A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook is the final composition notebook "journal" in the Amelia's notebook series written and illustrated by Marissa Moss. Fans of this graphic diary-style series (the first title, Amelia's Notebook, was originally published in 1995) as well as those new to the series will appreciate Amelia's quirky sense of humor as she deals with typical teen angst. Amelia creates this journal as a memento of her middle school years and also as a diary to help her grapple with her worries about starting high school without Carly, her best friend since fourth grade. By recounting her conversations with her family and friends, Amelia displays a maturity not typical of most teenagers: She's able to see these issues through her friends' and family members' perspectives and have some empathy of her own. This book likely will resonate with middle or high school students, many of whom may be inspired to start journaling their own experiences.
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What's the story?
AMELIA'S MIDDLE-SCHOOL GRADUATION YEARBOOK chronicles Amelia's last few months in middle school through words and pictures, as she readies herself to enter high school without her best friend Carly by her side because Carly's parents are sending her to private school. Amelia worries about everything, from navigating the halls of the high school to embarrassing herself in front of the "cool" kids or boys she likes. She uses her journal as a way to remember all the good times she had in middle school, as well as to cope with the big changes coming her way.
Is it any good?
Author-illustrator Marissa Moss easily captures the voice of a teen girl, and the writing and illustrations have a very realistic feel. Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook is filled with all the teen angst you'd expect in a middle schooler's diary but with less melodrama and more humor. Amelia is an ordinary kid and is easily likable; many tweens and young teens will relate to the issues she's dealing with as she transitions to high school. Anyone who's suffered through the agonies of middle school will easily empathize with Amelia, who frets about falling to the bottom of the school social hierarchy as a high school freshman.
Any kid dealing with similar social concerns (and really, in middle school, who doesn't?) will take comfort in Amelia's writing. The journal itself is inspirational, as Amelia works out many of her problems and feels less scared about her future. Don't be surprised if your child asks for a composition notebook of her own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Amelia is so worried about starting high school. Do you share any of Amelia's anxiety? What are your concerns in school?
Have you read other books in the Amelia series? How does this one compare? Are you sad to see the series come to an end?
Why do you think journaling helps Amelia deal with her problems? Have you ever kept a diary or journal? How do you cope when you're worried about something?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love graphic novels and books about middle school
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