Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm by Megan McDonald
Judy Moody is super lucky after getting a lucky penny. Not only does she win three stuffed animals in a row from the difficult claw game at a restaurant, but she also wins a prizewinning game at bowling and spells a difficult word at her class’ practice spelling bee.
Her good luck seems to run out, though, when the lucky penny ends up in the toilet and she loses the chance to represent her school at the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C. Judy Moody isn’t down for long, though, as she’s asked to accompany the winner to babysit her new pig. Judy, Stink, and her whole family are on their way to Washington, D.C. for a grand adventure, if only the bad luck stays as far away from Judy as possible!
Even though I haven’t read a Judy Moody book before, I easily figured out the characterization of all the main characters through McDonald’s adventurous writing. She definitely writes on the young reader’s level, making it very easy for them to follow along either by being read to aloud or reading it themselves.
The best part of the book was how educational it was, something I did not expect. Readers learn a lot about important landmarks in Washington, D.C. and various presidents. Plus with the spelling bee taking a front-row seat in the action, words are spelled out and readers will have no choice but to walk away with some words mastered.
I can see why these books are popular with young readers—McDonald uses language at their level, keeps the characters zany and fun, and moves the plot along at lightning speed. If you have current fans of this series in your library, you definitely need to add this one. It would even be easy for someone who’s never read a Judy Moody book before to pick this one and become an instant fan.
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