The first day of third grade puts Judy Moody in a mad-face mood. She just knows everyone will come back from summer vacation with word T-shirts, like "Disney World" or "Jamestown: Home of Pocahontas." All Judy has is a plain old no-words T-shirt. She'll have to go to a new classroom, with a new desk, and she won't have an armadillo sticker with her name on it like she did last year. And knowing her luck, she'll end up sitting next to Frank, the boy who eats paste. For breakfast her dad makes eggs with the yellow middle broken, and her younger "bother," Stink, thinks he knows everything now that he's starting second grade. But bad moods never last long with the irrepressible Judy Moody, and before long, her day--and year--look brighter. Mr. Todd assigns the class a "Me" collage, which sets Judy on a lively and hilarious self-exploration over the next few action-packed weeks.
Prolific author Megan McDonald (Beezy and Insects Are My Life) introduces readers to a thoroughly charming, independent, willful heroine, who is far more upbeat than she likes to let on to her reading audience. Remarkably understanding adults populate Judy's world, allowing her to express her witty, resourceful self freely. Peter Reynolds's personable line drawings complement McDonald's text in a light, pleasing style. (Ages 6 to 10) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
McDonald's (the Beezy books) comical novel introduces the entertainingly mercurial Judy Moody. The book itself has a look as fresh as its heroine (a compact trim size and an inventive jacket design die-cut that reveals the bright green and orange of the cover below). From the start, Judy devises intriguing solutions to her dilemmas. The book opens on the first day of third grade, with a hilarious spread in pen-and-ink wash showing only Judy's feet sticking up from her bed as her mother attempts to rouse her from the doorway. What to wear? Judy has no T-shirt to rival her classmates' shirts touting their exotic summer destinations, so the heroine decorates a plain white T with a drawing of a shark and the words "I Ate a Shark." For a "Me collage" at school, she insists that her cat, Mouse, is too old to qualify for the "My Favorite Pet" slot; unable to find a two-toed sloth, she purchases a Venus flytrap and proceeds to overfeed it raw hamburger. Her relationship to her best friend, Rocky, and her second-grade brother, Stink, also propel the plot in diverting directions, and the dialogue is spot-on (e.g., when aspiring doctor Judy gets her kit in the mail, Stink asks, "Why can't I ever be Elizabeth Blackwell, First Woman Doctor?" and she responds, "For one thing, you're a boy"). It's hard to imagine a mood Judy couldn't improve. Ages 6-9. (Apr.)
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