Monday, March 19, 2012

Gooney Bird on the Map

 Gooney Bird on the Map
by Lois Lowry
ill. by Middy Thomas
125 pages
intermediate chapter book
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011

The one-and-only Gooney Bird Greene is back with another idea! Gooney Bird is quite the individual. She is in second-grade and doesn't care what anyone else thinks about her wardrobe, her ideas or anything! She shows kids that it is okay to wear mismatched socks, to talk to the principal and to beat whatever you want for lunch. Her class is studying US geography right before February vacation time. There are three students in the class going to relatively exotic destinations and they can't help but brag to the class over and over and over again. Gooney Bird thinks up a plan to involve the whole class, in fact the whole school in a geography lesson they will not soon forget. She works her magic to tone down the boasters and make those staying at home feel good, all at the same time. She even teachers her class about observing "a moment of silence" to honor sad things. The Gooney Bird Greene series is a fun series for those just starting into chapter books. Lois Lowry is a wonderfully diverse author that reaches out to all age groups. My only complaint is that the teacher seems to allow free-spirited Gooney Bird a little too much control and influence in her classroom. This is a bit too unrealistic in most classroom settings.

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