Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Megan McDonald
Illustrator:   Peter H. Reynolds 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Candlewick Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763657109

It is the last day of school and Judy Moody is ecstatic. She is going to have “the best summer ever,” a summer that will be full of grand adventures. Judy calls a meeting of the TOAD PEE club and shows her friends Rocky, Frank, and Amy the Judy Moody Mega-Rare Not-Bummer-Summer chart that she has made. Her plan is that the kids are all going to come up with dares that will earn them thrill points and thus they will all have a “thrill-a-delic” summer.

   Judy is high on a wave of anticipation when Rocky announces that he is going to circus camp for the summer and Amy and her mother are going to Borneo. Judy is appalled when she hears this news. How is she going to have “the best summer EVER” if her friends are going to be away?

   Determined to save her summer from becoming the worst summer ever, Judy suggests that she goes to Borneo with Amy, but her mother nixes that idea. Two (boring) weeks later, Judy’s mother tells Judy that Nana and Gramps are moving to a retirement home and they need help moving. Judy gets excited again. They are going to California to help Gramps and Nana move. Yay!

   Nope. Judy and Stink are staying home and Mr. and Mrs. Moody are going to California to help Nana and Gramps move. Mr. Moody’s sister Opal will be coming to stay with Judy and Stink while the children’s parents are away. Judy is angry and dejected. What kind of summer is she going to have if an aunt she does not even know is going to look after her?

   Judy soon finds out that Aunt Opal is a rather unusual person. In fact Aunt Opal is very supportive of the children’s summer plans. Stink is fixated on Bigfoot at the moment and Aunt Opal encourages him to look for the mythical monster. Judy comes up with the idea of having a dare race. Rocky and Amy can participate wherever they are, and Frank and Judy can come up with thrilling dares at home. Whoever gets one hundred dare points first wins the race.

   Judy is convinced that it is going to be easy to win lots of dare points. Unfortunately, every “RARE” dare that she comes up doesn’t meet her expectations. Actually, to be honest, they fail in a truly epic way.

   Many of us are prone to building up our expectations, and all too often our hopes and dreams don’t work out the way we wanted them to. This is what happens in this tenth Judy Moody story,  and readers are going to have a grand time sharing Judy’s not-so-RARE efforts  to win lots of dare points.