________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 12. . . .November 23, 2012.


Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm. (Judy Moody, #11).

Megan McDonald. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada), 2012.
156 pp., hardcover, $19.00.
ISBN 978-0-7636-3451-3.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by John Dryden.

**** /4



Yikes-a-roni! Page four now had a big fat meatball smudge that would not budge. Judy flipped the list back to page one. Good thing they were done studying. She slid the list across the table toward Jessica’s plate.


Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm is a delightful read that will amuse and have readers interested right from beginning to end. The book’s plot has to do with Judy Moody’s on-again, off-again relationship with her ‘luck-charm’, a penny. Sometimes she feels the charm is good; other times she feels the luck is gone, and it becomes a bad luck charm. Judy is not successful in her bid to represent her class in the National Spelling Bee contest. However, her classmate, Jessica Finch, does win and just so happens to need someone to come on the trip to look after her pet pig. Judy (and her family) accepts the pig-sitting duties in order to get to go to Washington, D.C., but she also chooses to become Jessica’s study buddy. The plot thickens when Judy spills meatballs on the spelling list and then also manages to lose the pig in the Washington, D.C. hotel. All ends well; friendships survive, pigs are found, spelling contests are won, family trips are successful, lessons are learned.

     The action is fairly fast in this novel. The plot then takes on additional twists under either the ‘good luck’ or ‘bad luck’ categories. Megan McDonald does a great job writing out the reasons the penny has lost its luck, or regained it. The novel is like a highlight reel of how an author can keep a number of subplots woven together to support the main plot. The interactions between the characters are excellent. McDonald again does a fine job in getting the emotions of her characters across in a believable way. Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations, whicch are placed throughout the novel, are excellent additions to the book. Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm will be an enjoyable addition to any library.

Highly Recommended.

John Dryden is a teacher in BC's Cowichan Valley in Cowichan Valley, BC.

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

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