Leave it to a middle schooler to know The Meaning of Life…and Other Stuff

November 10, 2011 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Amelia Rules!: The Meaning of Life…and Other Stuff written and illustrated by Jimmy Gownley; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York; 2011.

NOTE: This review is based on an ARC (advance reading copy) provided for free by the publisher.  The publication information is subject to change.

This was my first introduction to Amelia McBride.  I’m sorry I didn’t know about her, her Aunt Tanner and G.A.S.P. (Gathering of Awesome Super Pals) when I worked in an elementary school library; the fifth graders could’ve used her advice before moving up to middle school.  The Meaning of Life…and Other Stuff is Jimmy Gownley’s seventh installment in the Amelia Rules! series (more due out soon!) and explores some heavy subjects, like the scariness of having a parent serving overseas in the military.  Although in graphic novel/comic book format, the experiences of this young lady are universal, real and sometimes overwhelming, just like the daily life of most middle school students.

I look forward to many more titles in this series.  As a librarian, I’d use these books in a pathfinder for middle school students (like a survival guide, maybe?) and in displays related to middle school.  Perhaps elementary or grade school librarians would want to start promoting the series before students graduate to middle school.  Librarians should refer educators to the series (and the teaching guide, as noted below).

Resources for the series are available from the publisher’s dedicated website (http://series.simonandschuster.net/Amelia-Rules!).  In addition to a teaching guide, high resolution images are available to download and print–perfect for displays.  The site also includes a video by the author about the inspiration for the series (http://www.simonandschuster.net/multimedia?video=70864389001) which would be great for a book discussion group.

Best of all, this is definitely a read-alike option for Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series.


Entry filed under: Graphic Novel (fiction or non-fiction, grades K-6). Tags: , , , , , .

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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