Megan McDonald - Author
Megan McDonald is the author of the popular Judy Moody books about a happy/sad/grouchy third-grader. This spring, look for a spin-off book about Stink, Judy's pesky little brother. Megan is no stranger to sibling stories, having grown up as the youngest of five sisters. Now Megan lives in California with her husband and pets that include dogs, turkeys, and adopted horses.
Plus, check out Judy Moody activity sheets below the book reviews. They're free, fun, and printable!
RIF: Did you get along with your four sisters growing up?
Megan McDonald: Yes! People often think we didn’t since we played a lot of funny jokes on each other, but it was all in fun. Really, we were the best of friends. And still are.
RIF: Did you ever want a brother?
MD: NO! I was the last born of five girls, and my sisters told Mom and Dad if it was a boy not to bring him home! (They were kidding, of course!) When I was born, the doctor yelled “It’s a boy!” for a joke. Of course, having a brother would have come in handy. Like the time I broke a limb on the tree out back. It sure would have been nice to have somebody to blame it on!
RIF: Did you like being the youngest kid in your family? Did you ever wish you could be the oldest?
MD: I liked being the youngest. Except for when I wasn’t allowed to do something my big sisters got to do, like go on a trip to Florida. Then I did wish I was the oldest. But writing the Judy Moody books takes care of that, now. I get to be very bossy!
RIF: Did you ever want to be a doctor like Judy?
MD: Not a doctor, but I did want to be a scientist. I loved to collect things and study them under my microscope. Like bugs. And scabs! No lie!
RIF: Do you have any collections? How about a mood ring?
MD: I’ve always been a collector since I was a kid. I collect buttons, things with dragonflies on them, sock monkeys, odd, funny, or unusual names, beach glass, old bottles and most of all, BOOKS! My mood ring collection has expanded to all sorts of “moody” items, including mood nail polish!
RIF: HOw do you work with the Judy Moody illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds?
MD: Peter and I work primarily through our editor. I do get to see preliminary sketches for the books, and give feedback to my editor. Sometimes we really do get to put our heads together. We were able to offer a lot of our ideas for the Judy Moody doll, and we collaborated on the comics in Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid. I drew A LOT of speech bubbles and stick figures, and Peter tried to figure out what they were!
RIF: What made you want to give Stink his own book series?
MD: I have a special feeling for Stink because we’re BOTH the youngest. But what really planted the seed was when I visited a classroom of kids in Vancouver. All the boys spiked their hair and dressed up like Stink and they chanted, “Stink! Stink! Stink!” for their favorite character.
RIF: You've had other jobs, like being a park ranger, librarian, and storyteller. Have those jobs helped you be an author?
MD: YES! Everything I experience goes into being a writer. I’ve written books about Jamestown and the Santa Fe Trail in connection with both of the National Historical Parks where I was a ranger. And hopefully having been a librarian makes me a good storyteller.
RIF: As a kid, what was the first day of school like?
MD: First day of school was always exciting and full of anticipation. But there is that Judy Moody feeling that it’ll never be the same as it was the year before. Also, I always hated for summer to be over. Still do!
RIF: Were you ever in any funny clubs, like the T.P. Club?
MD: I WAS in the real T.P. Club. We were at the beach, and my sisters were collecting toads. They told me I had to hold one in my hand if I wanted to be in the club. You know the rest!
RIF: What would you say to moody kids?
MD: Don’t worry! We all have a little Judy Moody in us!
RIF: What advice do you have for kids who want to be writers?
MD: Read, read, READ!
Get in touch with Megan McDonald and have more Judy Moody fun at JudyMoody.com!