Judy Moody Was in a Mood (Judy Moody #1)
To start, Judy Moody doesn't have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won't have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she'll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection.
Judy also has an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns a very special class project, she really gets a chance to express herself! Megan McDonald's spirited text and Peter Reynolds's wry illustrations combine in a feisty, funny first chapter book for every kid who has ever felt a little out of sorts.
McDonald skillfully addresses issues that are important to children but seem unimportant to adults. What's the big deal about going to a birthday party? Plenty! Judy is dismayed that she is the only girl in attendance, but discovering that she and Frank have some shared interests soon makes them friends. Judy is also understandably concerned about getting her project on the bus in the rain, but also doesn't quite trust someone else to bring it... with good reason! Even her bad moods are very typical of children who are trying to be independent but still need a lot more help than they would like.
Judy has a long series of books now, as does her brother, and they appear in early chapter books as well as beginning readers. Stink and Judy join a long line of realistic fiction about feisty, amusing characters such as Barrows' Ivy and Bean, Parks' Junie B. Jones, Warner's Alfie and Ellray and English's Niki and Deja, Yee's Bobby the Brave and Zemke's Bea Garcia.