I figured I’d start with the best first in my list of great graphic novels. And yes, the correct term is ‘graphic novels,’ not comic books. And whoever said that graphic novels aren’t real books never read these.
For kids and adults who are still kids at heart
Meet Amelia Louise McBride.
She’s nine years old, a former New Yorker who’s now living in a small town after her parents divorced. She’s dealing with everything from being the new kid in school to getting her first kiss. But you know what? She’s got her mom and her aunt Tanner (who happens to be an ex-rock star) and her friends Reggie, Rhonda, and Pajamaman, and everything’s going to be okay.
Except, of course, when it isn’t.
I discovered this series at Barnes and Nobles, and I am so glad I did because they changed my life. I have read many graphic novels over the years, but these are still the best.
The art is fantastic, and the story plot is even more impressive. Through all eight books, we watch Amelia grow from a nine-year-old kid to an eleven-year-old tween. The first three books are more about being a kid and doing fun kid things. After that, you see Amelia and all the other characters grow more into themselves. These stories are wild, crazy, and funny, but they also show that life is hard, that it isn’t simple or fair.
Since I started reading these books, it’s been my dream to write my own graphic novel with my own characters. Unfortunately, that’s probably never going to happen. I have a hard time coming up with a complete story, and I have a hard time finishing things. I’m surprised I’ve been able to keep this blog going for so long.
I actually read the 3rd book first by mistake, and in my opinion, it’s the best one. ‘Superheroes’ has more humor and more heart than any other graphic novel I’ve ever read before or since.
‘Her Permanent Record’ (Book 8) was written back in 2012, and I don’t know if Jimmy Gownley plans to continue the series, but I really hope he does. It’s hard to put into words just how great these books are. You’ll just have to read them and see for yourselves. I think everyone, kids and adults, should read these books.
I found this video on YouTube of Jimmy Gownley revealing the origins of Amelia Rules. I would like to share it with you because finding out where the idea for a story came from is cool:
Before I wrap up this review, I would like to share a quote from each book:
The Whole World’s Crazy: “Anytime you find magic in this world, you have to fight hard to keep it.” – Tanner
What Makes You Happy: “Was that a flying ninja?” – Amelia
Superheroes: “Every day, you sit in class, and the clock seems to stand still. Then, one day you look behind you . . . and you wonder where all the time went.” – Amelia
When the Past is a Present: “Who are we? Why are we here? What can we do to freak out some poor, random, convenience store clerk?
The Tweenage Guide to Not be Unpopular: “We are visitors from the future! A future without war! Or pollution! Or gangsta rap.” – Amelia and Rhonda
True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know): “I think the reason people have kids is so they can pass their own brand of crazy on to a new generation.” – Tanner Clark
The Meaning of Life and Other Stuff: “All that matters is that we’re in this together now . . . forever . . . and no matter what trials, what challenges, what evil is thrown at us . . . they will never tear us apart.” – Reggie
Her Permanent Record: “Life is tough, Tanner! And sometimes crap happens that you don’t like! But you don’t run! You act like a grown-up!” – Amelia
Well, that’s it for this review. Tune in next week for another graphic novel by Jimmy Gownley.
This week’s Weird but True Fact about the Comics Code Authority
Until 2011, the Comics Code Authority made rules about what could appear in comic books. Werewolves, vampires, and zombies were not allowed.