________________ CM . . . .Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012


Judy Moody Gets Famous!
(Judy Moody, #2).

Megan McDonald.
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada), 2010.
126 pp., pbk., $7.00.
ISBN 978-0-7636-4853-4.

Note: Judy Moody Star-Studded Collection.
ISBN 978-0-7636-4714-8.
Contains Volumes 1-3. $21.00.
Judy Moody Uber-Awesome Collection
ISBN 978-0-7636-5411-5.
Contains Volumes 1-9. $54.00.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Todd Kyle.

**** /4



When she was finished, Judy propped up all the dolls in a row on her bottom bunk and stood back to admire her work. She set her own doll, Hedda-Get-Betta, next to them.

"Wow, you made them look really good!" said Stink.

A little later Judy packed all the dolls into a box and secretly mailed them back to the hospital. Without a return address, no one would ever know that it was she who had stolen the dolls.

It's like a real doll hospital, thought Judy. She, Judy Moody, was on her way to becoming just like the First Woman Doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell.

The second of the now decade-old Judy Moody series, Judy Moody Gets Famous! finds Judy desperate to do something to claim her own 15 minutes of fame after her arch-rival, Jessica Finch, gets her name in the newspaper for winning a spelling bee. Finding spelling too difficult, Judy tries numerous schemes, including one involving pawning off a cherry pit as the seed of the famous cherry tree chopped down by George Washington! While trying to help Judy set a record for the longest human caterpillar, her friend Frank Pearl breaks his finger, and while at the hospital, Judy decides to take the broken dolls from the hospital playroom to fix them up, complete with various injuries, and mail them back to the hospital. When the local media start talking about the mysterious "hospital phantom", Judy knows she has found her own kind of fame.

      This series represents the top of the form of light, early chapter book reading, concentrating on the extraordinary in a rather ordinary personality. The sentences are short and bite-sized, perfect for budding readers, and literally popping with typical eight-year-old "wisdom". Judy is unapologetically self-absorbed, pursuing her budding childhood identity with abandon, and living to the max the drama of what to adults might seem like a very uneventful life. Judy Moody Gets Famous! hits the target exactly by introducing a very unselfconscious pathos in the form of a young heart transplant patient named Laura that Judy meets in the hospital playroom. Inspired by Laura, Judy puts a "broken heart" on one of the dolls, something which the newspaper later reports was given to Laura as a special gift. A treat.

Highly Recommended.

Todd Kyle is the CEO of the Newmarket Public Library in Ontario.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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