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


Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer.

Megan McDonald. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House Canada), 2011.
186 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.00 (pbk.), $14.54 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7636-5710-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7636-5711-6 (hc.).

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Deborah Mervold and Kira Gerein.

**** /4



Judy popped the rubber band off of her chart. “So, are you guys ready for my uber-awesome plan? Intro-DUCE-ing … the one and only … Judy Moody Mega-Rare-Not Bummer-Summer Dare.” Judy unrolled her chart. “Ta-da!” Stickers and glitter went flying. “See? Thrill Points, Bonus Points, Loser Points, and Big Fat Total.”

“Huh?” said Rocky. “I don’t get it.”

“You know how summer’s always Boring –with-a-capital – B? Thrill points are going to save summer. I spent two days and sixteen erasers figuring it out.”


In Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, Judy and the members of her Toad Pee Club are in the first day of their summer holidays. Rocky, Frank and Amy, the newest member of their club, are planning their holidays. Judy has come up with this plan for a fun vacation. Reluctantly, the others reveal their summer plans which include circus camp and a trip to Borneo, leaving only Judy and Frank to carry out Judy’s ideas for the best summer ever. The summer gets worse when Judy’s parents go to California to help her grandparents move and Judy and her brother, Stink, have to stay home. Aunt Opal, Dad’s sister, comes to stay with them.

     Judy calls her “Aunt Awful”, and she is sure this is going to be terrible. When Judy meets her aunt, she is surprised. Her aunt is a world traveller with aspirations of being an artist, a guerilla artist who makes art out of anything and puts it anywhere. Judy re-thinks her idea for a fun summer and decides that everyone could participate in a “thrill” race where they would get points for the exciting things they do. First one to 100 points would win. The others agree, and they begin. By the middle of July, Judy is discouraged because she hasn’t accumulated any points. Every time she gets points, she ends up deducting points. To add to the fun, Stink joins a Bigfoot Club, and they all attempt to find Bigfoot. Mr. Todd, Judy’s teacher, has given them a riddle to try and find him over the summer. In the hunt for Bigfoot, Judy discovers where Mr. Todd is and what the riddle means.

     The theme of this tenth book in the Judy Moody series is summer holidays and what to do that is exciting. The “Who’s Who” pictures of the characters at the beginning of the book all connect to the theme with names and pictures representing what the characters are doing over the holidays. Dialogue is realistic and humourous. Vocabulary is suitable for the intended audience. Sentences are short and direct.

     The 13 chapters are short and have titles which add humour as well as develop the plot. They have titles such as “Gross Grub Club”, “Puke Monster” and “Poop Picnic”. The characters are a continuation from the other books in the series. The pen and ink illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds add interest and humour to the text.

     Although it is a part of a series, this book can also stand alone. The author includes pages about the author and illustrator at the end of the book titled “ten things you might not know about them”. This addition would appeal to the intended audience. Reference to a Judy Moody website (www.judymoody.com) is included.

     Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer would appeal to a variety of readers, including those who enjoy humour, adventure and realistic fiction. This book would be an excellent class novel for individual reading or as a read-aloud choice, and it would make an excellent addition for personal, class, school and public libraries.

Highly Recommended.

Deborah Mervold, an educator from Shellbrook, SK, is now doing faculty training and program development at Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. Kira Gerein is a Grade 5 student in Saskatoon, SK.

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

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.