Gooney Bird and All Her Charms

illus. by Middy Thomas. 160p. (Gooney Bird Greene Series). Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544113541. LC 2012041887.
Gr 2–4—Gooney Bird and her second-grade classmates are studying the human body. The students are in for a surprise when her uncle, Dr. Walter Oglethorpe, an anatomy professor, loans them a skeleton to help them with their research. They use it as an opportunity to teach the whole school about the human body as they label where different parts would be, such as the brain, muscles, digestive system, etc. The skeleton, on display outside the school to show the location of the respiratory system, goes missing, and Gooney Bird becomes head detective, leading her class on an investigation to solve the mystery. The youngsters are enthusiastic, outgoing, and funny. The running joke throughout the story is, "Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade finds this humerus." Readers will discover important facts about anatomy as they follow along with this remarkable class. Line drawings bring to life the unique scenarios the students create for the skeleton. A great choice for beginning chapter-book readers.—Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga Public Library System, OH
In her sixth book, bossy but good-natured Gooney Bird Greene livens up the class human body unit with a real skeleton, on loan from her great-uncle, Dr. Oglethorpe. A parent's objection brings tension to the plot laden with amusingly precocious observations of second graders; ultimately, Gooney's charm bracelet helps the kids present their new anatomy knowledge. Simple line drawings illustrate the chapters.

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