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Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Review

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Wahoo! It's the last day of school, and summer vacation looms enticingly on the horizon. Judy Moody has big plans for the best summer ever. So, it seems, does everyone else. Her teacher, Mr. Todd, teases his class by announcing he will be doing something special during vacation. He promises a prize for anyone who can find him and gives them a clue: "COLD."

Judy gathers her friends in the T.P. Club tent to declare that they will have the most "NOT bummer summer ever." She has prepared a chart that she claims will be sure to ward off any issues with boredom. It's filled with dares for club members Rocky, Frank, Amy and (of course) Judy. For each dare accomplished, the dare-conqueror will get 10 thrill points, and bonus points are available for really crazy feats. Judy tells the group that if they reach 100 points, they've had the best summer possible.

That's when Judy gets a double whammy of bad news. Rocky won't be around to work on his thrill points because he's headed off to circus camp. Amy won't be at home either, as she and her mother are traveling to Borneo. Although Frank will still be around, Judy is starting to get a bad feeling about summer. Even Stink has an exciting project for the upcoming vacation: he plans to catch Bigfoot. Somehow, her brother's excitement only makes her feel worse.

The following week finds Judy saying goodbye to Rocky and Amy. She warns Rocky that he's sure to shovel tons of stinky elephant poop at circus camp, but she can't dim his enthusiasm. Amy doesn't even let Judy call Borneo "Bored-e-o." After all, Amy's mother is going to write an article on a lost tribe living in the rainforest. Judy has to admit that sounds like the opposite of boring.

The days ahead are just as dull as Judy predicted they would be. While Frank gets to go to an exciting day camp, Judy has nothing much to do. Then she has a glimmer of hope. Mom says she has something to tell her. They won't be visiting Grandma Lou during vacation after all. Instead, her parents plan to fly out to California to help Gramps and Nana move to a retirement community. The bad news is that they're leaving the kids behind. Judy gasps in horror as she realizes that she and Stink will be staying home with Aunt Opal. Opal is Dad's sister, and Judy hasn't seen her since she was a baby. Judy's verdict: "This is the way-worst, double-drat, down-in-the-dumps summer EVER!" She immediately nicknames her unknown aunt "Aunt Awful."

Aunt Opal's visit is off to quite a start when dinner catches on fire just as she arrives. Judy tries to help with her squirt gun, but only manages to hit Aunt Opal between the eyes. That's when Judy notices that her aunt is not at all as she imagined. Opal has long red hair, bright blue boots, and cool bracelets --- and she gives Judy a special bracelet, along with the best mood ring Judy has ever seen. And that is just the beginning, as Judy gears up for a summer filled with her aunt (who is likely to strike readers as an adult Judy Moody), Bigfoot trivia, the intriguing mystery about Mr. Todd, a messy ride on the Scream Monster, a dark-of-night stakeout, a dare race, secret art, and much more.

Judy Moody is now a movie star! This book, based on the screenplay for the movie Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, remains true to the Judy Moody spirit. Judy discovers that, even when a summer doesn't go the way she planned, it can still be filled with plenty of adventure and fun.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on May 24, 2011

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer
(Judy Moody #10)
by Megan McDonald

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2012
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763657107
  • ISBN-13: 9780763657109