Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm audio

Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm audio

Megan McDonald
For ages 6 to 9
Performed/read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 2012   ISBN: 978-1469206066

Judy Moody thinks that the good luck (squashed) penny that she got at Mount Trashmore is wonderful. As she sits in the Two Chicks on a Raft Diner, Judy tells her family that she might even start collecting squashed pennies. Collecting things is something that Judy loves to do. She collects band aids, popsicle sticks, banana stickers, and stuffed animals.

   There is a Super Claw stuffed animal machine in the lobby of the diner and though everyone knows that you can never beat “The Claw,” Judy decides to try her luck. Judy and her little brother Stink are astonished when Judy manages to snag not one animal but three of the stuffed animals in the machine. Clearly Judy’s lucky penny is a powerful good luck charm.

   Judy’s good luck streak continues over the next few days. She gets extra marshmallows in her cereal, she finds ten whole dollars in her band aid collection box and she gets a strike when she goes to Jessica’s birthday bowling party. Judy starts to think that she is going to be lucky for ever and ever.

   Alas for Judy, her luck does run out eventually. Judy does not win the Class 3T spelling bee. Jessica Finch, the “World’s Best Speller,” wins the class competition with ease and she gets to represent the Virginia Dare School at the Third Grade Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Judy still hasn’t got over the fact that Stink has been to Washington D.C., and she is wrestling with her feelings of disappointment when Judy’s parents tell her that she is going to see the nation’s capital after all. Judy and Stink have been offered the job of babysitting Jessica’s potbelly piglet while Jessica competes in the spelling bee. Maybe the lucky penny is still working after all.

   In this charming Judy Moody title, the eleventh in the series, Judy learns that luck is a fickle thing and that it isn’t always a good idea to depend on luck. Sometimes, if you want something to happen, you have to find a way to make it happen on your own because four-leaved clovers, lucky pennies, horse shoes and other good luck charms just aren’t going to get the job done.

   As always, Judy’s wonderfully amusing voice comes through loud and clear as she does her best to deal with the trials and tribulations in her life. Barbara Rosenblat’s spirited narrative  perfectly capture the humor and moments of self-discovery in the story.