Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
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Offbeat fun ideal for early chapter book readers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Telling the truth and taking responsibility for one's own actions are valued. So is the joy of reading.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Moxy is a procrastinator whose independence wavers on the verge of insolence. But she means well. While kids may be amazed at some of her ideas and explanations -- and think some of her antics unbelievable -- they may also find much of the story funny, and familiar.

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What's the story?

Full of offbeat, creative ideas, 9-year-old Moxy Maxwell has put off her summer reading assignment until the very last minute. Even on the final afternoon before school starts up again, she finds a million things to keep her from the task at hand. One thing leads to another and the situation gets way out of hand before Moxy finally makes friends with Stuart Little ... and amazes even herself.

Is it any good?

When her parents named her Moxy, they may not have known what they were asking for; this is one kid who is definitely living up to her name. She is dramatic, energetic, and impulsive. However, she also exaggerates, and procrastinates, which can lead her into trouble. It's not so much that Moxy doesn't love Stuart Little, it's just that she doesn't find enough "in-between time" to get the book read. Even when her mother threatens her with consequences, she can't find the discipline to sit down and get started. But who can really blame her? Her entire household seems rather free, undisciplined ... and creative.

Though the story itself is a little far-fetched, the premise is believable enough, and the format is entertaining. Written in short one- or two-page chapters that are headed in a manner reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh stories, events are illustrated with photographs supposedly taken by Moxy's twin brother Mark. Spotted here and there with narrator comments that may be hard for a 7-year-old to appreciate, the story, with all its silly shenanigans, is easy to read, and especially fun for the reader just starting out with chapter books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Moxy's procrastinating behavior. She says she loves to read, yet she puts off reading Stuart Little until the very last minute. Why? Have you ever had a hard time getting started on something that you might have enjoyed if you hadn't been told to do it? Or are you more like Mark who gets his reading done at the very beginning of summer vacation? What kinds of things help you get started when you want to put something off? How would you have handled the situation if you were Moxy, or her mother?

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