“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Monday, August 4, 2008

Judy Moody Goes to College • Middle-grade fiction (illustratedO

Judy Moody Goes to College
by Megan McDonald • illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Just out! • Candlewick Press • Middle grade fiction
It’s her funniest adventure yet! A few sessions with a college-age math tutor turn Judy into a jargon-spouting polygon princess. Crucial!
Story: The substitute teacher in Class 3T thinks Judy’s math skills need improving. So Judy has to start meeting with a math tutor. Does this mean flash cards? Does this mean school on weekends? But when Judy meets her tutor—a college student with an uber-funky sense of style—and gets a glimpse of college life, Judy’s bad math-i-tude turns into a radical glad-i-tude. Pretty soon, Judy’s not only acing her math class; she’s owning it.
Story behind the story: Charlie Schroder, Candlewick's Vice President at Large, Licensing and Development, laughed out loud as she read the manuscript for Judy Moody Goes to College. And while typically this wouldn’t have been a problem, at the time Charlie was in the quiet car of the train headed to New York City and she was subsequently kicked out for her uncontrollable laughter. So just a warning – don’t read Judy Moody Goes to College in the quiet car of the train, or any place where quiet is strictly enforced.
Learn more about Judy Moody and her “bother” Stink at http://www.judymoody.com/.
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say about it and be sure to come back as there are more to come!


Kay Bowes, Youth Services Librarian said...

Judy is her own irrepressible self, discovering what fun college and, yes, even math can be. Her college math tutor shows Judy how to change her "attitude" to "Glad-i-tude!" As in all of the hilarious Judy Moody books, this one contains puns, humor, good spirits, and a joyous look at life of a third-grade world. The story speeds along, with nary a dull moment. The interplay between Judy and her "peeps" (friends) are realistic, and yet poignant. The playing of the game of "Life" brings to the fore that Judy has determination, spirit, and intelligence. The characterizations are all so real and true. Of course, Peter H. Reynolds' illustrations are right on spot with Judy, and with all the characters. Any second or third-grader who has ever had a problem with a substitute teacher (or math) will appreciate Judy and the "attitude tent." Once again, McDonald has a winner with Judy Moody Goes to College."
-- Kay Bowes, Youth Services Librarian, Brandywine Hundred Library, Wilmington, DE

Nan Hoekstra said...

The Judy Moody Series is core summer reading for the Easy Juvenile readers at my library. JM Goes to College is the first one I've read and I know now what brings the readers back for more. McDonald's little stories are perfect -- supplying the early chapter book reader with easy access to humor, problem-solving and general good feelings. The illustrations add to the charm.

Lana Voss, Manager - Children's Dept. said...

Judy Moody would Not have gone to college if Mr. Todd her teacher had Not gone to Bologna, Italy and broken his foot. The substitute teacher, Mrs. Grossman did Not impress Judy who was Not paying attention to word problems.

Judy wound up in the Attitude Tent and was sent home with a note for her parents recommending a math tutor. Judy Moody developed a bad math-i-tude until she met Chloe, college tutor; they hit it off big time!

When Judy Moody goes to college, she gets an attitude. Her peeps in third grade say she’s “too college” and won’t even eat lunch with her in the cafeteria.

If you loved the word play of Amelia Bedelia, you will love sharing Judy Moody’s wicked good Not Webster New World College Dictionary Edition. This librarian definitely feels old skool = old fashioned; out-of date!
-- Lana Voss, Manager – Children’s Dept., Tulsa City-County Library System, Tulsa, OK

PLLoggerR said...

As a former substitute teacher who always started each new math class with "there's math in everything including your shoe" I was pleased to see the hints at math activities incorporated into "Judy Moody Goes to College." As a librarian, I was aware of Judy Moody books, but had never read one. I'm glad to have finally met her. I was impressed with McDonald's portrayal of third grade (and all its angst / relationships / etc), the great word play, the kid brother, and the caring parents.

Definitely a book to have along on a picnic, unless, of course, you'd rather look for math in nature!

--Becky, rural library Co-Director

debnance said...

I am raving to every kid I see about how good this book is. Judy gets a little distracted at school and gets sent to a tutor for math help. Judy is elated to learn that her tutor is a college student; thus, Judy Moody Goes to College. And is college ever a wonderful place! Judy learns a whole new vocabulary, gets to do all the really cool college things (like eating at a salad bar---not just for teachers), and even acquires a little helpful math knowledge.
---Debbie Nance, Librarian, Stevenson Primary, Alvin, Texas

jkmca said...

If you have a student who loved reading about Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody is a great next step. Judy is a sparkling character, with imagination and a stubborn streak that will appeal to middle grade readers. Many elementary students have often wondered what goes on in the mysterious world of college, and now they can travel to college along with Judy, who discovers that having a tutor isn't quite as bad as she thought. However, can she act like her college friends and still be accepted by her elementary school classmates? Don't be surprised if your students start using some new slang after reading this book. Hopefully, they'll tell you you're crucial!
--Kristen McAloon, third grade teacher, Andover, MN

Tasses said...

