Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GERTIE'S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley.  Illus. by Jillian Tamaki.  New York: Ferrar, Straus, Giroux, 2016.  ISBN 978-137430261 hc. $16.99      Gr. 3-5   JUV

Gertie is on a mission, as usual, and this time it involves being the best fifth-grader in the class to show her absentee mom how wonderful she is.  Her mom lives three miles away on the other side of town, while Gertie lives with her dad and Aunt Rae.  It can result in occasional awkward situations, but Gertie has her best friends Jean, the smartest kid in fifth grade, and Junior Jr., the quietest kid in fifth grade, to help her out.  Her mission is waylaid when Mary Sue Spivey, perfect in every way, moves in from California to re-focus attention on herself as the best at everything.  When Mary Sue initiates a campaign against the oil rigs where Gertie's dad works, she declares war.  Gertie's attempts to be the best often fail, resulting in hilarious and heartbreaking adventures.  She finally begins to appreciate the awesome people who care deeply about her when she looks at things from her friends' points of view.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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