Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program
Gooney Bird on the Map by Lois Lowry
From the back of the book: Mrs. Pidgeon’s second grade class has a lot to celebrate in February: presidents’ birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and school vacation. Of course, some students are talking about their awesome vacation plans every chance they get. It can be hard to focus on subtraction problems when you’re heading to Hawaii or Florida in seventeen minus seven days!
But most of the class (twelve minus three of them, in fact) will be staying home during vacation. Can Gooney Bird Greene keep spirits up while just about everyone is feeling down? Gooney Bird has a great idea that sends her classmates and her on a snowy spin through the United States history and geography!
What I liked about the book: I love Gooney! If you like Ramona, Judy Moody, and Clementine you can’t help but like Gooney. She is what my Granny would call a “character.” How can a second grader have so much wisdom? Gooney’s school is a small school – only one class per grade level. There are only 15 students in Gooney’s class – an educator’s dream in these days of crowded classrooms. I really like how Lowry manages to create learning opportunities (math, geography, history and character education) while entertaining young readers with an engaging story. Students will enjoy Gooney’s outrageous style and “out of the box” thinking.
What I didn’t like about the book: I love Gooney, BUT – as an educator I have a real problem with the relationship between Mrs. Pidgeon and her class. It often appears as though Gooney is the teacher and Mrs. Pidgeon is the student. Gooney is never disrespectful – that’s not her style, but there are times, when she does seem rather condescending to the adults around her. Even so, I can’t seem to stop myself from running out and grabbing each new book in this series. Gooney makes me smile.
Recommended for 2nd Grade and Up.
AR Level – not yet rated
Release date: November 15, 2011