Jimmy Gownley’s protagonist Amelia is a nine-year-old girl living with her mother in a small northeastern town in Pennsylvania after the divorce of her parents. (Amelia’s parents are to be commended for keeping an amiable relationship following the break-up of their marriage.) Amelia’s Aunt Tanner, a totally cool and compassionate wanna-be rock star, lives in the same town and helps Amelia navigate life. Amelia’s friends include super-hero crazed Reggie, a kid known only as “Pajama Man,” Rhonda Bleenie, and Joan. This intrepid group of fifth graders attends Joe McCarthy Elementary School (“Weeding out the wrong element since 1952”). In this current adventure through life’s dilemmas, Rhonda has figured out a way to avoid being unpopular by reading a self-help book.
I fell in love with Amelia and her quirky batch of friends with the first book Amelia Rules! The Whole World’s Gone Crazy (2003). The other books in the series are as follows: What Makes you Happy, Superheroes, When the Past is Present, A Very Ninja Christmas, True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), and The Meaning of Life and Other Stuff.
Recommended by Kate Stehman,Librarian, Pennsylvania, USA