Gertie is full of aspirations. She wants to be the best 5th grader in the world! She devises missions and always follows through… whether that means bringing a frog back to life or eating a lifetime supply of Swiss chocolates in five minutes. But why does Gertie want to be the best? It’s so she can win back the mother that abandoned her as a very young girl. Will Gertie succeed in her ultimate mission? Gertie’s Leap to Greatness is full of humor; wild ideas; believable and loveable characters; and page-turning writing. Great for fans of Ramona, The Penderwicks and Harriet the Spy!
From the beginning, you fall head-over-heels with Gertie. She is an indefatigable 10-year-old who is determined to be the most important student in her fifth grade class. As she embarks on that journey she quickly realizes that life is messy and she has no control over so many of the variables in her life. That does not stop her and she moves from Phase One to many phases after.
As quoted in the book: "It didn't matter that she wasn't the fastest of the smartest or the tallest, because what made Gertie a force to be reckoned with was the fact that she never gave up. Not ever."
As with other grade school heroines like Judy Moody, you watch Gertie make mistakes and behave like a kid while learning life lessons from her friends and the adults in her life. This book would make an excellent read aloud for both boys and girls. From page one you are sucked into the Gertie Foy express.
Oh what a funny light-hearted spunky little book. Gertrude's mother left her when she was young but she doesn't let that get her down and she's determined to show her mom how awesome she is. The book is chock-full with hilarious things. The first line: "the bullfrog was only half dead which was perfect" that let you know what kind of book this is going be. Gertie has strong opinions and just incorrigible. None the less there is a quirkiness and determination to her that makes her a good character. She feels that the new student Mary Sue is out to get her and dislikes Gertie. So she includes the new student in her mission to be the best 5th grader in the school. The full circle of the book will seem obvious to adults however, I feel the target grade 3/4 will not be aware of it until the end. A fun read.
From the moment we meet Gertie resurrecting a frog, we know she isn't like other fifth graders. Follow this tenacious little girl through the stress of being upstaged at every turn by the new girl during a time when she just has to be THE BEST. Rich characters make this fast-paced humorous story a delight even in the face of serious issues.
I knew I would love Gertie's Leap to Greatness based on the title alone. It sounds presumptions, but I have a soft spot for girls with very quirky names who put a lot of gusto into everything they do. It also reminds me how boring my name is.
Kate Beasley's debut is a delight, and it's a delight because of how everything is set up from page one. Gertie isn't like other little girls -- she wants to resurrect a frog back from the dead, wants to be the star in the school play, and she was that darn Mary Sue to stop stealing her seat. She is 100% made of awesome, and she's the kind of girl that you can easily cheer for.
If I am being honest, I saw a lot of my younger self in Gertie. I still have the same can-do attitude towards life (or at least when it comes to the things I love), I was that awkward child who would only be afraid of what people thought after the fact. Gertie's got so much charm and spirit that she was just such a fun character to follow about. I also LOVED Gertie's aunt and the role she played in the story as well, especially in regards to Gertie's relationship with her mother.
I think what I equally loved about this novel is that the voice present in it feels so genuine and realistic. While a zombie frog doesn't scream realism, I appreciate how full of life Gertie and her family are. While some of the other characters feel a little more one note, there's still something so compelling about what is happening the story and what surrounds Gertie as a character. It makes for quick read, that's for sure!
I can totally see this being a hit at my library, and with Jillian Tamaki's artwork fits the story so perfectly that I was so excited every time an illustration showed up. Gertie's Leap to Greatness is a passionate delight that will leave you grinning from start to finish. Seriously, Gertie is adorable!
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