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Judy Moody Goes to College

Review

Judy Moody Goes to College

written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody is shocked to discover a new teacher in her classroom, a substitute named Mrs. Grossman. It seems that the class's beloved teacher, Mr. Todd, is in Italy at a teaching conference. Mrs. Grossman's method of teaching is quite different from Mr. Todd's, and Judy doesn't care for it. She has quite the attitude toward Mrs. Grossman's "Attitude Tent" set up in the back of the room and about the fact that Mrs. Grossman rewards correct math answers with candy (Judy's major complaint is that she never gets any sweet treats).

Judy must take home a note to her parents in which Mrs. Grossman explains that Judy needs extra help with math. After much discussion, Mom and Dad decide to hire a math tutor for her. Judy is horrified, in spite of their assurance that being tutored will be an enjoyable experience. She believes her brother Stink, who tells her she'll be subjected to flash cards, bead counting and macaroni gluing. However, things look up when she discovers she will be tutored by a student, Chloe, at her college!

It doesn't take long for Judy to realize that Chloe is extremely cool. Soon, they are playing the Game of Life in the college coffee shop, where Judy is enchanted by Chloe's coffee order ("tall, skinny, nonfat, wet, extra-foam, no-whip latte with a double shot of vanilla") and with her own hot chocolate. Judy enjoys being the banker --- a subtle math lesson. She also learns some college vocabulary words from her new "peep" (friend) and gleans a few hip wardrobe tips.

Chloe, it turns out, is an unending source of purely pleasurable math-related games and projects. Judy is enthusiastic about counting the different colors of VW Beetles in the college parking lot and then graphing them in the appropriate hues. When her tutoring session ends, she is sorely disappointed.

Judy counts the days until her next trip back to college. Meanwhile, she sports a Chloe-inspired "this is my thing" outfit --- a dress plus ripped jeans along with a hoodie sweatshirt, scarf, funny flip-flops, glasses, many bracelets and tattoo bandages. When Judy "returns to college," Chloe's creativity extends to games of Tic-Tac-Toe played with Oreo cookies, making shapes with sponge blocks, and pizza fractions.

However, Judy's life is not perfect (a much appreciated touch of reality). She alienates her friends with her constant bragging about her college life. She also continues to clash with Mrs. Grossman and spends time in the Attitude Tent. These developments make Judy moody, but Chloe brightens her outlook with an enjoyable bonus day at college in which Judy gets a glimpse of dorm life, tie-dyes a shirt and invents a pop-art painting. At home, she can't resist making over her bedroom in an effort to make it more college-like. Her decorating efforts morph into quite the adventure. In fact, she must calm herself down afterward with a bit of college-inspired yoga.

This is yet another stellar episode in the ever-entertaining Judy Moody series, thanks to author Megan McDonald's trademark melding of plot, humor and education. Dynamo Judy's voice is pitch-perfect as she conquers life's peaks and valleys. Her escapades with the inspired Chloe will surely stir readers' imaginations, even as they devour the story.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on July 22, 2008

Judy Moody Goes to College
(Judy Moody #8)
written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

  • Publication Date: January 26, 2010
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction, Humor
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763648558
  • ISBN-13: 9780763648558