Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.
From debut author Kate Beasley, and with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, comes a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again--one laugh at a time.
The main character, Gertie, is reminiscent of another spunky classic heroine: Claudia from E.L. Konigsburg's The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Gertie is just as stubborn, just as creative, and just as broken as Claudia, but spunk and loyalty, as well as a strong supportive friend in Junior as well as a loving great aunt and dad help Gertie to see that striving to be the best is really about being her best self. One of the best epilogues I have read in a while.