Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gooney Bird Greene” as Want to Read:
Gooney Bird Greene
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gooney Bird Greene (Gooney Bird Greene #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,419 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry introduces a new girl in class who loves being the center of attention and tells the most entertaining “absolutely true” stories.

There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. What other new kid comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots one day and a polka-dot t-shirt and tutu on another? Goon
Audio, 0 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published September 30th 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
An eccentrically-dressed and apparently over-imaginative second grade girl, Gooney Bird, comes to a new school and entrances the other students (and teacher) with her surprising, “absolutely true” stories. With her deliberate, exact way of speaking and unusual phrasing, she describes her stories before telling them in ways that make it seem as though they’ll be tall tales – but there is always a humorous, prosaic explanation. For example, “I was in jail when this happened” actually refers to Goo ...more
This is the little chapter book that I read to my class every single year about writing and telling stories. Gooney Bird Greene is a natural at spinning a tale. The children just eat this book up. I notice that after each reading, the student's own writing improves by leaps and bounds. Their journal stories come alive as they try to be more descriptive...just like Gooney. And, "suddenly" the word "suddenly" starts appearing more frequently in the journals of my first-time writers. Thank you, Loi ...more
Gooney Bird Greene is a new student at Watertower Elementary, who comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, among many other interesting clothes the following days. From her first day of school, she always wants to be the center of attention; whether that is wearing unique clothes or sitting in the middle of the classroom. When her teacher allows students to tell a story, Gooney is able to keep the classroom on their seats with her "absolutely true" stories, even though they seem anythin ...more
Miss Byler
Meet a quirky, one-of-a-kind girl when you meet Gooney Bird Greene! She does not seem like the other kids, but they are amazed when she begins to tell her stories. You will be amazed by the stories too when you read it!
Hailey White
My children all enjoyed this (8,5,4,2). As for myself, I was particularly impressed with Lowry's introduction of the art of storytelling through the main character.
No, I haven't gone totally Goofy, Gooney. . .
Having FUN, starting some reading from some well-known authors or titles of books for younger readers. It's on my To Do Bucket List for One of my goals for reading in 2014:
Books I missed in my long-ago reading at local small-town library OR the books obviously weren't written yet.

AND when so many of them are now showing up as "recently added" to the e-library, it's a snap to check-them out without
a)trying to look nonchalant wandering the you
Gooney Bird Greene loves to be the center of attention (just like most second graders) and only tells absolutely true stories. Gooney Bird is an excellent storyteller and tells a new story to her classroom every day. What's interesting is how Gooney Bird shows that words can mean different things than you might expect, for example, how Gooney Bird moved to her new home from China in a minivan.

A good book for second grade students who are ready for short chapter books.
Zineb S
Do you like Realistic fiction? I will talk about a book about a girl called Gooney Bird Greene , she in a strange way passioned with fashion. Her first day of school was really crazy, she came dressed in a pink tutu. She also eats bad food that aren't good for her basically she's a crazy girl.

Gooney Bird Greene love dressing up and that's a way that relates to me , like a girl I love clothes. We call them girly girls I loved this book and I finished it in 1 weeks it was so funny and I really w
About storytelling, really. Gooney Bird is new and entertains class each day with a new story within context of teacher teaching about writing stories (elements of good stories). So it'd be a good one for teachers to use in writing workshop. She misleads class with funky titles that, when taken literally, turn out to be more about the normal stuff of everyday life.
I have really mixed feelings about this book. One it's super silly. Two, the way it's laid out is a little annoying and obnoxious. But it is an interesting way to teach kids how to write/tell their own stories. As an author that was what I enjoyed about the book. My kids seemed to enjoy it, which is a plus. All of the interrupting of the stories made it hard to follow and felt very ADD to me. I realize the author was doing it to teach, but I did not like it. I think my kids did, though, so for t ...more
Arianna Harris
i like this book because its like helping to be a good person and not a bad person so you can treat people like how you treat your family and never let your family down you always should be there for then if its an problem or emergency
Canadian Reader
Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary one month into the school year and spends part of every day regaling the class with tales of her life, including how she got her name, how she arrived in Watertower from "China", how she acquired a pair of "diamond" earrings at a palace and directed an orchestra--among other things. The story consists of Gooney Bird's outlandish but always completely true stories. If you aren't charmed by these stories, the book doesn't really work. (I wasn't f ...more
It tries to hard to shove the message of accepting differences and eccentricities down your throat. I hate books like that.
Lily Bravos
Adored this book and now continuing through Gooney Bird's other titles with a 6-year-old who is a timid reader. We listen to the audiobooks, which are very well performed. Gooney Bird's Texan accent is so fun for the little one in combination with her audacious style and speech.
What I like is that it highlights the elements of a story for beginning readers. Since reading this book, we talk about how to start a story and often inject "SUDDENLY..." into our talks with great delight. There is also
Becky Martin
I read this to my second graders every year. It is great for story telling, writing, vocabulary, and visualizing!
It is an absolutely true story that my daughter and I have fallen in love with Gooney Bird Greene! I am thrilled to come across this well-written series; it is chock-full of excellent vocabulary and introduces the reader to the elements of good storytelling through the narrative. My first-grade daughter is an advanced reader, so although this book is at a reading level for grades 3-5, the subject matter of an interesting new girl who arrives in the second grade at Watertower Elementary School is ...more
Liz Garden
Perfect book to read when talking about oral storytelling and writing ideas during writer's workshop!
Hilarious. Every single one of these students is in my class.
Gooney Bird Greene enters her class a confident young girl with a flair for the dramatic. Her class encourages her to tell them the stories of her life, stories they feel must be exaggerated. As she tells the stories however, her classmates and teacher find out that she is telling the truth! She is just telling it in way that makes it seem beyond possible, at first.

Teachers, this is a good read aloud to get those writing juices flowing! We all have stories. How can we think about them in anothe
Christine Watson
Contemporary Realistic Fiction:
This is an adorable story of a quirky second grade girl named Gooney Bird Greene. When she arrives in Watertower, all of the students in her class want to learn more about her. Gooney Bird agrees to tell stories about her life that are "absolutely true." The themes in this book are confidence, individuality and truth versus the perception of truth. I read this story every year to my second graders, and they love it! This is a great book to introduce small moment st
There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. What other new kid comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots one day and a polka-dot t-shirt and tutu on another? Gooney Bird has to sit right smack in the middle of the class because she likes to be in the middle of everything. She is the star of story time and keeps her teacher and classmates on the edge of their seats with her “absolutely true” stories. But what about her classmates? Do they have stories ...more
Oct 25, 2009 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

From Booklist
Gr. 2-5. Veteran author Lowry produces a laugh-out-loud chapter book with a lead character who could easily be the younger sister of Spinelli's Stargirl (2000). Gooney Bird appears in Mrs. Pidgeon's second-grade class one October, asking for a desk "right smack in the middle of the room" because she likes to be in the middle of everything. She dresses the part, too: it's pj's and cowboy boots that first day, green stretch pants, a polka-dot T-shirt, and a tutu the next. And she love
Erin Cataldi
Gooney Bird Greene is an adorable story about the new girl in school who quickly wins over every one. Gooney isn't your average second grader, she is a very eccentric dresser and she has some of the most outlandish tales the children and teacher have ever heard, although she insists they are real ("I tell only absolutely true stories!").

