A funny, entertaining, adorable read-aloud for families with kids between the ages of 4 and 8.
Comments: When you have a family with kids of different ages, sometimes it can be hard to find read aloud books that are appropriate for everybody. Gooney Bird Greene is one of those awesome books that has wide appeal. It stars a second grader, which is probably about the author’s target age. However, not only did my 6 year old love it, but my 4 year old was asking me to keep reading when I got to the end of each chapter. I’ll admit, my husband and I also were eager to find out how Gooney Bird’s stories were going to pan out.
As part of our homeschool co-op, my 1st grader recently joined a book club and this was the first book assigned for the younger kids (up through 4th grade). The cover, which features a girl in a tutu, might not be appealing to some boys in this age range, but I can almost guarantee that they will like the book. Gooney Bird Greene is a one-of-a-kind second grader who tells amazing, suspenseful, hilarious stories that are all “absolutely true”. (The irony is that they really are.)
Even though we finished reading this book a couple weeks ago, it’s still memorable for my kids and has made a lasting impact. Gooney Bird teaches her classmates that the word “suddenly” is great for adding suspense to a story. My son’s usage of the word suddenly has increased dramatically. Granted, most of the time it’s in the context of stories about how his siblings are bothering him. “I was playing with this toy when SUDDENLY, he came out of nowhere…” Also, I’ve noticed a couple times when my son has used the phrase, “right smack in the middle of everything,” Gooney Bird’s favorite place to be.
Given that this book was written by the author of The Giver and Number the Stars, two of my favorite books as a kid, I knew this book was going to be well-written. However, I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be as thoroughly enjoyable as it turned out to be. I read to my kids a lot, but most books definitely have passages where their attention spans tend to wander. This is one of the few books we’ve read recently that seemed to hold them captive the entire time.