Sunday, June 22, 2008

Book Review: Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford. (Grades 2-5.)

It's the day before the first day of fourth grade for Moxy Maxwell and Moxy has a problem. She's had all summer to read Stuart Little, but she somehow never found time to read it. It's not that she doesn't like to read. She does. She just doesn't like reading what other people tell her she has to read.

Here are some of the things Moxy finds more appealing than reading Stuart Little:

- Cleaning her room

- Planting a peach orchard

- Training her dog Mudd

- Inventing a word for "more extreme than extremely extreme"

But Moxy must read Stuart Little or there will be consequences. Will she read it? Or can she find another way to wiggle out of doing it?

I think one of the neatest things about this book are the illustrations. The book is illustrated with photographs, purportedly taken by Moxy's twin brother Mark to document her procrastination. I can't think of another fiction chapter book I've read with photo illustrations, so that certainly makes this book stand out.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it has extremely short chapters. There are 42 chapters in this 92-page book. The interesting illustrations and short chapters make it a perfect choice for reluctant readers, although I think this book will appeal to voracious readers as well. Fans of Clementine, Junie B., and Ramona are sure to giggle along as Moxy thinks up her next scheme to get out of reading Stuart Little. And kids will identify with not wanting to read a book just because someone says they have to.

I have to admit that I found myself getting stressed out as I read because I just wanted to march Moxy up to her room and force her to READ THE BOOK! I can identify much more with Moxy's brother Mark who read the book on the first day of summer and got it out of the way. So, as you can see, I was totally caught up in this book. It's a great choice for summer reading or for back to school.

Incidentally, there is a sequel coming out in August: Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes. I am thoroughly looking forward to that one. You can find more reviews at Book Nut, Miss Erin, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and Deliciously Clean Reads. Also, don't forget that it was nominated for a 2007 Cybil Award.

Incidentally, after reading this book I realized that I had somehow missed reading Stuart Little as a child. Of course, I immediately rectified that situation. Look for my thoughts on the mouse later this week.