In which I discuss another chapter book, Judy Moody Goes to College, by Megan McDonald. Chapter books are known for humor, and Judy Moody's adventures are no exception. Third-grader Judy goes to school on Monday and finds that she has a new teacher, and "her new teacher was called a sub (not the sandwich)." Her real teacher, Mr. Todd, is in Bologna, Italy, and Judy knows Italy has a dance called the tarantella. She thinks: "Mr. Todd was probably in the Land of Baloney right now, dancing like a tarantula, while they were stuck in the Land of Multiplication." Judy doesn't like math. During math, she'd rather press the buttons on her "robin's-egg-blue, glow-in-the-dark Ask-a-Question Watch 5000."
A note goes home: Judy needs remedial math. Her younger brother Stink, who knows his times tables, is ecstatic. This means a tutor, he says, and tutors have flash cards. Baby flash cards. And make you count jelly beans in a jar. But to Judy's complete surprise her dad takes her for her first tutoring session to the "Math Lab" at Colonial College, where she meets her tutor, uber-funky college student Chloe Canfield. "My friends call me C-squared, since my name has two Cs and I go to CC. You know, C to the second power, 'cause I'm into math?" Judy and Chloe play games, visit the coffee bar, count different colored VW bugs on campus and graph them, and Judy goes from having "Mad-i-tude" to "Math-i-tude" along with developing a very funky sense of style. College life goes to Judy's head, though, and she progresses to "Brat-i-tude," "Cat-i-tude," and even "Flunk-i-tude" before eventually reaching "Glad-i-tude," when, upon the return of her regular teacher, Judy reports to her parents, "Professor Todd gave us a pop quiz in math today, and I owned it."
A glossary of college slang ends the book ("Judy Moody's Not-Webster's New World College Dictionary"). Amid all the fun, readers are left with the message that college can not only teach you what you need to know, but expose you to all kinds of things you never tried and didn't know you were good at. Almost makes this math major want to go back. :)