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Amelia Rules! Three Books To Make You Laugh

Article by Scott Tingley, January 04, 2007

I think I opened my last article/review of the Amelia Rules! series be Jimmy Gownley with “Amelia Rules!, she sure does.” Ouch. That stinks. Now, with over a year of writing this stuff under my belt, I am sure to only use terrible and personally embarrassing wordplays when saying that I sure am glad that I don't use them anymore. Pretty clever, huh?

Anyway, AR is back again with a vengeance with three very attractive trades in that reduced size that the Scholastic run of Bone has made so popular. I had already read much of the first volume through single issues, but most of the rest of the series was brand new to me. What struck me the most while I was working my way through it was how much the series had grown and changed. AR is the kind of book that could have stayed essentially the same forever, like a classic Hanna- Barbera cartoon, and no one would mind since the original formula worked so well, but apparently, that is not what Jimmy Gownley had in mind. The first book (“ The Whole World's Crazy ”) consists of single issue stories, while the stories in the second (“ What Makes You Happy? ”) begin to become more interconnected, and things evolve more that way in the third volume. In this one (“ Superheroes ”) Gownley tries his hand at what the AR website calls his “first ever novel-length Amelia Rules!”

This is my favourite of the three books. I found that I was a bit lost at first, because I had skipped over the second book to get to it, but I soon caught on to what was going on. I was afraid that the style had shifted too much, but then I found that when the author was able to carry ideas and jokes further than just the 22 pages a regular comic offers, the payoff was funnier jokes and a closer connection to the characters . One of Amelia's friend's decides that all of the world's problems come from the evil “Legion of Steves”…..you aren't named Steve are you? Oh, and because Amelia's group of friends are all forced to be superheroes by that same friend (Reggie), they inevitably become archenemies with a neighboring communities' Ninjas. Oh, and Amelia has to deal with rarely seeing her father and her Aunt moving out, and all that comes with being kid and having that whole teenager thing lurking right around the corner.

Okay, so that's all well and good, but who's it for and should you buy it? Well, I'd say it is for girls, and boys, but girls too, of about age 10 and up. Although not inappropriate for younger kids, I think too much of it would go over their heads. Also, if you have a child, or know a child that is going through a divorce, these books are a great way to spark a dialogue about the child's feelings. I say buy all three volumes all at once, but if you only want to buy one for now, start with volume one. I liked #3 the best, but as I said, it can be a bit hard to follow if you've never read any of the other stories.

They can be ordered through the Amelia Rules! website, and from comic and book stores.

ISBN #'s for each:

0-9712169-2-4 Whole World's Crazy (Softcover)
0-9712169-3-2 Whole World's Crazy (Hardcover)
0-9712169-4-0 What Makes You Happy (Soft)
0-9712169-5-9 What Makes You Happy  (Hard)
0-9712169-6-7 Superheroes (Soft)
0-9712169-7-5 Superheroes (Hard)


Any questions or comments, contact me at comicsintheclassroom @ gmail.com


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