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Judy Moody, Girl Detective

Review

Judy Moody, Girl Detective

written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

It's a good thing that Judy Moody is such a Nancy Drew fan. Hopefully, she has learned plenty about the business of being a detective during her current pastime of reading her way through the 56 original Nancy Drew books. One thing is for sure: she's going to need all of the sleuthing skills available to her during her latest adventure.

Judy is enthralled with her current read, THE MYSTERY OF THE 99 STEPS. Okay, so she's slightly creeped out by the spooky goings-on there. But being the teensiest bit scared is certainly not going to prevent her from looking for a mystery close to home. She's on the watch for a whodunit, armed with her official Nancy Drew detective kit, complete with flashlight, "duck" tape, lipstick for writing SOS messages, and disguise. During class, Judy believes she has found one: the Mystery of the Teacher's Missing Eyeglasses. She even thinks she’s figured out the villain. This turns out to be a dead-end dud of a detective case, but "Judy Drewdy" is just getting warmed up. She’s still on the hunt for the perfect mystery.

Because October is Crime Prevention Month, a policeman named Officer Kopp and his chocolate Lab police-dog-in-training puppy, Mr. Chips, are the stars of the school assembly. The officer shows the students how Mr. Chips is being trained. He chooses Judy to show her backpack to the dog and then hide it so he can find it. Mr. Chips performs splendidly, winning the admiration of the audience. Little does Judy know that the stage is set for (cue the spooky music: dum-dum-dum-DUM) a mystery.

A few days later, Principal Tuxedo makes an announcement over the intercom. Officer Kopp has called to ask everyone to watch for Mr. Chips. The pup was last seen in a neighborhood not far from the Moody house…but now he has gone missing! Being the detective she is, Judy is positive that Mr. Chips has been dognapped. Naturally, she hopes the puppy is absolutely fine, but feels called upon to assist in the investigation in order to help him return home. She calls the Toad Pee Club crew together, declaring them all members of the Judy Moody Detective Agency.

Judy takes control, handing out badges before she and her team of investigators head over to Officer Kopp's home to check out the scene of the crime. After examining the kennel for clues and cross-examining Officer Kopp, the young detectives gather rewards (including 7 pizza tables and 17 gummy candies) for the return of the victim. Then they are off to hang "Have You Seen This Dog?" flyers. But when they reach Speedy Market, they discover a media frenzy along with Officer Kopp. There has been a possible Mr. Chips sighting, which eventually leads Judy and the crew to their first suspects.

JUDY MOODY, GIRL DETECTIVE is another enjoyable entry in the popular and dependably endearing Judy Moody series, wonderfully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Judy is, as always, entertaining and creative, and her mystery adventure is fast-paced and lively. It is sure to appeal to young readers, especially mystery fans. Savvy Nancy Drew readers will also enjoy sleuthing out sly references to Carolyn Keene and Edward Stratemeyer.

Bonus! You not only get a book-length mystery, but author Megan McDonald adds a short story, too: "Judy Moody and the Mystery of the Missing Mood Ring." As Judy would say: "Rare!"

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on August 10, 2010

Judy Moody, Girl Detective
(Judy Moody #9)
written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2018
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 1536200794
  • ISBN-13: 9781536200799