Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Judy Moody Declares Independence

Judy Moody Declares Independence

Megan McDonald
Illustrator:   Peter H. Reynolds 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Candlewick Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-0439860741

Judy Moody and her family are in Boston and Judy is thrilled that she is having two whole days away from school and from other onerous everyday things. Instead here she is in Boston following "in the footsteps of freedom." Of course she still has to put up with Stink, but this is so much better then that spelling test that is going on right now back in her classroom in Virginia. And she is really, genuinely, pretty interested in the whole Boston Tea Party, freedom, independence, and-all-of-that-sort-of thing story.

With Stink loudly complaining, the family look at the sights and when they come to the Boston Tea Party Ship Judy is delighted to meet her very first English girl. Her name is Tori and she speaks with a real English accent. She also collects sugar packets which Judy thinks is a fantastic idea, an idea she wishes she had had herself. The girls get along so well that they both feel dreadful when they have to say goodbye. In fact Judy works herself into a perfectly awful mood, and she stays that way all the way back to Virginia.

Once she gets home Judy decides that the time has come - she needs to write her own Declaration of Independence. She needs to assert her rights and demand certain Judy Moody freedoms. And so she writes her Declaration - complete with a large signature - and presents it to her family. Not surprisingly her parents don't respond in a very positive fashion. They talk about her needing to be "more responsible." At first Judy is annoyed but then she rises to the challenge. She'll show them just how responsible she can be. But, when that doesn?t work Judy decides to take a different tack - she'll protest just like the patriots did!

There is no doubt that Judy Moody is the kind of heroine whom any young girl will be able to identify with. In this highly entertaining book Megan McDonald perfectly combines telling her readers about aspects of American Revolutionary history and exploring the kinds of problems that children face on a daily basis, and she does so with her own special brand of humor which is delightfully funny and highly addictive. The biggest challenge readers will face will be trying to hold themselves back from reading the rest of the books in the series in one sitting.