The Gross Gang

Children - Grade 4th-6th
42 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christine is an ex-secretary, wife, mother, grandmother – and a farmer for more than 40 years, now living on and enjoying this end of her life on a retirement farm in beautiful Australia.

Her book covers say 'Author - Christine Larsen', and it's true… finally. Decades ago her written creations were shelved, in the belief that editors' rejections equalled no talent. Instead she concentrated on raising a family and meeting the various needs of farming, including successfully raising a myriad of animals, nine of which were kangaroos.
Christine has been rescuing something or someone ever since – on Lifeline telephones; adopting three 'special needs' children; in the community as a Careworker; animals from shelters; and from the Charity shops – abandoned small knitted folk.
Throughout these years she remained an avid reader and wannabe author, constantly 'moodling' about this – until, like a volcano, Christine's creative writing skills had no choice but to erupt, and here she is - working her fingers to the bone on her computer and having the time of her life.
Welcome to her world!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jacqueline Ruiz for Readers' Favorite

The Gross Gang written by Christine Larsen is about Larsen’s fascination with words that can be classified as "odd" or “extinct.” The book introduces us to many of these words (some of which I’ve never heard before) in the form of various poems. Her poems are quirky and fun to read and, I must say, highly relevant to the meanings of the “extinct” words. I know this because at the end of each poem, Larsen gives us definitions to better understand what we have just read. Each poem is also accompanied by a cute picture at the beginning – Larsen doesn’t mention an illustrator so I wonder if she drew these pictures herself. I’ve read a previous book by Larsen and she strikes me as a quirky yet highly likable person. I could picture her sitting in her study, drawing these wonderful images.

If I had to choose my favorite poem from this book, I would have to say “The Great Gadzooks.” I am familiar with the words gadzooks and kerfuffle but in this poem, Larsen gives them a lovelier meaning. Gazza Gadzooks and Katie Kerfuffle were once a couple. They lost each other along the way. Katie met someone else and became a Burly (she married Hurly!). After much turmoil, he passed away so now the two wonder although ten years have passed, is it time for their love to renew? You will definitely enjoy this book as much as I have done. This is a great way to remember these words and a delightful resource for introducing children to these long-lost words as well.