Gifford, Peggy 1952–
Gifford, Peggy 1952–
Born 1952. Education: Iowa Writer's Workshop, M.F.A.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, photographs by Valorie Fisher, Schwartz & Wade Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes, photographs by Valorie Fisher, Schwartz & Wade Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Clean and Disappointed (poetry), Pennywhistle Press, 1984.
Contributor of poetry and nonfiction to Iowa Review, Antioch Review, and Redbook.
The "Moxy Maxwell" books were adapted for audiobook by Listening Library.
Peggy Gifford is a South Carolina-based writer who has gained legions of fans through her "Moxy Maxwell" books. Geared for readers in grades two through four, Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little introduces the imaginative fourth-grade girl who stars in the series. It is summer vacation, and nine-year-old Moxy has many things to keep her busy, so busy in fact that she never has time to dip into the copy of Stuart Little that she is required to read before the start of the school year. Finally, school looms just around the corner and Moxy must grapple with the classic of children's literature, with amusing results. Brought to life in entertaining photographs by Valorie Fisher that are purportedly snapped by Moxy's twin brother Mark, Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little features what School Library Journal critic Pat Leach praised as "a dryly observant narration, … and … spot-on illustrations." In her novel, "Gifford spins a fairly universal trial of childhood into a wildly original tale featuring a self-referential narrator" who lives up to her name, according to Horn Book contributor Nell Beram. Praising Gifford's "brilliantly accessible … narrative technique," which draws on eighteenth-century novels, the novel "represents a significant raising of the bar for writers of chapter books," concluded a Kirkus Reviews critic.
The intrepid fourth grader returns in Gifford's Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes, which finds Moxy facing a stack of thirteen empty
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cards, each of which demands her signature. On the line is a trip to southern California to visit her absent father and a trip to a Hollywood party where she could be discovered as the next big movie star. As a quick-thinking girl, Moxy finds a clever way to get the task done, but when circumstances beyond her control derail her well-honed plans she must draw on her natural optimism to formulate a new strategy for career success. Calling Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes "just as funny" as its sequel, a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded that, "resourceful and resilient, Moxy is a pleasure to meet again."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, July 1, 2007, Ilene Cooper, review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, p. 62.
Horn Book, September-October, 2007, Nell Beram, review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, p. 576.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little; July 1, 2008, review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes.
School Library Journal, July, 2007, Pat Leach, review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, p. 76.
Peggy Gifford Home Page,http://www.peggygifford.com (July 29, 2008).
Reading Year Web site,http://readingyear.blogspot.com/ (July 29, 2008).