Authors: Megan McDonald
Judy Moody marched into third grade on a plain old Thursday, in a plain old ordinary mood. That was
Judy got stung by the Queen Bee.
Judy sat down at her desk, in the front row next to Frank Pearl.
“Hey, did you see Jessica Finch?” asked Frank in a low voice.
“Yeah, so? I see her every day. She sits catty-cornered behind me.”
“She’s wearing a crown.”
Judy turned to look at Jessica, then whispered to Frank, “Where’d she get that? Burger Barn?”
“I don’t know,” said Frank. “Ask her. She says it’s bejeweled.”
“Well, it looks be-dumb, if you ask me,” said Judy, though secretly she admired the sparkling ruby-like gems.
“Hey, are those real rubies?” Judy asked Jessica.
“They’re costume jewelry,” Jessica said.
“Who are you dressing up as? The Queen of England?”
“No, I’m the Queen Bee,” said Jessica. “I won the N. V. Spelling Bee on Saturday.”
“The envy spelling bee?” Judy asked. Judy didn’t envy anybody who had to spell long words into a microphone with a million and one people staring bug-eyed at her. She knew those people were silently yelling
FLUB IT UP
because they wanted their own kid to win.
. N. V. As in Northern Virginia.”
“Oh,” said Judy. “Is that where you got the crown?”
“It’s a tiara,” said Jessica. “T-I-A-R-A. A tiara is a fancy crown like the Queen of England wears. Queen of the Bee has to know tons of definitions.”
“What word did you win for?” Judy asked. “Frank wants to know,” she added, in case Jessica thought
. It’s a fourth-grade word.”
! Judy could barely spell
Give me S-C-I-E-N-C-E any day,
she thought. Was that the rule?
? Or was it
“I have spelling posters in my room at home,” said Jessica. “With all the rules. I even have a glow-in-the-dark one.”
“That would give me spelling nightmares. I’ll take my glow-in-the-dark skeleton poster any day. It shows all two hundred and six bones in the body!”
“Judy,” said Mr. Todd. “The back of your head is not nearly as interesting as the front. And so far I’ve seen more of it today than I’d like.”
“Sorry,” said Judy, facing front again.
Jessica tapped Judy and passed her a folded page from the newspaper. Right there, SMACK-DAB in the MIDDLE of the newspaper for the whole world to see, was a picture of Jessica Finch. It even said LOCAL GIRL BECOMES QUEEN BEE in big fat headline letters.