Icon
...the first day after the September holidays, Ishmael has to break the bad news to Ignatius, Razza, and Bill: according to Miss Tarango, Scobie has gone somewhere with his father and... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Ignatius says they’ll “be drowning in [their] own offal.” Razza says they should at least pretend... (full context)
Chapter 35
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...aloud: “That science-fiction and fantasy films have little relevance to the problems facing today’s world.” Ignatius leaps on it and says that fantasy is just a way to escape real problems,... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...to evil and coping with bullying. Ishmael frantically writes everything down and encourages Razza and Ignatius to keep asking Bill questions. (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...to formulate their arguments. But the question now is who’s speaking, and in what order. Ignatius says that this isn’t his topic. He thinks Ishmael should speak first, then Razza, and... (full context)
Chapter 36
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...team takes their seats. Ishmael studies the Preston team, who are dressed like undertakers. As Ignatius opens the debate, Ishmael finally remembers the horror of the last debate. But when Ignatius... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
When Ignatius calls Bill up, Bill gives an impassioned, persuasive speech. He even dumps his index cards,... (full context)
Chapter 39
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...week later, when Razza asks if Ishmael will go with him to the debating finals (Ignatius and Bill are busy). Ishmael refuses, but Razza insists on hearing why Ishmael has been... (full context)
Chapter 45
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...revenge and there’s nothing Barry can do to stop him. Ishmael meets Barry’s eyes as Ignatius, then Razza, and then Bill read their readings. Barry mouths for Ishmael not to do... (full context)
Chapter 46
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ignatius tells Ishmael, Razza, and Bill goodbye and leaves too. Then, Razza turns to Bill and... (full context)
Chapter 49
Friendship Theme Icon
...around at the crowd one last time, still smiling—but before he can leave the gym, Ignatius barrels into him. Ignatius offers Ishmael an envelope. He doesn’t know what it is; someone... (full context)