Gertie's Leap to Greatness
By Kate Beasley
Hi! This book was great! Gertie was going to be the best scientist in the world. She was going to resurrect a frog, even though it was only half-dead, and bring it to her class, because Gertie wanted to have the best speech for “What I Did Over the Summer.” The best speech was always given by the person who turned out to be the best-liked. Gertie had great speeches some years, and some years she had nothing to talk about. But, she had never come out as the best.
This year, Gertie knew that no one was going to have anything as amazing as resurrecting something from the dead! Except, she had been wrong. That very day, a new girl had come to the school. Her name was Mary Sue Spivey. Gertie got one of the best seats where she could always pass notes to her best friends, who were sitting in the seats beside her. She liked to be in the front row so that she could get a good view of everything.
But, the new girl had come up to her and told her that she was sitting in her seat. But that had been impossible because Gertie had been sitting there first. Mary Sue told Gertie that the teacher had told her that she could sit up front, but Gertie didn’t believe that. So, the teacher actually had to come up to Gertie and confirm that she had told Mary Sue that she could sit up front since she was new this year. So, Gertie sat in the second row and her best friends moved back with her. At least she was still sitting next to them, but she really liked the front row.
Mary Sue’s speech had been all about how she had moved from California, where her dad had worked in the movies. And how her dad had worked with Jessica Walsh, a very well-known movie actress. So, of course, Mary Sue got the prize for the best presentation in the class. Gertie continued to hate Mary Sue. But not just because she had wanted to get the best prize. But because she had wanted to do something great because her mother was moving out of town. She wanted to do something so impressive that it would make her mother want to stay with her. You see, Gertie’s mother had moved away from Gertie when Gertie was a baby. Even though she still lived in the same neighborhood as Gertie, Gertie’s family (her dad and her aunt) and her mother’s family acted like the other didn’t exist.
It seemed like Mary Sue hated Gertie for no apparent reason. She brought her mother to the school on career day. Her mother was working on ways to stop oil rigs. Everybody looked at Gertie, because everybody knew that Gertie’s father worked on an oil rig. She gave reasons about how it was back for the environment. Gertie got called on next, and she gave tons of reasons about how oil rigs were good.
And then there was the play. There was a main character, and then there were all other sorts of vegetables and candy. Gertie and Mary Sue both tried out for the main girl character. Gertie got it, but since Gertie got in trouble for stealing chocolates from the principal’s office, she didn’t get to be anything in the play, and Mary Sue got the part.
Will Gertie be able to convince her mother to stay? Will Gertie continue with her rivalry with Mary Sue? Or will everything just fail? As I always say, read the book to find out!
A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:
“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor – zero being not scary at all and five being majorly scary): 0
“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor – zero having no yucky-lovey parts in it and five having major yucky-lovey parts): 2
I give this book 5 wands.
This was a loving story of how all a girl wanted was her Mama.