Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Different Drummer! Judy Moody and the Bucket List by Megan McDonald

Sunflower seeds. Sharpie. Superglue. She, Judy Moody, was pawing through Grandma Lou's purse. Her bag was like a treasure chest.

Looking for a pack of cards for a game of Go Fish, Judy spots a piece of paper sticking out of an inside pocket in Grandma's purse.

It was a list. But not a boring old shopping list. Grandma Lou's list said Bucket List.

This list has things like Ride An Elephant, Dance the Rhumba, and Sleep in a Castle. Grandma Lou tells her that that's a list of things she wants to do before she kicks the bucket. Grandma Lou assures Judy that she's going to live a long time, but still has things she want to do. Hmmm! Judy has lots and lots of things she wants to do before fourth grade, and she's on it, creating her own Bucket List.

Visiting Antarctica is high on her list, but Stink points out that it'll cost at least a thousand dollars to get there, and after a day scooping dog poop from Mrs. Soso's yard. Judy Moody, Super Pooper Scooper is on the job, but when she get paid a measly 50 cents, Judy realizes that at this rate Antarctica is going to be on her bucket list until she's Grandma Lou's age.

Turning a Cartwheel seems more do-able, but Judy just falls on her face.

Turning a cartwheel was a B.L.B--a Bucket List Bummer!

But Riding a Horse turns out to be easy-peasy. Grandma Lou invites Judy and Stink to have a Western riding lesson at the Majestic Dude Ranch. Stink's hinny (half horse, half donkey) Tamale trots like a tornado, while Judy's horse Tumbleweed is more of a Stumbleweed, shuffling along and stopping to rest every ten feet, and Judy has to fork over a chunk of her Antarctica Fund to Stink to trade mounts with her, but her ride on Tamale doesn't disappoint.

Buoyed by success, Judy visits the band room at her school with Stink to find something to satisfy her next wish, Learn a Musical Instrument. But the flute squeaks, the sax squawks, and the tuba moos, and she, Judy herself, is getting moo-dy until she picks up the drumsticks and beats out a jazzy ba-da-bum, ba-da, bum-bum-bum, and she's found her passion!

"You're a drummer!" said Mr. McNulty.

Then Judy tackles a biggy on her bucket list: Face a Fear. Stink dares her to face her fear of Grandma Lou's attic spook, Otis!

"There he is!" shouts Stink, pointing to a shapeless white lump.

There in the darkest corner huddled Otis! "Face my fear, Face my fear!" Judy whispered to herself.

And Otis was a dusty old sheet covering something lumpy and bumpy. Judy yanked off the sheet. The lumpy bump was not Otis. It was not a ghost. It was a glittery, shiny, silvery... drum kit!

"The ghost is Dad's old drum set?" cried Stink.

Judy Moody beats the bucket list challenge in Megan McDonald's thirteenth in series beginning chapter book, Judy Moody and the Bucket List (Candlewick Press). With Peter H. Reynolds' inimitable black and white cartoons, Judy is marching to a different drummer, with her own hand-me-down drum kit, with a wish-fulfilling season ahead. McDonald knows how to write for young elementary readers, with comic characters and plenty of family-centered humor that will have young novel readers marching to a different drummer right to the library to read more Judy Moody books. Says School Library Journal, "This latest installment has the heart and humor that readers have come to expect from Judy.

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