Got a sweet young reader who isn’t crazy about actually reading? All the Junie B’s and Judy M’s of the world hold no appeal for her? “Too many words!” Then check out this fun, colorful series. Your kidlets will be reading without even knowing it’s good for them.
Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss (ages 7-10, strong girl appeal) is designed as an upbeat, first-person story which resembles a real diary. The cover bears the familiar black-and-white abstract design of a .99 cent 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); 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. (Reed Business Information, Inc)
Keep in mind that there are some 15 books in the series. Also, a mildde-school aged Amelia has another series of journals about life after elementary school.