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Amelia Rules 4: When the Past is a Present - A Hack Review For a Great Book
Review by Scott Tingley, July 05, 2009

Do really good book reviewers (comic or otherwise) have to fight the urge to just turn in reviews like this: “Look, you've read the other three books in the series. This one is as good if not better than the rest, so go get it. It's funny, the pictures are great, the story about the girl's dad going off to Iraq will make you tear up and …”

Well, you get the idea. I decided to let go of the feeling that I was cheating by writing that kind of review for the fourth Amelia Rules! collection since it was keeping me from actually getting this piece done and uploaded. This may be the only comic site you read (it's possible) and it would be irresponsible of me to not at least mention AR! to you.

Seriously, Jimmy Gownley is a tremendously consistent cartoonist. There are no weak stories in this collection – each one dealing with completely different issue so that each feels relevant and fresh. The stories usually pull at the heartstrings but they should always make you laugh (“Thank Goodness You're Open!” HA!).

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.

It is my hope that Gownley's strong female creation becomes “the next big thing” in comics for young readers. The next Bone (this and Mouse Guard…Mouse Guard + Amelia Rules = Bone. There I said it!). Gownley really crams his books with something for everyone. Lots of real world kid issue conversation starters (divorce, friendship problems, parents in Iraq, running away, and sort-of-a-first-date thing) and lots of I-wish-I-had-friends-like-that stuff (superhero detective missions with friends, ninjas and lunacy). This is a comic written for kids (it may sound like it is aimed at girls, and although it will appeal to them it is really for everyone) from about age 9-13, but this is really a 9 and up in the truest sense – by that I mean that Amelia Rules 4 is simply a good comic and should not be ignored simply because you are outside the target demographic. . Great stuff.

I am glowing about this book because it is worth glowing about.

Funny stuff, good storytelling and really nice art = you should buy it.

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Renaissance Press; 1st Renaissance Press Ed edition (May 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971216991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971216990

Amelia Rules books are now being published by publishing giant Simon and Schuster. Aparently, to celebrate this creator Jimmy Gownley is offering personalized autographed bookplates with an original Amelia sketch to those who purchase the new Simon & Schuster edition of Amelia Rules! Vol 1: The Whole World's Crazy.

What you need to do:
-Email proof of purchase to karen@ameliarules.com. Proof of purchase can be copy of store receipt or internet receipt from online purchase

-Include your name & address, along with the name of the person you would like the bookplate signed to. If no name is specified, bookplate will simply be autographed. (copied from ameliarules.com)



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