Monday, November 16, 2009

REVIEW: Amelia Rules! The whole world's crazy

Grownley, J.  (2006).  Amelia Rules!  The whole world's crazy.  Harrisburg, PA:  Renaissance Press.


Originally a series of comics, the different installments of Amelia Rules! have been collected to form the five parts (but with smaller stories within that) of this book from the larger series.

PLOT SUMMARY:  A fourth grader, Amelia makes direct addresses to her readers, informing them/us that her mother and her moved in with Amelia's aunt after her parents' divorce two months previously.  Her worries and doubts over the end of her parents' marriage underlies all of Amelia's experiences of starting a new school, trick or treating, determining if Santa is real and going on a camping trip with her father in the Spring.

Amelia likes (but does NOT like like!) her friend Reggie, but Amelia's sworn frienemy Rhonda does like like him.  The three, along with Pajamaman are usual kids, watching their favorite TV show, playing tag, fighting, making bets, etc.  Oh, and from time to time they dress up as superheroes.

The Amelia graphic novel series explores the ordinary in a very real and often striking way (particularly when the images in the panels provide contrast to the text and dialogue).

Although The Whole World's Crazy does assume whiteness throughout, the graphic novel does explore issues of class (which makes me happy!).


This series can be used to encourage reluctant readers to begin to see reading as enjoyable, especially reluctant girls.  This series helps with visual literacy as well as written, such much of the humor comes through Amelia's expressions.

However, chances are good those reluctant readers won't be the same age as the nine-year-old protagonists.  There's a lot of text to each page.  Some advanced vocabulary.  Literary references.  While some advanced fourth graders will like Amelia (and chances are the books will be preferred by female readers) going on the language alone, I'd be more likely to recommend this book to sixth or seventh graders--many of whom would find the experiences of a fourth grader below them.  It's a conundrum.


"There's only one way to introduce Amelia Rules!...with a BANG! (Not to mention an EEEEEK!, ACK and HA HA HA!)  Move over Captain Underpants!  Make way for Amelia Louise McBride (aka Princess Powerful) who steals the show with her hilarious fourth grade hijinks."

"I guess you should parents split up.  That's how come me an' Mom moved in here with Aunt Tanner.
The whole thing is kinda weird, an' it made me feel...I don't know...guilty?  So I asked Mom if I was the reasons they got divorced.  She got real nervous an' tried to make a joke.  She said..."If that were true, we would've broken up years ago."
That's on thing I've noticed about grown-ups...they're not funny" (p. 10).

"So that's basically parents are crazy, my friends are crazy, everybody is crazy but me.  I'm normal.  Then again...if everybody is one way, and I'm the other...then maybe it's not them...maybe it's me!" (p. 16).


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails