July 4th, 2011


Best Books of June 2011

June 2011: 13 books + scripts read

For adults and older teens
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

For ages 12 and up
Zitface by Emily Howse
Pearl by Jo Knowles
Rules to Rock By by Josh Farrar

For ages 8 and up
Stink: Solar System Superhero by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Judy Moody, Girl Detective by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Lucy Woodward, happy

The Judy Moody series (and Stink spinoff!) by Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody was in a mood. Not a good mood. A bad mood.

...and so begins the first Judy Moody novel by Megan McDonald.

This summer, Judy Moody, her younger brother Stink, and the rest of their family and friends jumped off of the pages of the bestselling novels by Megan McDonald and landed on the big screen in the feature film Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. I hope the movie inspires young moviegoers - both eager and reluctant readers - to check out the source material. I strongly recommend this book series.

The minute the first Judy Moody book arrived at the bookstore, I started reading it and singing its praises. I saw a lot of myself in Judy, an energetic, dramatic, and determined little firecracker who just may rule the world someday. In the meantime, she'll rule her own little corner of the world, interacting with her parents, her cat, Mouse, her brother, Stink, her friends, and her teachers. Packed with witty dialogue, zany mishaps, and adorable illustrations, the Judy Moody books are a must-have for any household, classroom, library, or bookstore with elementary school-aged kids.

Kids, households, libraries, and schools that enjoy the antics of Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby or Judy Blume's Peter and Fudge are certain to find the Moody books delightful. The books, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, have a sense of whimsy and spontaneity that kids will relate to while keeping the text clear enough and the chapters short enough to hold their attention.

The series, which began with the simply-titled Judy Moody and cast the spunky girl as the protagonist, has branched off into an additional line of Stink stories which put her little brother in the spotlight. I posted about the Stink series at GuysLitWire.

The Stink books are easier and shorter than Judy's, and they make a great stepping stone between easy-to-read/beginning readers and "real" chapter books. Plus, the Stink books have comic panels between chapters that are drawn by Stink himself! (That's what I tell young readers. The art is really by talented illustrator Peter Reynolds.) There are also books that are Judy & Stink books, giving each of the siblings equal time as (third-person) narrators.

In his first book, Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, he deals with the fact that he's short. Three-foot-eight, to be exact. No, wait -- His most recent height-check marked him at three feet, seven-and-three-quarters inches! Is he shrinking?! In this book, as in those that follow, Stink's concerns are age-appropriate and his antics will make readers giggle. Like his sister, Stink is adventurous and curious. Put these books in the hands of kids who aren't quite old enough to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid but are ready to start checking out chapter books!

Here's a list of titles currently related to the Moody brood:

Judy Moody
Judy Moody Gets Famous
Judy Moody Saves the World!
Judy Moody Predicts the Future
Judy Moody, M.D.: The Doctor is In!
Judy Moody Declares Independence
Judy Moody Around the World in 8 1/2 Days
Judy Moody Goes to College
Judy Moody: Girl Detective
Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
Stink and the World's Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers
Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express
Stink: Solar System Superhero
Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown
Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk

Stink-O-Pedia: Super Stink-y Stuff from A to Zzzzz
Stink-O-Pedia, Volume Two: More Stink-y Stuff from A to Z

Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday
Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (novelization)
Judy Moody Goes to Hollywood: Behind the Scenes with Judy Moody and Friends

...plus the journals, activity books, and collections.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Megan McDonald
Interview: Peter H. Reynolds
Author/Illustrator Spotlight: Peter Reynolds
Review: The Sisters Club books by Megan McDonald
Review: American Girl: Julie books by Megan McDonald