Go-Cart Gertie

Children - Action
46 Pages
Reviewed on 08/13/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Award-winning children’s author, Cindy L. Shirley grew up in a small town in Cherokee County Georgia. She is a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one amazing granddaughter. She loves working with children and has tons of hilarious stories to share. Cindy says, “So many heartfelt conversations, and silly experiences took place during my time working as an Cobb County elementary school ASP teacher. Kids just want to feel acknowledged and share their day with someone.” It was during this time that she decided to pursue a business in entertaining children. Mrs. Shirley founded Let’s Pretend Parties in 2006 and Let’s Pretend Publishing in 2017. She continues to work with children of all ages as a party planner and hostess. Ms. Shirley is also involved with annual community and family events throughout Cobb and Cherokee Counties. This adventure, along with personal experiences, would be the basis for her heartwarming children's books: "Diesel the Body Guard; No Bullies Allowed! Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float, and her new series, The Fabulous life of Minnie the Sassy Chick." These stories are based on real characters from her family, as well as her childhood experiences. Her creative and fun filled story lines were written to bring a smile to children’s faces. She says, “I will consider this new adventure as an author to be a huge success if I can make children laugh.”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Go-Cart Gertie is an action and adventure, social issues graphic book for children and preteens written and illustrated by Cindy Shirley. Ten-year-old Gertie wished that she could hang out with her big brother and his friends. She was tired of going to school and coming home, and wanted to have the freedom her eighth-grade brother had. Gertie especially didn’t want to take the bus to school anymore. Her mom and dad were sympathetic, but they felt she needed to be a little older before she got some of those privileges. Gertie really didn’t like being smaller than and getting teased by Greg. She needed something to make life fun and interesting again. Then, she saw the used go-cart outside the toy store the family was driving past. Gertie loved watching car races with her dad and had always dreamed of having a go-cart. Her dad was actually considering her request to buy it, and her mom, well, her mom would probably have needed a bit more persuading, until Greg started laughing at his sister and saying that girls can’t race. That made up her mom’s mind. Gertie would get that go-cart, and she’d show the world, and Greg, that girls certainly can race.

Go-Cart Gertie lets kids know that it’s cool to have interests even if they’re not something that girls or boys are traditionally supposed to be able to do. And while playing with a baby little sister, or dolls for that matter, is always a nice thing to do, if a child is so inclined, I appreciated Gertie’s preference for something more active and adventurous. This book is particularly important in the messages it sends to kids who may not feel as confident as Gertie in asserting their non-gender specific interests. I also loved how Gertie and Greg’s sibling rivalry became more of a supportive team effort when race day arrives. Go-Cart Gertie is a grand selection for story time; one that will get young kids dreaming without limitations based on gender expectations. It’s also a well-written and challenging text for young readers. It’s most highly recommended.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Cindy Shirley pens a delightfully animated story in Go-Cart Gertie. Gertie is the middle child of the Gilbert family. At age ten, Gertie is energetic and is always looking for ways to have fun. One day on a family outing, she spots a used purple go-cart. Gertie secretly dreams of one day being a pro race car driver, so she begs her dad to buy it for her. Gertie’s older brother, Greg, isn’t thrilled about his little sister racing, believing “Girls can’t race!” To teach his little sister a lesson, Greg decides to enter the competition. There is no way he would lose to a girl. The go-cart race turns into an exciting family event – the girls against the boys. Gertie is determined to show her brother just what a girl can do!

Go-Cart Gertie by Cindy Shirley is an amusing and inspiring story. The characters are fun, lively and relatable. Each family member has a role to play in the story, especially in shaping the character of young Gertie. However being a grandmother myself, I appreciated the dynamic of Grandma Gertrude, she stirs up the plot a bit. The central theme of “you can be anything you want to be” is depicted throughout the story. Complementing the theme, the narrative contains many valuable truths. Work hard, practice, and never allow others to put limitations on you. However, the most important lesson portrayed is “families stick together.” Cindy Shirley is a talented storyteller and Cleoward Sy is a wonderful illustrator. I enjoyed the artwork immensely; Cleoward's pictures create a bright and colorful world for her enjoyable children’s story.

Sarah Stuart

Go-Cart Gertie by Cindy Shirley is based on Gertrude Gilbert, named for her grandmother who is known to the family as GG – one simply cannot discount the influence of GG! To begin with, Gertie admires her big brother, Greg, but one day, after being left to take the bus while Greg is trusted to walk to school with his friends, fires Gertie's rebellion. On the next family outing she spots an old go-cart in a shop window and offers to do extra chores if she can have it. Greg says, “You’re a girl and girls can’t race.” Dad buys the go-cart, but Greg doesn’t give in; he borrows a friend’s go-cart. Practice races cause trouble, but Gertie and Greg get faster and faster so when they enter a big race, who will be the winner? Gertie, with Mom and GG supporting her, or Greg with Dad on his side?

I loved this book because the Gilbert family step, or drive, off the page and live. Gertie and Greg could so easily be my own nephew and niece, the sibling rivalry is so realistic. Mom and GG overdo their glee when Gertie wins a minor race and have to apologize. The household is incredibly well grounded with a toddler and a pet dog, and GG is a grandmother we’ve all known somewhere… sometime. And who is the winner? That would be telling, but the winner I found is love. Go-Cart Gertie by Cindy Shirley is perfect for use in schools with fifth grade children and young teenagers or as a gift any parent could give, knowing it would be enjoyed.