The hand-lettered contents of a nine-year-old girl’s notebook, in which she records her thoughts and feelings about moving, starting school, and dealing with her older sister, as well as keeping her old best friend and making a new one.
1996 ABC Booksellers Choices
1995 ABA Pick of the List
1995 Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly
From Publishers Weekly
Moss (Mel’s Diner) designs this upbeat, first-person story to resemble a real diary; the cover bears the familiar black-and-white abstract design of a composition book, decorated with color cartoons by Amelia, the book’s nine-year-old “author.” Inside, on lined pages, Amelia writes about her recent move to a new town, doodles pictures of people she meets and saves such mementos as postage stamps and a birthday candle. She misses her best friend, Nadia, but her moments of sadness are balanced by optimism-she distracts herself by drawing and by writing short stories. In appropriately conversational terms, Amelia complains that her big sister invades her privacy (“So Cleo if you are reading this right now-BUG OFF and STAY OUT”); gripes about cafeteria food (“Henna says they use dog food. I believe it!”); and jokes in classic elementary-school gross-out fashion. Readers will understand Amelia’s wish to put her “top secret” thoughts on paper, and they’ll notice that even though she’s uneasy about attending a different school, she’s starting over successfully. An on-target presentation. Ages 7-up. Starred review. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3^-5. Moss may have her name on the title page, but this is really Amelia’s book. The feisty, make-believe nine-year-old takes on a life of her own as she writes and draws her feelings about moving, starting a new school, and making new friends (some antagonism toward her older sister, Cleo, who “picks her nose with her little finger,” sneaks in as well). A colorful riot of childlike drawings and lots of hand-printed text spill every which way across the pages. Both the language and the art style are on target for the age group–Amelia is droll and funny and not too sophisticated for her years; she’s also poignant and real as she longs for her “far-away” friend and takes tentative steps to find one close by. Stephanie Zvirin