Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Judy Moody and Stink: The Big Bad Blackout

Judy Moody and Stink: The Big Bad Blackout

Megan McDonald
For ages 6 to 9
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Brilliance Audio, 2015   ISBN: 978-1501227097

It is a dark and rainy night and all is quiet when Judy Moody and her little brother Stink are woken up by the sound of something hitting the roof. The sound is so loud that they both catapult out of their beds imagining that an alien, a reindeer, a spaceship, or a ghost has landed on the roof. Their father goes outside to investigate and then comes back to say that Stink’s club tent is now on the roof. The wind is so strong that it carried the tent across the yard and high up in the air.

Judy and Stink then learn that the storm is not just an ordinary storm. What was a tropical storm has been upgraded to a hurricane. Hurricane Elmer is heading their way and they need to “Batten down the hatches.” The kids don’t really know what preparing for hurricane means. All they care about is the fact that their school is closed.

The next morning Mom goes out to get supplies, and while she is gone the children’s grandmother calls to say that she is coming to stay, and she is bringing Gert, her kayak, with her. It turns out that Grandma Lou brings more than her kayak. She also brings Pugsy the pug dog, a ferret, and a snake.

For a while the whole storm thing is sort of fun. Grandma is staying, there is a dog and ferret to play with, there is no school, and they have a good supply of marshmallows. What more could anyone want? Then the power goes out and suddenly the children cannot figure out what to do with themselves. They cannot agree on what board game they should play, so Grandma Lou steps in and they have a wonderful game of musical board games. It turns out that Grandma Lou is full of great how-to-cope-during-a-hurricane ideas, and she came prepared for just about anything.

When you are used to having electricity and being able to get out and about, a hurricane can present challenges, but the Moodys rise to the occasion. They share stories, make s’mores, Grandma Lou teaches Judy how to knit, and Judy and Stink come up with a plan to prank Grandma Lou.

Listeners will thoroughly enjoy hearing how Judy, Stink and their wonderful family, including their intrepid Grandma Lou, cope during a lengthy blackout. One would expect the experience to be a terrible one, but this is not what happens. At all.