Every year, I waffle about my first read aloud of the year. It's a big decision. I mean... it is the first book that you share with your class. It sets the stage and tone for all future read alouds. Not to be dramatic or anything, but it's important. :)
But now, thanks to my fabulous new 4th grade team, I know the best read aloud for starting the year in 4th grade. And, that read aloud is Gooney Bird Greene!
I cannot believe I had not read this book until this year. I love books and it seems criminal that I missed this one. If you've been waiting to read this book, don't wait any longer. It's laugh out loud funny, full of fabulous description, and entertaining from cover to cover. I mean, it IS Lois Lowry and everything she writes is pretty much literary gold.
Gooney Bird Greene is no exception.
So, why did I wait so long to read this little novel? Easy. It's about a second grade class and I thought it would be too young for my class. Silly me. Silly me.
The story follows one second grade class that gets a new student, Gooney Bird Greene. Gooney is unlike any other student in class. She's got style and flair. She's always true to herself and most importantly she's an amazing storyteller. Soon, the students are begging for Gooney to share more stories from her life that seem larger than life but are actually 100% true.
This book may have been about 2nd graders, but the story is captivating and entertaining no matter what your age. Every student in my room loved this book! They begged for more each and every day.
As a 4th grade teacher that teaches personal narrative, I could not have found a better way to start the year. The kids loved the read aloud and they are already referencing the book during writer's workshop. They all want to be Gooney Bird Greene and I'm relishing all the great writing instruction they got without even knowing it.
Thank you Lois Lowry and thank you Goonie Bird Greene.
I will never have to worry about my beginning of the year read aloud again.