What You Need to Know:|
• Gooney is admired by her classmates because of her individuality and creativity.
• Her stories and appearance inspire others to add some flare to their own lives.
• There are no issues about whether or not the kids will like her or if she will fit in, she just does.
• Gooney is a fun, light-hearted character whose unique style will leave readers feeling good about being themselves.
• The classroom is the center of the action in this book and there are plenty of other children for the reader to get to
know. Gooney, however is definitely the star.
• Key elements of storytelling, like the use of suspense in writing and techniques such as flashbacks, are subtly
Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertown Elementary School a month after school has started – wearing her pj’s and cowboy boots. That pretty much says it all. She arrives on her own, with no parent or teacher to escort her. She has a dictionary in hand and claims to be from China. Her first request is a seat in the middle of the room because, she says, “I like to be right smack in the middle of everything." Her vivacious personality and unique view of the world are reminiscent of Pippi Longstocking.
Gooney is a good student who also happens to be mysterious and interesting. Her classmates are intrigued by her so when their class work focuses on storytelling, they request stories about Gooney. She loves being the center of attention and is happy to oblige. Throughout the book, Gooney tells stories filled with twists and turns, words with double meanings and clever tricks to keep the listener interested. She explains how her parents picked her name (another option was gazpacho banana), how she arrived from China by car (there is more than one china on the map) and how her pet, Catman, is consumed by a cow (as it turns out, not eaten by, but in love with the cow). Gooney Bird just may inspire her readers to start writing too!
2004, 96 pages
Books & Reading, Friendship, Humor, Individuality, School
• Are you at all like Gooney? Would you go to school dressed like she does?
• Where do you think Gooney gets her story ideas?
• How does Gooney handle being the new girl at school? How do the other kids feel about her?
• Which of Gooney's stories did you like the best? Why?
• How would you describe Gooney to your friends?
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