Judy Moody Was in a Mood

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Judy Moody Was in a Mood Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Funny take on third grade life and friendships.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

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. 

Positive Messages

The "worst" thing might be a good thing if you think about it differently.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Megan McDonald'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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 8, and 9-year-old Written byhadleygirls March 14, 2010

Got my 2nd grader really excited about reading

Great for independent chapter book readers. You can move on to the "Stink" series by the same author when you finish all of these!
Adult Written bysherrihf April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byMypassionissinging March 25, 2020

A good light hearted read

Well it's a really good book for someone who dosen't like much adventure,suspense etc in a book which unfortunately does not count me. But this does n... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 14, 2019

Not the best

This is one of my favourite series but not my favourite book. Judy is really mean to her brother which is why I think it does not have the best role models, but... Continue reading

What's the story?

In JUDY MOODY WAS IN A MOOD, Judy is not happy about starting third grade. She's worried she'll have to sit next to Frank "Eats Paste" Pearl in a new classroom that won't have a porcupine named Roger. She's disappointed that she doesn't have a T-shirt with words on it like her classmates, because her family didn't go anywhere on vacation. And when Judy is not happy, she lets everyone know: "Roar!" But Judy is not one to take things at face value. She decorates her own T-shirt ("I Ate a Shark!") and heads off to school with her best friend, Rocky. She finds out that her new teacher, Mr. Todd (or as Judy calls him, Mr. Toad), has an assignment for everyone that's right up her alley: to create a Me-collage. As the first weeks of school progress, Judy has some entertaining ups and downs, and she makes a new friend. As she adds elements to her collage, she becomes more comfortable in third grade, and more excited about presenting her project to the class.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Judy's bad moods in Judy Moody Was in a Mood. What makes Judy upset? What cheers her up? 

  • Can you think of a time when you were in a bad mood and you were able to cheer yourself up? What happened?

  • If you made a "Me-collage" like Judy and her classmates, what would you put on yours?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love funny stories and strong girls

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