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Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry (Yearling, 2004)

Ages 7-11

This is a very funny book with great stories, clever twists, and, believe it or not, embedded instruction about how to create a good story. Gooney Bird Greene is a new girl in Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade class. Her outlandish dress is the first clue that she's not going to be your conventional student, but soon the class discovers that Gooney Bird can tell a great story. The class becomes entranced by the stories she tells, which have intriguing titles like such as "How Gooney Bird Came from China on a Flying Carpet." Gooney Bird says all her stories are "Absolutely True" and at first no one believes her, but as double meanings in the titles are revealed it turns out the stories are in fact believable.

As Gooney Bird tells her stories, the teacher or Gooney Bird slip in asides about making a good story, such as having a beginning, middle and end, or using words like "suddenly" to keep things interesting.

My kids made me read this to them in a single sitting - they couldn't bear to stop.

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