Rummanah Aasi
  Now that the Amelia Rules! series by Jimmy Gownley has completed, I'm working my way to finish the series. I didn't start from the beginning, but skipped around in sequential order. Normally, I would be worried to start a series in any other place than book 1, but I didn't find myself lost or out of the loop with the Amelia Rules series. Today I'll be reviewing the fourth Amelia Rules! graphic novel, When the Past is a Present.

Description: Amelia McBride is going to her first dance (with a boy no less), but she's not the only one with a date. Yikes Is Amelia's mom seeing someone too? Perhaps Reggie (a.k.a. Captain Amazing) can shed some light on the situation. But it's not all fun for the 10-year-old spitfire. A good friend reveals that her father will be sent to a dangerous country with his job in the military, and it gets Amelia thinking about her own family, her past, and what it means for the present.

Review: I love the Amelia Rules! graphic novel series. They are so fun and quick to read. The series can be enjoyed by younger readers as well as adults who can look back at their own adolescence. Gownley does a fine job balancing the sweet light moments such as Amelia having her first crush to the more serious ones in which Amelia is struggling with seeing her mom Mom is dating and having to support her friend when her friend's father, who is in the army, is being deployed. As always, Amelia's spectrum of feelings fill the panels and there is never a lull in the pacing. Of course there are plenty of great laugh-out-loud moments. The narrative of the graphic novel is conversational, as if Amelia has jumped from the pages and is talking to you in person and this style allowed me to instantly connect with her. Though the series's heroine is a girl, I think there are plenty of male characters that boys would enjoy reading about. I'd definitely recommend this series to readers who are fans of Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby and Megan McDonald's Judy Moody series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is a scene of implied swearing but the word doesn't appear. Recommended for Ages 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Ariol: Just a Donkey Like You and Me by Emmanuel Guibert, Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce, Her Permanent Record by Jim Gownley
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This looks like such a cute graphic novel series! Who's the little guy on the cover with the giant glasses? I want to give him a hug he's so adorable.

  2. This sounds like a girl version of Wimpy Kid - in a way at least. I like that. I keep thinking Amelia Bedelia tho b/c of the name.

  3. I loved Ramona Quimby as a young girl so if this is a bit reminiscent of those books, I would definitely like to check them out for my daughter. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I can't believe I've never heard of this! It sounds amazing; I used to love Ramona Quimby and I think Judy Moody and Big Nate are hilarious and adorable. I'm definitely going to give this a try, and yay! no waiting since the series is done. Great review, and thanks for introducing me to this series. :-)

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