Book Eight of the Amelia Rules! series
By Jimmy Gownley
Available now from Atheneum Books (Simon & Schuster)
The popular Amelia Rules! series comes to an end, after eight volumes. It's a nice end that lets readers know that Amelia Louise McBride's adventures have just begun and they can imagine what she does next. It's a volume than can be read alone, but loses some emotional resonance for new readers.
HER PERMANENT RECORD begins with things going swimmingly for Amelia. The pretend-superhero group she belongs to spawns a national trend and becomes cool. Her aunt Tanner has returned to being a rockstar. Amelia and Rhonda are set to compete with the cheerleaders in the Guacamole Bowl. But then a tell-all book causes Tanner to disappear and Amelia must find a way to get her aunt back.
I felt like Tanner's actions were a little out of character, but Amelia's mom does point out that Amelia worships her aunt and might not be aware of some of her flaws. And Jimmy Gownley has set the Amelia Rules! series through Amelia's eyes. (As is obvious by her name in big letters on the cover.) But aside from that, I liked the story. It's big, fitting for the finale, but heartfelt. And the interstitial panels about Amelia's permanent record at Joe McCarthy Elementary are hilarious.
Gownley's art is reminiscent of Charles Schulz. (Fittingly, Gownley openly acknowledges Schulz as an influence.) I think his style will appeal to both kids and their parents. It's clean but exaggerated, with understated colors. Most pages are 9-panel, but there are also some really fun layouts.
HER PERMANENT RECORD is a funny and delivers a great story about friends, family, loyalty, and forgiveness. It's a good story and a fitting end to a beloved series.