Favorite characters and unfolding plot lines will draw kids into a host of summer titles. Celebrating the 4th of July, Judy Moody Declares Independence by Megan McDonald, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Where else to set a tale about our nation's beginnings than in "Bean Town... the Cradle of Liberty, Birthplace of Ben Famous Franklin and Paul Revere.... `Boston rules,' " says Judy. Fans get a history lesson delivered with humor, as Judy petitions for her own freedoms-such as more allowance. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Judy Moody walks Boston's historic Freedom Trail with her family, learning about the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride and the Liberty Tree. She meets a British girl named Tori along the way. She learns from Tori some hip Brit-speaksuch as "nuddy pants," "fab" and "brilliant!"and finds that Tori has many things she does not, including a big allowance. So, when Judy gets home, she sets out to prove to her parents that she is responsible and independent, and deserves a larger allowance. Several attempts fail, including a very messy "Boston Tub Party" in her bathroom, so Judy gets an idea to do something special and independent at school. She dresses up and acts out the story of Sybil Ludington, a "Girl Paul Revere" who also made a midnight ride on horseback. It goes well, but on the way home from school Judy realizes her little brother has not gotten off the school bus with her, sostill bedecked in colonial gearshe goes on a speedy and scary ride after the bus on her bike (very surprisingly, sans helmettsk-tsk). For her display of bravery, she gets a raise in her weekly allowance. A fun and educational Judy Moody book that could be an excellent complement to a colonial social studies unit. Kids will like the star-spangled cover design, the illustrations (done in watercolor, ink and tea, by the way) and the info about Judy's "double rare" website. Huzzah! 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 7 to 10.
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Judy Moody certainly feels her oats in this book. She and her family go on vacation to Boston and experience the excitement of learning about our history. While there she meets another girl her age from London, and is invited by the family to go and stay with them at their hotel for a few days. Her parents don't give her permission to go, so Judy gets into one of her "narks" which we know as a very bad mood. Obviously, much of our history is about freedom and liberty so when Judy thinks about it, she decides to declare her own freedom. She writes a declaration where she gives herself permission to take part in sleepovers, frees herself from homework, brushing her hair, her brother Stinky, her chores, and gives herself a raise in her allowance. Oh, if it were only that easy. Her choices do create difficulties both at home and at school. This is a delightful story and one that will be greatly enjoyed by girls. Judy is at that point of wanting to be treated as a grown-up and not a child. She is energetic, humorous, and very clever. What other young girl would think of having a "Boston Tea Party" in her own bathtub to prove a point? The author has done a brilliant job in writing about history in a thoroughly entertaining way. If only textbooks could be this interesting! I highly recommend this book.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Judy Moody knows a lot about the American Revolution and is excited when her family takes a trip to Boston to visit the main sites along the Freedom Trail. The third-grader makes friends with a girl from England and gets a bit of the British perspective as well as a pen-pal relationship. The girls read some of Ben Franklin's sayings and make up their own, such as "Fish and little brothers stink after three days." Upon returning home, Judy declares freedom from hair brushing and the right to her own bathroom. Her final defiance, a Boston Tub Party, is amusingly depicted in a cartoon illustration across a spread. Black-and-white full-page and spot art done in watercolor, tea, and ink is scattered throughout the book. The jacket looks as if it were made from a brown paper bag and has red, white, and blue cutouts of stars. Independence is good for curricular ties to social studies units, and McDonald does a great job of transforming the concepts into familiar concerns. Read aloud or alone, this delightful book will inspire children to write their own declarations of independence complete with "alien" rights and the "purse" of happiness.-Sharon R. Pearce, Chippewa Elementary School, Bensenville, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
Judy Moody Declares Independence
By Megan McDonald
Copyright © 2005
All right reserved.
When Judy got home, she dragged her tote bag upstairs to her room. Thwump, thwump, thwump. She dragged her backpack, her blanket, her pillow, and her sock monkey. And her stuff from the gift shop. She shut the door and climbed up into her secret hideaway (her top bunk).
She, Judy Moody, was supposed to be writing her makeup book report, as in not waiting till the very, very last minute. Instead, she declared freedom from homework.
Then she, Judy Moody, had an idea. A freedom idea. A John Hancock idea. A Declaration of Independence idea.
She did not even stop to call Rocky and tell him about the Boston Tea Party Ship and the Giant Milk Bottle that sold star-spangled bananas. She did not even stop to call Frank and tell him about Mother Goose's grave and the musical toilet.
That could wait till tomorrow.
But some things could not wait.
Judy gazed in awe at the copy of the Declaration of Independence she'd gotten in Boston. It was on old-timey brown paper with burned edges that looked like tea had been spilled on it. Judy squinted to try to read the fancy-schmancy handwriting.
When in the bones of human events . . . blah blah blah . . . we hold these truths . . . more blah blah . . . alien rights . . . Life, Liberty, and the Purse of Happiness.
She, Judy Moody, would hereby, this day, make the Judy Moody Declaration of Independence. With alien rightsand her own Purse of Happiness and everything.
JUDY MOODY DECLARES INDEPENDENCE by Megan McDonald. Copyright (c) 2005 by Megan McDonald. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Excerpted from Judy Moody Declares Independence
by Megan McDonald
Copyright © 2005 by Megan McDonald.
Excerpted by permission.
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