CM . . .
.Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012
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.
Todd Kyle is the CEO of the Newmarket Public Library in Ontario.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.