Cover image for Gertie's leap to greatness / Kate Beasley ; illustrations by Jillian Tamaki.
Title:
Gertie's leap to greatness / Kate Beasley ; illustrations by Jillian Tamaki.
ISBN:
9781250143747

9780374302610
Edition:
First Square Fish edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2018.

©2016
Physical Description:
249 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Contents:
A monstrosity of science -- You're in my seat -- Squish -- What's a Mary Sue Spivey -- Nope -- Upset about North Dakota -- With a G -- That superior smoothness -- No way you could be born on Krypton -- Who wants to go next? -- Well done, Gertie -- There's right and then there's right -- People are fickle -- Delilah -- Oh, junior -- A very good opportunity -- What happens to the junk food? -- I loathe peas -- A potato never quivers -- I won't tell -- It's at six -- How will I carry on? -- Ger-tie! Ger-tie! Ger-tie! -- Everybody messes up -- You stupid ham hock! -- More bath tissue -- I'm fatty and delicious -- Glory, Glory, Glory.
Abstract:
"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!"-- Provided by publisher.

Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them. From debut author Kate Beasley, and with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, comes a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again--one laugh at a time. -- Provided by publisher.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader MG 4.7 6.0 184757 EN.

Reading Counts 3-5 4.4 10.

AR 4.7 6.0.
Added Author:
Holds:
Copies:

Available:*

Copy
Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
1
Searching...
BEA Paperback Junior Paperback Fiction
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

"Meet the new Ramona Quimby!" -- Entertainment Weekly

In this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut, 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!

Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

From author Kate Beasley, and with interior illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, Gertie's Leap to Greatness is a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again -- one laugh at a time.

Praise for Gertie's Leap to Greatness :

"This story is full of fun surprises: zombie bullfrogs, faithful friends, humor, and hope . . . and a fabulous narrator. Not only is Gertie brave enough to see the world through hopeful eyes, but she's bold enough to be her uniquely wonderful self." --Natalie Lloyd, author of A Snicker of Magic

"From the first paragraph, I was Gertie's fan. Her gumption, her voice, her determination, and her sass jump off the page. Realistic social situations combine with over-the-top personalities to make Gertie's Leap to Greatness a surefire hit for kids who loved Ramona and Fudge and who will one day want to be best friends with Scout. If your mission is to discover a funny, heartwarming, relatable, and entertaining middle grade novel, then jump for joy: Your mission is accomplished. Now dive in and see how Gertie does on hers." --Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company

"[Kate Beasley] writes in the spirit of Roald Dahl and Kate DiCamillo with all the spunk and ferocity of a Southern lady, and Gertie's Leap to Greatness is equal parts Matilda and Because of Winn-Dixie. Heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny." --Clara Martin, Lemuria Books

"Gertie is a dynamic, fun, and well-delineated character, like Ramona and Clementine. Be prepared for Gertie to leap into your heart and mind in 2016." --John Schumacher, Ambassador of School Libraries


Author Notes

Kate Beasley holds a Masters in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in Claxton, Georgia, with two dogs, one parrot, lots of cows, and a cat named Edgar. Gertie's Leap to Greatness is her first novel.

Jillian Tamaki is an illustrator and comics artist. She won both a Printz Honor and a Caldecott Honor for the graphic novel This One Summer , which she co-created with Mariko Tamaki. Jillian lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like the title character in Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale, the indefatigable Gertie Foy is determined to prove to an absent parent that leaving was a big mistake. Gertie, whose school bus passes her estranged mother's house every day, sees a For Sale sign and learns her mother intends to remarry and move. She devises a five-phase plan to become the best fifth grader ever and get her mother's attention before she departs, but Gertie's ambitions run smack into full-of-herself new student Mary Sue Spivey. First, Mary Sue steals Gertie's seat next to Jean, her best friend. Then, she steals Jean. Perhaps worst of all, Mary Sue's mother, an environmental activist, begins a campaign against offshore drilling. (Gertie's father works on an oil rig, and she lives with her Aunt Rae, who winningly sends her off each day by saying, "Give 'em hell, baby"). Given Gertie's world of hurt, debut novelist Beasley wisely interjects humor as often as possible, and Tamaki's winning illustrations add verve, perfectly capturing Gertie's indomitable spirit. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Gertie Reece Foy lives with her great-aunt Rae in coastal Alabama while her kind and loving father, Frank, works on an oil rig. Her mother, Rachel, who left the family when Gertie was a baby, lives across town, but now theres a for-sale sign on her lawn. Before Rachel moves away, Gertie wants to become the greatest fifth grader in the whole school, world, and universe in order to prove something to Rachel and to herself: Shed show up on her mothers front porch, gleaming with greatnessand then Rachel Collins would know that Gertie Foy was one-hundred-percent, not-from-concentrate awesome and that she didnt need a mother anyway. So there. Standing in Gerties way is the rich, prissy new girl at school, whose own mother is waging an environmentalist campaign against oil rigs, and whose ambition for fifth-grade greatness is just as strong as Gerties. The busy plot -- Gertie resuscitates a frog; she helps Aunt Rae babysit a spirited five-year-old; she thinks her teacher hates her; all her classmates turn against her; she saves the class play; she gets in trouble for walking off with the school secretarys bowl of chocolates -- may not be to everyones taste, but slice-of-life fans should enjoy the homespun humor. Personality-rich illustrations by Tamaki (which skew young) help set the scene; the picture of Gertie, triumphant after dispensing with the whole bowl of chocolates, for example, speaks louder than words. elissa gershowitz (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


