Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular by Jimmy Gownley

The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular
Author: Jimmy Gownley
Publication: Atheneum (April 6, 2010)

Description: Do you know there’s no true opposite to the word “catastrophe”?

Amelia McBride and company are about to embark on their most daunting mission yet: navigating the promises and pitfalls of popularity at Joe McCarthy Elementary. A tricky task when you consider an unmatched pair of socks alone can cause ridicule for years to come. Really, though, all the gang wants is not to be unpopular. Rising and falling through the ranks of nerd, geek—and cheerleader?—with advice from wacky popularity expert Dr. Victoria Medeochrias, Amelia and her friends encounter riotous mobs, unfortunate makeovers, and bad catch phrases. Even after things go from bad to worse, Amelia learns there are some things that are just a little bit more important than being popular.

In his first brand new volume in two years, Jimmy Gownley dishes up another hilariously satisfying dose of Amelia Rules!, in what Comics Buyer’s Guide has called “a timeless manner to which readers young and old can easily relate.”

My Thoughts: This attractive graphic novel was all about popularity. It was filled with great activities that reminded me of middle school. None of Amelia's gang are among the popular crowd. They are all uniquely quirky characters. 

When one of the group finds a guide to not being unpopular, the kids sort of get sidetracked into trying to be someone they are not. Luckily, good advice from Mom and Aunt Tanner help get Amelia to realize what is actually important. 

I enjoyed the art in the book. I usually don't think that graphic novels tell enough of a story. It is hard to get any subtleties into a book where all the speech is dialog but this one was different. I got the whole story in the text and pictures of this book. The expressions on the characters faces were especially well done. I like the comic book style of illustration and think they were well-suited to the story. 

I think middle graders will like getting to know Amelia and her buddies. 

Favorite Quote:
Ages 12-16 -- Dress like an 18-25-year-old, act like a 25-30-year-old
Ages 17-21 -- Dress like a 25-30-year-old, act like a 12-year-old
Ages 22-30 -- Dress like a 16-year-old, act like an old Madonna song
Ages 31-45 -- Dress like a 50-year-old, read your old yearbook a lot
Ages 46-up -- Just try to stay indoors as much as possible
Other books in the Amelia Rules! series:

  • The Whole World's Crazy
  • What Makes You Happy
  • A Very Ninja Christmas
  • Superheroes
  • When the Past is the Present
  • True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know) 

1 comment:

  1. I've never read any graphic novels but it is definitely something I would like to try! It sounds like this may be a good one to start with! Great review :)


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