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Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate…

Gertie's Leap to Greatness

by Kate Beasley

Other authors: Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator)

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I can't remember why I placed this book on my library book list. I usually would not pick up a Young Adult book to read, so I must have heard of the book on NPR or a public radio podcast (yes, I'm an elitist radio listener) in some manner that provoked my interest. By whatever means the book became known to me, I am glad it came my way.

Gertie is described from other reviewers as the new Ramona Quimby. I suppose that description fits. Gertie is a determined to be herself, no matter how uncomfortable that goal makes her. And, she has a lot to be determined about. She has a mom who left her to pursue a different life just down the road— a life with another man and being a mom to his children while disavowing Gertie's existence, a dad who loves his work on an oil rig in a reality of staunch environmentalists (who hire million-dollar lobbyists who jet around the country and live in multi-million dollar homes contributing to the environmental degradation they are paid to halt), and an aunt who feeds her Twinkies for breakfast in the age where pushing unhealthy diets is somewhat akin to child abuse. Gertie, being herself through it all, wears a tight ponytail at the top of her head to make certain her brain power is working a full steam as she sets off to successfully complete her missions. "Give 'em hell, baby."

The book is not perfect. In the most notable of flaws, there is one child of color who is relegated to the "smart best friend" role while the girl who "has it all" is white and blond. These characters have been overdone in fiction reinforcing stereotypes that, in turn, reinforce discriminatory mental models (conscious and unconscious). Ms. Beasley would do well to broaden her offerings of characters in future volumes. In spite of the stereotypes making me uncomfortable, I found myself enjoying this book dealing with some very adult realities. The book does what a good young adult book should do: it makes the reader think. None of the situations presented have easy answers or even desirable answers. It is a book that, if read with an adult, can provoke some interesting conversations. ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Sep 9, 2017 |
The audio book's narrator made the character sound a lot younger than her 5th grade. ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Aug 26, 2017 |
GERTIE’S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley tells the heartwarming story of a fifth grader on a quest to have the best school year ever.

From summer speech writing to performing in the school play, Gertie Reece Foy is determined to be the best fifth grader ever. However, Gertie finds competition from the new girl in school.

Librarians will find that fans of Beverly Clearly and other small town storytellers will find this humorous family and school story appealing. Charming illustrations woven throughout the text add to the appeal.

To learn more about the book and author, go to http://www.gertiesleaptogreatness.com/.

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group on October 4, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  eduscapes | Dec 26, 2016 |
Gertie determines to impress her absent mother by becoming the best fifth grader ever, but her efforts are not appreciated by the rest of her class. Ramona Quimby meets Harriet the Spy. I found this well-written and enjoyable, though not as good as Raymie Nightingale, which is similar in theme. ( )
  foggidawn | Dec 19, 2016 |
Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books

Gertie Reece Foy is on a mission to be the best fifth grader in the universe and she never gives up! This is one ten year old who cannot be stopped. Kate Beasley weaves an uplifting tale that will bring tears and giggles.

Gertie's Leap to Greatness is an outstanding debut that makes me hope, that at ten years old, I was as cool as Gertie. It's realistic fiction written with an overdramatic voice that demands attention. The hope that her mission will succeed is what drives this plot and has readers rooting for Gertie to go get 'em. Jillian Tamaki's illustrations remind me of my own elementary school days pouring over similar stories like Fudge and Ramona Quimby. This story is destined to be remembered along with those endearing classics.

It's the kind of story that makes you instantly happy and eager to share with others. Gertie Reece Foy will leap off the pages of the book and steal your heart!

*eGalley provided in exchange for an honest review* ( )
  LoveyDoveyBooks | Oct 3, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Beasleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tamaki, JillianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374302618, Hardcover)

"Gertie is a girl on a mission to be the best fifth grader ever in order to show her estranged mother that Gertie doesn't need her--not one bit!"--

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 19 Feb 2016 12:15:54 -0500)

"Gertie is a girl on a mission to be the best fifth grader ever in order to show her estranged mother that Gertie doesn't need her--not one bit!"--

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