Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

It's October. The school year is no longer new and exciting. It's spelling class. Spelling. Not the most thrilling part of the school day. What second grade needs is a breath of fresh air, a little zap of excitement.

The door opens. There stands a new classmate. She's wearing pajamas and cowboy boots. She's holding a dictionary and a lunch box. "My name is Gooney Bird Green," she says, "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."

Feel the fresh air? Feel that zap of excitement?

As the class gets to know Gooney Bird and her unusual ways (on Thursday, her second day, she wears a pink ballet tutu over green stretch pants and eats three small red grapes, an avocado, and an oatmeal cookie for lunch), Gooney Bird tells them stories about herself.

Gooney Bird only tells absolutely true stories such as How Gooney Bird Came from China on a Flying Carpet and Why Gooney Bird Was Late for School Because She Was Directing a Symphony Orchestra and Beloved Catman is Consumed By a Cow. Yes, all absolutely true. As she does she also helps Mrs. Pidgeon teach the main parts of stories.

Teachers will find great joy in reading about students they'll swear they've taught. There's Malcolm who quite often is under his desk, possibly doing something with scissors. There's Felicia Ann who never speaks. There's Barry who likes to give very important speeches, so important they require him to stand. And there's Gooney Bird, a student teachers will wish they've taught.

Other Gooney Bird books: Gooney Bird and the Room Mother and Gooney the Fabulous.

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