A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn a little about the growth and behavior of frogs and toads. They'll also learn that the United States has 50 states, and get a feel for what third grade is like.
The "worst" thing might be a good thing if you think about it differently.
Positive Role Models
Judy shows that girls can like and do things that some people might think are for boys. For example, she loves amphibians, bugs, and stones, and she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She also shows that girls and boys can be friends, and that keeping an open mind can help people find friends when they don't expect to.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Megan McDonald's Judy Moody Was in a Mood is the first book in the 14-volume Judy Moody series. In this one, Judy is just starting third grade, and she acts like a regular kid: She gets annoyed by her little brother, acts out when things don't go her way, and has a wonderfully curious nature. In this book, there's some potty talk (the Toad Pee Club, the "hand" coming out of the toilet) and some less than stellar behavior, but it's all in a day's work for a third grader. On the positive side, Judy has great friendships with boys, and she actually learns a lot about turning a bad day into a good one.
Is It Any Good?
Megan McDonald's aptly named, spunky, creative young hero will be as familiar as she is funny to middle graders. Judy is no Polyanna; she's a regular kid who gets angry when she has to do things she doesn't like and becomes resentful when her brother gets privileges that she wants. However, McDonald's age-appropriate humor and cartoon illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds in Judy Moody Was in a Mood show kids the way a bad mood can be turned around with a different perspective. Middle grade readers and their parents will also enjoy the way Judy loves science, makes friends with boys, and learns to make the best of things, even when her little brother (whom she calls "Stink," and who eventually gets his own spin-off series) annoys her.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.