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Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

by Peggy  Gifford
Photographed by Valorie Fisher

Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2007
91 pages
ISBN: 0375839151

Ages 8-11

Thanks to Moxy Maxwell’s extraordinary gift for procrastination (and a companion arsenal of excuses), she hasn’t even begun Stuart Little, the book assigned at the end of third grade by her new fourth grade teacher. Peggy Gifford’s whirlwind story takes place over the course of a single afternoon and evening on the last day of summer vacation. Moxy’s mom has delivered an ultimatum: finish the book by 6 p.m. or else. Moxy’s intent to avoid the consequences by reading the book is quickly deterred by a string of ideas too good to be ignored. It seems nothing short of brilliant when she decides to orchestrate planting a peach orchard in the backyard that very afternoon (which, she rationalizes, will be so impressive her mother won’t care about the book). Gifford’s narrative moves with great humor and lightning speed. Funny, long-winded chapter titles (“Chapter 7 In Which Moxie’s Mother Says ‘No.’ ”) offer glimpses of what’s to come in the smart, pithy, perfectly-paced prose (the text of Chapter 7 in its entirety: “No.”). Black-and-white photographs, presented as the work of Moxy’s twin brother Mark, documenting an afternoon gone awry, illustrate the narrative of this breezy, entertaining story. (MS) ©2007 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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