As the class starts to learn about what makes a good story they all volunter Gooney Bird as the character because everyone is so intrigued by her. Gooney Bird,
Gooney Bird Greene is a precocious, well traveled, honest 2nd grader that is sure to make your primary grade students howl in laughter. One fall day Gooney Bird shows up in Mrs. Pidgeons class dressed quite unusually with an air of mystery. The students in the class no longer are interested in what Mrs. Pidgeon has to say, but instead want to know about Gooney Bird. To appease her students, Mrs. Pidgeon allows her new student to tell one story each day. Gooney Bird's first story is about coming ...more
Tonya Branch

This is a story about an interesting elementary school student name Gooney Bird Greene. Gooney is not your ordinary student, she is very confident in herself and loves to be the center of attention. She begins school a month after it has started. As if that isn't enough, she wears pajamas and cowboy boots on her first day at school. She then requests a seat in the middle of the classroom because she likes to be" smack dab in the middle of things." To elaborate on her big personality,
Recommended Age:

Overall Review:
Nobody in Mrs. Pidgeon's second-grade class at Watertower Elementary has ever met a student quite like Gooney Bird Greene—and most readers probably haven't, either! With her wacky fashion, larger-than-life personality, and "absolutely true" stories about things like magic carpet rides and princes who live in palaces, Gooney Bird stole my heart from the beginning. Gooney Bird Greene is the tale of an unusual new student, but it's also a primer on how to tell grea
Well know as a two-time Newbery Medalist, Lois Lowry invites readers into fascinating Gooney Bird Greene series. This is not as famous as her other books but good for young children to inspire their writing and storytelling.
Gooney Bird, red-haired and freckle-faced appears in Mrs. Pidgeon’s second-grade class. Gooney’s green stretch pants, polka-dot T-shirt, and cowboy boots grab everyone’s attention from the first day. She also likes to be right smack in the middle of everything. By telling a
Another really cute story - this time about a likable, quirky character named Gooney Bird. The book is really about storytelling and I loved the way Lowry jumps between the plot and Gooney Bird's "absolutely true" tales. There's some fun wordplay for the word nerds too.

Course evaluation:

Personal Response: This was a fun way to teach storytelling. Gooney Bird is a charming character and I greatly enjoyed the wordplay involved in her stories.

Evaluation: Lowry’s use of dialogue has a realistic flo
Betsie Johnson

Gooney Bird Greene is a new student at Watertower Elementary, and she is quite an interesting character. She walks into Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade class half-way through the first semester wearing a unique ensemble and with a million "absolutely true" stories to tell. Her teacher indulges her new start student when the class has time for a story, yet she attempts to see the validity in Gooney Bird's stories. Gooney Bird's seemingly far-fetched stories are not all imaginative, howeve
Amber the Human
I checked out an audio version of this and the next two Greene books and listened to them on a long, difficult drive. And this character did make things better. Obviously, there were no illustrations to look at, but that was fine, Lowry's writing gives us a great idea of who Gooney is and how she lights up the classroom. And it's better hearing the narrator give Gooney a Texan accent.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Year of Miss Agnes
  • Greek Myths For Young Children
  • Mountain Born
  • Little Pear
  • Archaeologists Dig for Clues
  • The Great Wall Of China
  • Tales of Robin Hood
  • Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess
  • Follow My Leader
  • Dolphin Adventure
  • Favorite Poems of Childhood
  • Tut's Mummy: Lost...and Found
  • Red Sails to Capri
  • Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything
  • Detectives in Togas
  • Anna Hibiscus (Anna Hibiscus, #1)
  • Five True Dog Stories
  • Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week
Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always
More about Lois Lowry...

Other Books in the Series

Gooney Bird Greene (5 books)
  • Gooney Bird and the Room Mother
  • Gooney the Fabulous
  • Gooney Bird Is So Absurd
  • Gooney Bird on the Map
The Giver (The Giver, #1) Number the Stars Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2) Messenger (The Giver, #3) Son (The Giver Quartet, #4)

Share This Book

“I like being right smack in the middle.” 0 likes
“The class stared at the new girl with admiration. They had never met anyone like Gooney Bird Greene. She was a good student. She sat down at the desk Mrs. Pidgeon provided, right smack in the middle of everything, and began doing second grade spelling.” 0 likes
More quotes…