Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular

Jimmy Gownley, Author, Jimmy Gownley, Illustrator . S&S/Atheneum $10.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8608-9

Gownley's charming series about Amelia and her everyday struggles with school, family, and friends returns in his first new graphic novel with Amelia grown up a bit. She's now worried about that classic concern: how to be popular, or whether it's even worth it. Amelia, now more of a young woman, less of a child, and Rhonda (of the crazy hair) put up with snubs from the popular blondes and try out for cheerleading in an attempt to jump a few rungs on the social ladder. The book takes time to get going, with a lot of hinting at what's going to happen and mixing up the time flow to artificially induce excitement, but later on, the author's insightful observations of daily kid life are allowed to shine. Rhonda's simple but powerful transformation is a particularly telling moment. Gownley's mimicry and comic allusions are again on display, as Aunt Tanner (the best character for her combination of adult wisdom and youthful energy) tells a tale of her teen years that uncannily resembles an Archie comic. Engaging characters and lively art should capture readers new and old. Ages 9–12. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 187 pages - 978-0-606-23265-4
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-4169-8610-2
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