Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano

Things I love about Moxy Maxwell:

1) She makes lists.

2) She knows what matters to her.

3) She is not shy about wearing a crown when crown-wearing is called for.

4) She likes parties more than practicing the piano.

5) She is crafty.

6) She is good at excuses, and is confident in her excuses even when they stretch way beyond the realm of believable. (Good life skill).

Those readers who have already met Moxy, in Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little or in Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes, very likely have their own lists of reasons to love this irrepressible, sassy young lady. Peggy Gifford’s series is difficult to resist, because who doesn’t like watching a kid with a talent for trouble try to get out of the fixes she gets herself into? And the books are funny – from the concepts, to the photographs, to the outstanding chapter titles.

In this, the third book in the series, Moxy is preparing for her piano recital, in which she and her sister are slated to play “Heart and Soul.” She is very concerned about getting her cape and crown just so. Her mother (and her piano teacher) are very concerned about getting Moxy to stop playing the song when it is actually over, since she has yet to prove that she can finish the piece rather than playing it on and on and on endlessly. As with the other two titles, the story takes place over the period of one day and Moxy’s brother Mark takes plenty of photographs of events as they unfold.

I think Moxy Maxwell is a hoot. But it’s a series where I wonder if kids find the books funny to the same degree, and in the same places, as I do. I’m pretty confident that kids will find lots of laughs here, I just wonder if they’ll think it’s as funny as I do, and end up as charmed by the whole package as I am. Is the humour more of the, “Gosh, kids can be a riot” variety, thus making it more amusing for someone who is no longer a kid? I don’t know. I have read quite a few reviews by reviewer/parents, who say that this series has been a hit with their kids. From the bookselling perspective, it sure is an easy sale, especially for those girls who’ve read and loved Clementine (or Judy Moody or Just Grace) and want something in the same vein. Moxy fits that bill to perfection.

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano is published by Schwartz & Wade.

Here’s an interview with the author at Becky’s Book Reviews.

More reviews: Book Nut, Kids Lit, emilyreads,

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8 thoughts on “Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano

  1. Jessica Leader

    I’m part of the commenter challenging herd, too! And I appreciate your point about some humor in children’s literature potentially going over the kids’ head. I didn’t notice this in the Moxy Maxwell book I read; will have to check if I read another. However, I grew up reading lots of books that I reread and found new meaning in over time, so maybe it’s not an entirely bad thing!

  2. Melissa (Book Nut)

    I can honestly say that my kids (the two that have read them) love Moxy as much as I do. Sure, I think they get something different out of the books than an adult would, but that’s the *real* beauty of Moxy. She appeals to everyone.

  3. Heather Hedin Singh

    I loved the first book but agree with your question about whether kids find the same kind of humor. I will have to read Moxy with my daughter to see what she thinks!
    Thanks for the review.

  4. BookMoot

    I don’t know why I had never read any of the Moxy books before. When I read this one it made me laugh and laugh. I gave it to my niece to read but I haven’t heard if she read it or enjoyed it. Must ask.

  5. Rawley

    I howled reading Clementine, but have yet to approach this series. Will definitely check this one out–especially since I have very vivid memories of being forced to practice for piano recitals and playing painfully long versions of Heart and Soul to spite my mother :)

  6. shelfelf Post author

    Who hasn’t played Heart and Soul at some point in their forced-piano-playing past? :)

    I’m happy to hear that Moxy does indeed have humour-appeal with kids.

    Loved what you said Melissa about Moxy’s beauty being her potential to appeal to both adults and kids! True!

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