Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford

After Peggy Gifford gives a few introductory Moxy facts – nine years old, starting fourth grade, has big plans – readers of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little find this short passage (my commentary added):

“Now, Moxy loved to read books.” (Ok. So far, so good.)

“She loved books so much that sometimes she would stay up all night and read.” (Right! I’m liking her more and more.)

“It’s just that Moxy liked to read what she wanted to read and not what someone told her to read.” (Amen! Preach, Sister! Can you see my hands waving?)

And that explains why, on August 23, the day before Moxy Maxwell starts fourth grade, she still has all one hundred forty-four pages left to read of Stuart Little.

It’s not as if she hasn’t spent any time with Stuart Little over the course of the summer. She has! She’s had the book with her all summer just in case of in-between. That is, as Moxy kindly explains to her mother, just in case one thing ends before the next thing begins. It’s not her fault that her in-betweens are always interrupted.

This is the point of the story in which Mrs. Maxwell introduces Moxy to the word “consequences.”

So Moxy heads to her room to read, lest she miss her performance in the “Goodbye to Summer Splash.” But who can read in a room that needs cleaning, and who can clean on an empty stomach? So, while Stuart Little patiently waits, snacks are procured, a peach orchard is planted, a future is planned, and mud (but not Mudd, one of the Maxwell dogs) flies.

Try as she might, and she tries pretty hard, Moxy can’t escape the pull of Stuart Little. “Why ever did I spend the whole summer avoiding a ride in this little car with the fabulous fenders?” she wonders. Sure, Moxy likes to read what she wants to read, but maybe others have good taste too.

At least she’s a mature enough reader to admit it. It’s just that some of us…pardon me. I mean, some people are more stubborn than others and maybe, possibly, those people…eh-hem…will continue to refuse to admit a book is good all the way into adulthood rather than acknowledge the fact that his sixth grade might have been right when she said he’d enjoy A Wrinkle in Time and maybe…

Sorry. Well, anyway, good for Moxy.

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