McDonald, Megan. The Wishbone Wish (Judy Moody and Stink)
September 8th 2015 by Candlewick Press
Copy provided by the publisher
Judy and Stink are gearing up for Thanksgiving-- especially the town's Turkey Trot race that is held at their school! Judy is so sure that she will win that she tells her grandmother NOT to buy a turkey. Stink is a little leery of this, since Grandma makes fantastic turkey and gravy. The two train, hoping that they can balance Jell-o on a spoon in one of the races, and Judy even tries to get Stink to eat healthy foods in preparation of the race. When the big day comes, Judy wears her Sarah Josepha Hale Pilgrim ("the inventor of Thanksgiving") outfit and does very well at the race, despite PeeGee the pig running loose on the track. Even though she wins, there are some difficulties with the prize turkey, and her family has to change their plans just a little.
Strengths: This was a very fun early reader book which will be popular with my struggling 6th grader readers who still like Judy and Stink in all of their various incarnations. The fully color illustrations add a festive air to the book, and I loved the community involvement in the Turkey Trot. The sibling conflict is true to life and not mean spirited, and the strong family ties are a great relief after reading so much depressing middle grade fiction!
Weaknesses: I found it hard to believe that a school would have enough teachers willing to show up on Thanksgiving Day to judge races and a costume contest, but it's a nice thought! It also seemed odd that Grandma Lou looked more like MY grandmother than grandmothers today, who are much more hip!
What I really think: Many of my students have been asking for seasonal and holiday books this year, which has not happened before. I am very glad to have this one in my library, and need to investigate the rest of this series (especially The Jolly Holiday), since the books are a nice length and reading level for struggling readers.
Happy Thanksgiving! For Throwback Thursday, here is my family's gathering in 1974. From left: the back of my brother's head; my Uncle Chuck, who would debate with me whether cherry or apple pie was best; my cousin Darlene, who was a majorette; my cousin Jackie, who was thankfully only a year younger than I was; me, in a Stretch-N-Sew shirt my mother made; and my Aunt Grace, whom I resemble rather a lot now!
Since my mother had eight brothers and sisters, our holidays were always crowded and busy; notice we are eating in the living room. I still have the lamp and the rocking chair that are in this picture, as well as the Fire King tear drop bowl that the cranberries are in! When the girls were younger, Darlene would host Thanksgiving at the Fun Center she and her husband owned, so the girls fully believe that laser tag and pools of balls, as well as roller skating, should be part of the festivities. Our gathering will be much smaller and quieter this year, and I'll be doing all of the cooking. Since my mother no longer cooks, I am now in charge of pies as well.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!