When Judy Moody got to school on Monday, she had a new teacher. Her new teacher was called a sub (not the sandwich). Her new teacher was called Mrs. Grossman. Exactly three things were wrong with that. (1) Mrs. Grossman was NOT gross. (2) Mrs. Grossman was NOT a man. (3) Mrs. Grossman was NOT Mr. Todd.
Judy was the first to raise her hand. "Wheres Mr. Todd?"
"I'm sure Mr. Todd told everyone on Friday that he was going to a special teacher conference."
"I wasn't here Friday," said Judy.
"He's going to learn to be a better teacher," said Jessica Finch.
"But Mr. Todd's already a great teacher," said Judy.
"Maybe he's getting a special teacher award," said Rocky.
"Where did he go?" Judy asked. "And when will he be back?"
The others joined in. "Are you going to read us Catwings? Mr. Todd always reads us Catwings. And Catwings Return."
"Are you going to take us on field trips? Mr. Todd always takes us on field trips."
"Are we still Class 3T? Or are we Class 3G now?"
"Mr. Todd is in Bologna, Italy," said Mrs. Grossman.
SHEESH. Life was no fair. Judy liked baloney (the sandwich). Judy liked Italy. She even knew a special dance from Italy—the tarantella. Mr. Todd was probably in the Land of Baloney right now, dancing like a tarantula, while they were stuck in the Land of Multiplication, learning boring old times tables.
She, Judy Moody, did not like third grade, Class 3T-that-was-now-3G, without Mr. Todd.
Judy Moody's new teacher came from New England. She did not talk like Mr. Todd. She talked funny, with a lot of extra r's. Judy Moody's new teacher did not wear cool glasses like Mr. Todd. She wore glasses
hanging from a chain around her neck. She did not even smell like Mr. Todd. She smelled like she took a bath in P.U. perfume.
Judy Moody's new teacher put up a tent in the back of the room with a sign that said ATTITUDE TENT. Judy wondered what attitude they had to be in to get to go camping.
And . . . Judy Moody's new teacher was cuckoo for candy. She gave out candy for good behavior to everybody (minus Judy, because she was in a mood). She even gave out candy for the right answers in math. Pretty soon, the whole class was going to have math cavities. Except for Judy.
Today, Mrs. Grossman was talking about measure. Quarts and gallons and barrels and hogsheads. She tried to make it sound like math was a barrel of fun. But Judy, for one, did not give a pig's ear about
Mrs. Grossman wore ten gallons of perfume. Mrs. Grossman gave out twenty hogsheads of candy.
Instead of listening, Judy played with her watch. Her brand-new, fancy-dancy, robin's-egg-blue, glow-in-the-dark Ask-a-Question Watch 5000, complete with predict-the-future answers and screen saver.
Blah, blah, blah, said Mrs. Grossman. Rounding numbers up, rounding numbers down. Judy estimated that rounding did not make math one bit easier.
Judy pressed some buttons. A nightlight blinked. A dual-time button gave the time in TWO countries so a person did not have to wear two different watches.
Scribble, scribble. Mrs. Grossman scratched on the board for a math-ternity.
Judy pressed the big green questionmark button.
Rare! It was just like the Magic 8 Ball. Ask the watch a question, press the glow-in-the-dark green button, and it gave you mystery answers.
Is Mrs. Grossman cuckoo for math?
Is Mrs. Grossman ever going to give me candy?
Am I going to college someday?
Is Mr. Todd ever coming back?
"Judy? Did you hear the question?"
Judy did not hear the question. So Judy did not know the answer.
Was it 77? 88? 99? Gallons? Bathtubs? Barrels? Pigs' heads?
Judy blurted the only answer that sprang to mind.
"Hazy!" she called out.
JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE by Megan McDonald. Copyright © 2008 by Megan McDonald. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA.