From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–Judy Moody knows a lot about the American Revolution and is excited when her family takes a trip to Boston to visit the main sites along the Freedom Trail. The third-grader makes friends with a girl from England and gets a bit of the British perspective as well as a pen-pal relationship. The girls read some of Ben Franklin's sayings and make up their own, such as Fish and little brothers stink after three days. Upon returning home, Judy declares freedom from hair brushing and the right to her own bathroom. Her final defiance, a Boston Tub Party, is amusingly depicted in a cartoon illustration across a spread. Black-and-white full-page and spot art done in watercolor, tea, and ink is scattered throughout the book. The jacket looks as if it were made from a brown paper bag and has red, white, and blue cutouts of stars. Independence
is good for curricular ties to social studies units, and McDonald does a great job of transforming the concepts into familiar concerns. Read aloud or alone, this delightful book will inspire children to write their own declarations of independence complete with alien rights and the purse of happiness.–Sharon R. Pearce, Chippewa Elementary School, Bensenville, IL
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Gr. 2-4. Judy Moody's family vacation to historical Boston prompts an epiphany: If the founding fathers didn't want "some grumpy old king to be the boss of [them]," why should Judy put up with dictatorial parents? Back at home she campaigns for her "alien rights," among them a higher allowance and freedom from brushing her hair. Staging a bathtub Boston Tea Party backfires, but shortly after Judy learns about Revolutionary War hero Sybil Ludington--Paul Revere's female counterpart--she finds herself instinctively performing a gutsy act that earns her parents' trust. A subplot involving a British acquaintance seems mostly a vehicle for humorous misinterpretations of slang (Judy assumes "two pounds of allowance" means a very heavy load of money), and not all the factual references are fully explained. But Judy's petitioning for parental concessions will spark recognition in many readers, and in both McDonald's charismatic narrative and Reynolds' line drawings the characterization of a dauntless, endearingly notional third-grader is as spot-on as ever. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved