Amelia is in a pickle. Actually, she is up a tree. She's sitting there with Rhonda after an angry mob from Joe McCarthy Elementary chased them out of the hallways and into the streets.
What could Amelia have done that caused such a reaction?
Well, it all has to do with popularity...or unpopularity. When you run around with a bunch of kids who dress up as superheroes, have wonky hair, or wear PJs all the time, there are bound to be some bumps in the road to popularity. When Rhonda comes up with a plan to change their social status using a book called The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, things get really hairy! Spouting advice such as, "Fate and genetics may have already decided that you will never be popular, but at least, with my help, you need no longer be UNpopular.", and "Makeovers are not about making you look good, they are about making you look trendy." TTGTNBU sends our kids for quite the loop. When Rhonda's efforts are spurned by Britney and her flunkies, Amelia can't take it anymore. Why do kids always seem to stand by and keep quiet when someone is being mean? Amelia opens her mouth this time, and boy oh boy does she open it wide!
Filled with smart humor as well as homages to cartoonists and comics of the past (love the Archie bit), Jimmy Gownley has penned another winner. With a universal theme of un/popularity, all kids regardless of clique can easily find someone to identify with. It could be Jenny Gray, who sealed her fate by simply wearing mismatched socks one day. It could be Britney who has something to overcompensate for after all. Perhaps Kyle who is pretty cool on his own. Or maybe Rhonda who desperately wants to be popular. Gownley simply gets kids and seems to be privy to their world. While there is the thread that adults enjoy as well, it never interferes with the story proper, and these books truly know their readers. Amelia Rules remains my favorite graphic novel series for kids!