Judy Moody does it again. Her attitude and perfect third-grade persona shine through in her ninth incarnation: Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Judy’s teacher is attending one of those things where teachers go to learn more teaching stuff and Judy has a substitute teacher. The substitute thinks Judy has a math deficiency so Judy’s parents get her a tutor. Judy’s tutor is a college student, Chloe, who exudes coolness. Soon, Judy’s not only cool with math, but also cool with all her third grade peeps.

It is no wonder that the Judy Moody series is a hit. Judy is this generation’s Ramona, great company of which to be compared. Teachers will find many opportunities to discuss classroom & family dynamics, facing obstacles and attitude in this title. The title is also great for independent readers who like humor and/or realistic fiction.

Picnic Basket Rating: 4
Cheryl Tasses, Teacher & Reading Specialist
(also posted on: Let The Wild Rumpus Start)

Tina Ristau, elementary media specialist said...

Judy Moody Goes to College is the eighth installment in Megan McDonald's series about this entertaining character. This time Judy needs help with her math and spends some time at college with her tutor. This seriously helps Judy's baditude (bad attitude) as she is in awe of her rare tutor, Chloe, and all things college. McDonald's ability to use wordplay in her novels will allow older, and even adult readers to find humor in this book. I have been reading this book to my oldest daughters who are seven and almost five. While I feel that the five year old may not get the humor in this book, she enjoys hearing about Judy's time at college. My older daughter is enjoying Judy a great deal, and after just two nights we are almost one hundred pages into this book. McDonald's work is soon to be a new favorite in our house and fans of this series won't be disappointed!
Rating: 5 Stars
Tina Ristau
Elementary Media Specialist
Irving Elementary
Waterloo, Iowa

Pamela Burke said...

Judy Moody is a funny kid with an attitude. But not a nasty, bad-grammar-peppered attitude, just a little edge. A little spunk, a funny way with words and some rad fashion sense.

I love the character of Judy's college tutor Chloe and the portrayal of college as seen through Judy's eyes in particular.

This is a great series and I highly recommend them for young readers. They're funny, fast-paced, but never condescending. The illustrations are fabulous too.

---Pamela Burke, Librarian, Marlboro School, Marlboro VT

mspatjp said...

True confession of a school librarian: I have never read a Judy Moody book. But what a delight for a summer read. Judy Moody Goes to College hit the spot for something light, quick, airy and fun. I know students will grab it off the shelf so have ordered an extra copy. Also updated her brother, Stink's collection. The fast pace of dialogue, humor, family relationships and school adventures will make it an easy sell. I can't wait to book talk it with teachers, as well as students.
Pat Cook
Dothan Brook School (K-5_
Wilder, VT

Bonnie Langan, Children's Librarian said...

Rating 5 This book is the best in this series for me. It creates excitement for your teacher, math and your future. It gives a positive spin on college at an early age to instill the expectancy that all children should go to college. The book also demonstrates a positive attitude for tutoring.

I would include this book in my Judy Moody Day. While at the Barbara Bush Library (HCPL), a co-worker and I held a Judy Moody Day. We presented different parts of her books for the program including the “Me Collage”, a treasure hunt and the making of mood rings. We did this with buttons and pipe cleaners. It was very successful. With the addition of this book, you could hold an art contest. Of course, all the participants would receive an honorable mention just like Judy Moody.

(I am a Children’s Librarian within the Harris County Public Library system. I have worked in libraries for 6 years and have a MLS. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Ed with a reading minor. My name is Bonnie Langan and I will be transferring to the Baldwin Boettcher Library where I will work with children of all ages.)

Jennifer said...

This latest installment in the Judy Moody series is sure to be a hit with students. If elementary students find high schoolers fascinating, they will find a college student (especially one like Chloe) even more so.

Readers will enjoy Judy's attempts to take on a college persona in her third grade room. I think the best part was her effort to emulate Chloe's fashion sensibilities.

Teachers will appreciate the positive emphasis on math throughout the story - and the fact that the regular classroom teacher is missed terribly while he's away.

I would rate this book a 3. It's a fun read and will have a loyal audience, but is not a book I would plan a whole picnic around.

-Jennifer Samec, Media Specialist
Birchview Elementary School, Plymouth, MN

Matt W. said...

