Skip to main content

Judy Moody: Around the World in 8½ Days


Judy Moody: Around the World in 8½ Days

written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody is not pleased when a stranger named Amy Namey sits down with Judy's group of friends at lunchtime. Judy is even less pleased when Amy turns out to be (at least as far as Judy can tell, in Amy's own eyes) a Super-Important Girl Reporter with her own newspaper. And Judy's displeasure mounts even further as Amy interviews Judy's friends on how to improve the school --- and Judy's buddies are happy to oblige.

Amy, it turns out, also is interested in ABC (already been chewed) gum. Judy has her collection, and so does Amy. What's more, Amy has been to Bubblegum Alley in California, which boasts two walls of ABC gum.

Rocky and Frank tell Judy later that Amy is just like Judy. Their names both rhyme. Judy dresses like Elizabeth Blackwell, the First Woman Doctor, while Amy dresses like Nellie Bly, Daredevil Reporter. Judy is intensely bothered by this because she prides herself on being one of a kind.

She perks up a little, though, when Amy invites her to join the My-Name-Is-A-Poem club. People from all over the world who have rhyming names belong. She can carry a cool membership card and write to other members. Maybe Amy Namey could be a friend instead of an enemy.

Trouble ensues though when Judy begins dressing like Amy and choosing to go to Amy's club meeting rather than the Toad Pee Club she's in with her old friends. Rocky and Frank are angry about being shunned, but they soften a bit when Amy tells Mr. Todd's class all about Nellie Bly's trip around the world.

Mr. Todd decides that Class 3T will learn geography by tracing Nellie Bly's journey around the world. They even get to watch the movie Around the World in Eighty Days. Frank, Rocky, Jessica Finch and Judy are assigned to learn everything about Italy and then present it to the class. Although the boys are fixated on pizza, Judy talks them into learning the Italian dance called the tarantella.

Meanwhile, Judy visits Amy Namey. They make postcards for others in their club and gum from a kit. The gum-making gets a little out of control, however, with gum (including pickle flavor) all over the place.

Judy Moody is a delightful character. As always in this series, Judy (and the reader) acquires knowledge about different topics. In AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 ½ DAYS, Judy learns about Nellie Bly, Italy and spiders. She also picks up a few social skills while figuring out how to deal with new and old friendships. This book is highly recommended as a fun yet smart read (plus the illustrations are adorable).

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on February 1, 2008

Judy Moody: Around the World in 8½ Days
(Judy Moody #7)
written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2018
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 1536200778
  • ISBN-13: 9781536200775