Gooney Bird Greene (2002), written by two-time Newberry Award winning author Lois Lowry, was a very nice read. I would say it’s for children as young as 1st or 2nd grade. It’s a nice beginning chapter book.
I was going to return this to the library, but I liked it so much so I’m going to save it for Phillise. Read this excerpt from the book and you’ll see why I liked it:
There was a new student in the Watertower Elementary School. She arrived in October, after the first month of school had already passed. She opened the second grade classroom door at ten o’clock on a Wednesday morning and appeared there all alone, without even a mother to introduce her. She was wearing pajamas and cowboy boots and was holding a dictionary and a lunch box.
… “Who are you?” Mrs. Pidgeon asked politely.
“I’m your new student. My name is Gooney Bird Greene-that’s Greene with a silent “e’ at the end- and I just moved here from China. I want a desk right smack in the middle of the room, because I like to be right smack in the middle of everything.
The title is as unusual as the main character herself. Gooney Bird Greene is an unusual name for a little girl. It’s such a strange name that everyone wants to know its origin. Since she’s such a great storyteller, she obliges and tells them in her own melodramatic way. She has a knack for telling story, that according to her are “perfectly true”. Although they do not seem to be true, they are. When she tells a story everyone stops and listens. Even her teacher.
I really liked this book because it introduces young readers to the concepts and elements of storytelling as soon as Pg. 4. I cannot wait to get another classroom so I can read this to my students. This would work well with another book I reviewed, The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane & Herman Auch.
As usual, check it out @ your local library or bookstore.