Amelia Rules!: The Whole World’s Crazy (Simon & Shuster)
by Jimmy Gownley
For some time now, I’ve been telling anyone that would listen that Jimmy Gownley’s Amelia Rules! is the best comic book for young readers to have been published in YEARS. Now, Gownley has begun reprinting the run in the handy digest format that the kids seem to dig these days.
The Whole World’s Crazy reprints the first several issues in the tale of Amelia McBride, a girl who has to leave the excitement of New York City when her parents get divorced and she and her mother move to a small town to live with her aunt. The stories in this book deal with many of Amelia’s firsts: her first day at a new school, her first Halloween and Christmas in her new town, and the first trip with her father after the divorce. In the comic as a whole, and in this volume in particular, Gownley frequently touches upon rather serious topics (divorce, for example) that young children have to deal with without really understanding. However, Gownley handles these subjects in a way that will help his young readers learn to handle their problems, with a blend of humor and wisdom that kids need. He’s never frightening, never patronizing, and always entertaining. Amelia and her friends are wonderful characters, characters that kids can find themselves in, helping to open the door for them to embrace the story even further.
If I ever have kids — especially daughters — these are some of the first comics I’ll get for them.