The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular (Amelia Rules! Series)by Jimmy Gownley
Amelia McBride and company are about to embark on their most daunting mission yet: navigating the promises and pitfalls of popularity at Joe McCarthy Elementary. A tricky task when you consider an unmatched pair of socks alone can cause ridicule for years to come. Really, though,
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The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular by Jimmy Gownley is the fifth book in the Amelia Rules series. Amelia McBride has settled into her life in upstate New York after the divorce of her parents. She's going into a new year of school with her old friends, Rhonda, Reggie, Pajamaman, and Joan, who recently moved to the area. They've spent the last year dealing with their unpopularity, but Rhonda has discovered the eponymous guidebook that is supposed to help them achieve every tweenage and teenage dream: popularity. The quest has Rhonda acting in more abnormal ways than even she is accustomed to. When Amelia and Rhonda team up on a school project that at first gives them their heart's desire and then goes wrong...very, very wrong, leaving Amelia labeled "bad" by the school principal and wondering who she really is. I have no idea how Gownley manages to write so accurately in the mind of a ten-year-old girl, although I would have loved her dialogue when I was her age. His books are so well-written, filled with brilliant dialogue, as thought-provoking plots that will inspire real thinking in children, and conversations with their parents. He tackles topics often thought too deep for children and handles them with true delicacy and finesse. He gives parents a view into their children's minds, while giving those kids something to laugh about while also learning lessons about life, but he never does it in a pedantic way that would turn off readers. I am unashamedly in love with the Amelia Rules series, as is my seven-year-old daughter. Gownley has created something truly wonderful in this series, and I look forward to following the series for years to come.