Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moody's Mojo: Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm by Megan McDonald

"Check it out!" Judy held up a penny with a four-leaf clover inside a horseshoe that said MY LUCKY PENNY. MT. TRASHMORE, VA.

"That's not a lucky penny," said Stink. "That's a squashed penny. It looks like it got run over."

"It's still a lucky penny, Stink!" said Judy. "Says so right on it, see!"

Judy Moody is in a mood--a lucky mood. With the dubious Stink in tow, Judy charges across the restaurant to that machine known as THE CLAW, one of those kid traps that swallows their quarters and usually gives them a remote-control claw full of--nothing. But Judy is on a roll. She pulls out three--count 'em, Stink--three prizes in a row. Proof positive that her lucky penny works!

Judy Moody's mojo is working. She finds ten dollars stuck down in her box of Crazy Strips bandaids. At her sometime rival Jessica Finch's birthday party, she wins the X-treme Bowling Challenge, with three strikes in a row! At school on Monday she's still feeling lucky--lucky enough to predict that the scheduled spelling test is not going to happen--and she's right. Instead Mr. Todd announces the first in a series of spelling bees which will determine the school's contestant in the Great Third Grade Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.! Judy's not the class champ at spelling--that's Jessica Finch--but she's got that lucky penny in her pocket and she's got high hopes.

"Judy, said Mr. Todd, "your word is punctuate."

Punk-chew-ate! Punctuate was not an easy-peasy word. She looked around the room for help. Posters for grammar, spelling, and ... punctuation!

Holy Macaroni! This was her lucky day after all!

But Lady Luck is fickle, and when Judy's talisman takes an unfortunate tumble into the toilet, she's sure her run of good fortune is down the tubes. And to prove it, Jessica Finch wins the final round of the bee AND the trip to Washington. Judy's lucky penny is definitely P.U.!

Then Judy Moody's mojo makes an unexpected move. Jessica Finch invites Judy to go along to take care of her pot-bellied pig during the competition! The whole Moody family books a room at the same pet-friendly hotel, and Judy and Stink tour the historic sites of what Judy nicknames "Washington, District of Cool."

Judy is on a roll. Jessica's pet pig Pee Gee Wee Gee takes to her, and she and Stink are proving that they are perfect pig-nannies until--they decide to try out his special pig shampoo and discover that a soapy pig is a very slippery porker. Pee Gee escapes from his sitters, dashes out into the hall and zips into an elevator headed for the lobby. Judy is in a runaway pig pickle, and it looks like Lady Luck has at last taken it on the lam for good.

It's classic Judy Moody in her eleventh outing, Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm (Book #11) (Candlewick Press, 2012), with author Megan McDonald's spot-on third grade protagonist and Peter Reynold's comic illustrations along for the ride.

"Another enjoyable outing with the predictable Judy, just like a pleasant visit with an old friend," says Kirkus Reviews.

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