Saturday, September 13, 2008

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes by Peggy Gifford

Sometimes kids work amazingly hard – incredibly, astonishingly, extraordinarily hard – at avoiding work. The tactics children take to avoid work! And simple stuff too! They’d rather expend three times the energy in their efforts to avoid a job than simply do the job.

(The fact that adults are strikingly similar, myself included, is a fact that I willingly acknowledge, but intentionally omit at this point. If you’d like me to expend three times the energy in explaining why, email me.)

So that brings us to Moxy Maxwell, the girl who can plan and begin her future in peaches by planting an orchard rather than read a book. Now it’s just after Christmas and thank-you notes are in order. Moxy has 13 things to do before tomorrow, the day she leaves for Hollywood with Mark to visit their father, and numbers 1 through 12 are to write 12 thank-you notes.

(Another fact I intentionally omit at this point is that I don’t like writing thank-you notes either. If I could just type them, and post them on a thank-you blog, and send invites to the recipients…)

To be fair, there are a lot of distractions to Moxy’s effort. He sister is a turtle, her brother is a realist, her mother is shopping, her uncle has a turkey to cook, and somehow HANK has been spray painted on the living room wall.

(You ever stop and think how good Rice Krispie Treats are? I mean, really. I just had two of them and watched a little of the Notre Dame vs. Michigan football game. So where were we? Oh yeah, distractions…)

So Moxy decides that it would be much easier to write a generic template, make copies on her stepfather, Ajax’s, brand-new, Christmas present, nobody-not-named-Ajax-may-touch photocopier, and fill in the spaces with the appropriate information. It’s a good plan, except for the fact that nobody knows how to run the thing. Too many numbers get punched, Ajax’s easy chair gets broken, a turtle is buried. Mom comes home. None of it, of course, is Moxy’s fault.

It also won’t be Moxy’s fault if she’s unable to go to Hollywood.

Peggy Gifford’s second Moxy Maxwell book is just as entertaining as the first, but the second offering gives us more information about Moxy and Mark, and their relationship with their father. And it makes readers like her all the more.

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