A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that though unresolved, the plot is suspenseful and unfolds through lively correspondence between two friends -- a format that kids will find unique and appealing. Bright, engaging illustrations are a highlight.
What's the story?
Amelia gets terrible news from her friend--Nadia's father's been in a car accident! Nadia's troubles make Amelia start to think about her own father. Who is he? Will she ever meet him? Should she write him a letter? This cliffhanger installment of Amelia's ongoing journal will delight and surprise readers with real, pull-out letters and a sequel.
Is it any good?
This book deals with several topics attractive to 8- to 12-year-olds. There's Halloween, comic-strip illustrating, and letter writing, plus a few less familiar situations, such as having to care for an injured parent or trying to solve the mystery of an absent parent.
The real fun for any kid will be in piecing together this interesting story via entertaining letters and postcards. A group of girls ages 6 to 11 who read this book together unanimously named the four pull-out letters inserted into actual envelopes as this book's highlight. As always, the watercolor doodles and illustrations were also a big hit, and they support the text well. But the sample group of readers was a little annoyed at the ending; in this book, Amelia never does meet her father, nor does she even actually write a letter to him. You've got to get the sequel for that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about situations in which kids must demonstrate self-reliance and how to prepare for unexpected circumstances. If your parents were injured, how would you go about getting help? And how would you pitch in to help them around the house or in daily activities while they recovered?