Author: Megan McDonald
Lexile Score: n/a, maybe around 500
Genre: realistic fiction
Maturity level: 2nd grade (I wondered, being one who survived "Naked Lady Class" myself, how I would explain nude figure drawing if asked by a student - Judy walks past such an art class and worries about having to go there)
Pages: 133 Chapters: 13 Average Chapter Length: 10 pages
Theme: College, language, slang, math
Project ideas: Field trip to college! College pen pals
First Line: When Judy Moody got to school on Monday, she had a new teacher. (I put a lot of stock in first lines - probably too much. This one is not exactly on my top ten list.)
Main Character: Judy Moody and her college tutor, Chloe
Review in 25 words or less: Judy Moody is literary candy for third graders, and the book reads a mile-a-minute.
Grade: A
Judy_moody I have had sets of Judy Moody in my classroom for years. I have to confess I haven't more than skimmed them until I recently read Judy Moody Goes to College. I absolutely loved it! Judy is quirky, flawed, daring, emotional and (her words) sick-awesome.
Judy Moody has a substitute teacher because her regular teacher broke a leg or something overseas. (Come to think of it, kudos to Ms. McDonald for making that particular back story more than just a passing thought - who the heck IS this teacher?) Her sub determines that Judy is deficient in math, and recommends tutoring to her parents. This puts Judy in a bad mood until she meets Chloe, her uber-tutor: a college student! Judy learns about math the hip college way and also gets a hands-on experience in college life. Soon she is dressing, eating and TALKING like a real college student - to the envy/disgust of all her peers.
I recently read a discussion online about series books - specifically, how series books are about all you can find at this middle-grade level. A point I hadn't considered was given: series books are perfect for readers at this level. They have only recently mastered reading but are not yet sophisticated enough to explore diverse genres. The comfort of going to a familiar genre - or in this case a familiar character and writing style - is perfect for them. I can imagine a third grader who enjoys one Judy Moody munching her way through every title in the series and still wanting more.
A few thoughts I had while reading JMGTC:
1. The chapters are all some play on the word attitude. Bad-itude, Math-itude, flunk-itude; it is such a fun exercise in the richness of language - perfect discussion material for a book club.
2. Judy adopts Chloe's college slang and uses it throughout the book. Some words are defined, some are not. I think students would have fun with the terms, possibly even incorporating them into their own language. This book continues the popular trend of glossaries in the back of the book. The inclusion of this kind of non-traditional reading, along with the "Who's Who" page at the beginning, add to the enjoyment of the book for younger readers.
3. Judy has a lot of inner monologue, and uses conventions such as Stink (her brother) = NCP (nincompoop). Students would pick up on this no problem, but it would be a good thing to point out in discussion. I had to pay close attention to quotation marks to keep up with her thinking!
I would give this book a 4 - I'll reserve 5s for classic literature and award-worthy titles. For a 3rd grade teacher (or 2nd/4th) the Judy Moody books are a must-have for the classroom library.

eiela said...

This book is a definite winner. I read it to all the second graders at my school, and it makes a great read-aloud. When Judy Moody visited the art class and called it the “Naked Lady class,” she had them rolling with laughter. The story moves quickly, and it's full of humor that the kids loved. Almost all of them know someone going to college, and it made for great real-life connections for them. Every single Judy Moody title in our library has stayed checked out ever since. I've been recommending it to students who love Junie B. Jones by Park and Clementine by Pennypacker.
As a teacher, I thought it would be a great novel to build a curricular theme around—you could work in math by talking about the topics Judy Moody discusses with her tutor, art through the art class Judy attends in the story, and even some environmental science topics. You might even take a field trip to a local college and see how it compares to the one Judy Moody visits in the story.
Rebecca Dickenson, School Librarian,
Maryville, TN

Anonymous said...

Judy Moody is an independent-thinking third grader with attitude. Thrown off by the presence of a substitute teacher and some difficult math, Judy must be tutored by a college student. Soon she picks up college slang and style--and becomes excited about math. Her new appreciation for math permeating life at first irritates her classmates, then inspires them all to want to "go to college," too!

Young readers will love Judy Moody's take on life. McDonald's use of current "sick-awesome" slang and her obvious love of language will excite beginning readers. The cross disciplinary suggestions in the Judy Moody and Stink Teachers' Guide will help educators to help students make links to their academic subjects.

Recommended for free choice reading, quick picks, and literature circles. The books in either the Judy Moody series or that of her brother, Stink, are sure to entice reluctant readers.

--Cynthia L. Winfield, teacher Massachusetts certified in English 6-12 and Reading K-12

Dianne Lawson, Platt Memorial Library said...

Like Pat said earlier, I had never read a Judy Moody book before this one, but I found it to be entertaining and engaging. I second Kristen’s comment as well that this series will resonate well with lovers of the Junie B. Jones series. The spunk of the main character, the descriptions of the college environment and the accompanying illustrations all make this a book readers of all ages will love; the humor and slang are contagious. I will say, however, that this is not structured as a long read. This is a read straight through without stopping type of book. You won’t want to put it down till you finish it, but the chapters are short and nicely spaced so that it could be worked in sections for a short discussion group. A talk after the group had finished the whole book might be more advisable however.

Dianne Lawson
Platt Memorial Library
Shoreham, Vermont

Claire Touseau, elementary school teacher said...

rating 3
I found the main character's problem or phobia around the subject of math to be relateable for kids her age. Success at math seems to be a mystery for many
boys and girls. The premise of the book seems to that if you change the way you think about something you find difficult it will make it easier for you in the long run. The chapter titles are clever, although a bit contrived, and play off words ending in -tude. The parts about Judy "attending" college portayed the experience in a positive light. Judy was able to see that at college, people are
more free to express their personalities. Her tutor was a great role model who was able to make math more fun for Judy without her realizing what was
happening. I would not use this as a read aloud but would recommend it to some of my students who are reading at this level. This book would be better for 3rd grade and
- Claire Touseau, elementary school teacher

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