In this book, the author takes to tell the tale of Gertie Reece Foy, a fifth-grader who is as tenacious as one could be, or as her father would say, “she was a bulldog with its jaws locked on a car tire.” Adventurous and spirited, Gertie is presented as a young woman with fervor. The author’s imaginative use of the language helps portray not just a location with characters, but an environment in which the reader can be transported to the events being told in real-time.
Written in a style that is easy for younger readers to follow along, but entertaining and challenging enough for an older audience as well, Gertie sets out to take a leap to greatness by achieving the beginning-of-the-school-year goal of being the best fifth grader ever. Unfortunately, Gertie’s challenge is not one unopposed, but rather a competition for greatness against Mary Sue Spivey. The stakes couldn’t be higher: Gertie’s motivation for greatness is founded in the fact that her mother has determined to move away from the small town, and Gertie’s only hope is to show her how it would be a terrible decision to leave behind their lives.
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