CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012
In Judy Moody Saves the World!, the third book in the Judy Moody series, Judy pursues her dream of saving the environment. Her "Heal the World" motif for a bandage-design contest loses to her brother Stink, her efforts to get rid of everything produced in the rainforest (like pencils and a rubber toilet plunger) are rejected by her family and classmates, and setting Stink's pet toad free into the wild gets her grounded. Even her plan to climb a tree and stay there until the trees are saved is foiled. But with a little help from her arch-rival, Jessica Finch, Judy hatches a plan to collect recyclables and use the cash refund to plant trees in Costa Rica, and her world is saved.
As usual, Megan McDonald hits the exact rhythm of a spunky eight-year-old's mind. Judy's sense of overt self-importance is matched only by her ability to flit from one failed mission to the next, to go from the depths of despair to the heights of excitement in one breath. The environmental theme is pursued without subtlety, yet without seeming contrived. The real theme, of course, is reflecting single-minded middle-grade obsessions right back to her readers.
The only inconsistency here is having Judy use the word Band-Aid interchangeably with the fictional product Crazy Strips. Although Band-Aid is accepted as a generic term, if the goal is to avoid the use of real product names, bandage might have been better to describe what the product is.
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.