“Sometimes I think I am Judy Moody,” says Megan McDonald, author of the wildly popular Judy Moody series, the Stink books, and the Sisters Club trilogy. “I’m certainly moody, like she is. Judy has a strong voice and always speaks up for herself. I like that.”
For Megan McDonald, being able to speak up for herself wasn’t always easy. She grew up in a house full of books, as the youngest of five sisters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, an ironworker, was known to his coworkers as “Little Johnny the Storyteller.” Every evening, the McDonalds gathered around the large, round dinner table to talk and tell stories, but Megan McDonald was barely able to get a word in edgewise. “I’m told I began to stutter,” she says, leading her mother to give her a copy of Harriet the Spy and a small spiral notebook, so she could begin writing things down á la the young reporter Harriet.
To date, Megan McDonald has penned more than sixty books for children and young readers, including the critically acclaimed Judy Moody series. These hilarious books have won numerous awards, ranging from a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an International Reading Association Children’s Choice to the first-ever Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. “Judy has taken on a life of her own,” the author notes, with millions of Judy Moody books in print worldwide. The feisty third-grader is highly popular with boys and girls, making for an enthusiastic base of fans who are among Megan McDonald’s strongest incentives to keep writing the adventures of Judy Moody and her little brother, Stink, along with a bottomless well of ideas inspired by growing up with four older sisters.
And—by popular demand—Judy Moody’s little brother, Stink, gets his chance to shine in his own adventures! Megan McDonald says, “Once, while I was visiting a class full of Judy Moody readers, the kids, many with spiked hair à la Judy’s little brother, chanted, ‘Stink! Stink! Stink! Stink! Stink!’ as I entered the room. In that moment, I knew that Stink had to have a book all his own.” Now, giant jawbreakers, smelly sneakers, stinky corpse flowers, and 101 runaway guinea pigs join Mouse, Jaws, Toady, mood rings, an ABC gum collection, and operating on a zucchini in the everyday antics of Judy Moody’s world.
Megan McDonald has recalled some of her own childhood by writing about the warmth, humor—and squabbles—of three spunky sisters in the Sisters Club trilogy, wrapping up with Cloudy With a Chance of Boys. Megan McDonald lives and writes in northern California with her husband, a frequent collaborator.