New York Review of Books Review

"CHEERFUL" IS NOT A WORD I would use to describe many of my favorite books - I prefer my reading sour with a twist of misery - but Kate Beasley's debut was a welcome ray of light, as enjoyable for this middle-aged reader as I predict it will be for its middle-grade audience. You simply can't be in a bad mood when you read "Gertie's Leap to Greatness." Trust me, I tried. Gertie Reece Foy is a plain old fifth grader growing up on the shores of Alabama. She's not a tuba prodigy, a spelling bee champion or a great intellect. She doesn't have superpowers. Nor, like many other kid-lit heroines - Anne Shirley, Nancy Drew, Pippi Longstocking; the list goes on - does Gertie have a mom, or at least not one who will acknowledge her when they run into each other at the Piggly Wiggly. Her mother, Rachel, moved across town when Gertie was a baby, leaving her to be raised by a great-aunt and her dad, who works on an offshore oil rig. Welcome to the storm cloud at the heart of Beasley's otherwise sunny story: Rachel's house is for sale, she's moving to Mobile and Gertie is determined to give her a reason to stay put. Speaking of leaps, I did wonder about the logistics of a mother living so close to her kid and not having any relationship with her, not even over an occasional ice cream cone. But I went with it, and you will, too. Gertie embarks on a campaign to become the greatest fifth grader in the world, a daughter worth noticing. Her mission includes acing the first-day-of-school speech contest at Carroll Elementary, becoming "a genius with a capital G" and landing the lead in the class play. Unfortunately - and naturally - Gertie runs into obstacles with a capital O. Her biggest problem is Mary Sue Spivey, a new girl who seems to have moved from Los Angeles with the express purpose of throwing Gertie off course. (Actually, her dad is filming a movie in the area.) Mary Sue is an entertaining hybrid of two classically smug villains: Nellie Oleson, of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, and Susan Kushner, from Ramona Quimby's school days. (Who can forget those boing-boing curls?) One day, while studying the back of Mary Sue's head, Gertie "wondered why some people ... got to wear lip gloss and meet famous people and sit in the front row. And she wondered why she wasn't one of those people." Don't we all, Gertie, don't we all. Like many of her plucky motherless predecessors, Gertie never gives up. As her dad says, she's a "bulldog with its jaws locked on a car tire." Beasley takes us on a rollicking tour of mislaid plans and Gertie's subsequent picking herself up, dusting herself off and starting all over again. One of the most poignant moments happens when the dreaded Mary Sue starts a Clean Earth Club to protest offshore drilling - which is, of course, the means by which Gertie's dad puts food on their table. Gertie's anxiety here is palpable; she's proud of her dad, a kind man reminiscent of Molly Ringwald's father in "Pretty in Pink." He's not around much, but when he is, he has wise things to say, such as "The people who love me, love me no matter what my job is." Regardless of your position on offshore drilling, it's impossible not to land in the camp of people who love Frank Foy. My lone criticism should not be grounds for sidestepping this book. But I did have trouble grounding myself in a particular time period. Given the environmentalism angle, I'm assuming Beasley means to set her story in the present, yet the kids feel oddly old-fashioned - watching "The Waltons," using expressions like "goody two shoes" and "quiet as little church mice." Don't get me wrong: I was happy to lose myself in a universe devoid of the Disney Channel. I mention my confusion only because Beasley's world is otherwise so meticulously drawn, and because young readers have sensitive radar for things they deem too old-fashioned. Nonetheless, "Gertie's Leap to Greatness" is breathlessly, effortlessly fun. When Gertie is gearing up for her speech, she reminds herself, "The important thing wasn't what you told, but how you told it." This may be accurate in an oratorical sense, but in the case of "Gertie's Leap to Greatness," it couldn't be further from the truth. In Beasley's book, we are lucky enough to find the whole package: an entertaining story, well told. ELISABETH EGAN is the books editor at Glamour magazine and the author of the novel "A Window Opens."