Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook
Marissa Moss (Author)
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Amelia is excited to graduate from middle school, but she's nervous about starting high school, especially when she finds out she won't have her best friend, Carly, with her. In her graduation yearbook, drawings and photos nostalgically recap her earlier years and notebooks as Amelia figures out how to face the changes ahead.
April 28, 2015
6.7 X 8.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.65 pounds
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About the Author
Marissa Moss has written more than 50 books for children. Her popular Amelia's Notebook series has sold millions of copies and has been translated into five languages. Her books have won many awards and honors, including being an ALA Notable, the California Book Award, and appearing on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Moss lives in Berkeley, CA.
"In this newest, 20th-anniversary offering of the Amelia's Notebook series, Amelia graduates middle school and reminisces about all she has learned along the way.
Amelia isn't allowed to get a real yearbook, so she decides to make her own--a combination notebook/yearbook, of course. Instead of class photos and clubs, Amelia includes what is important to her: friends and life lessons. Much of the notebook is retrospective; fans of the series will enjoy the romp down Memory Lane, but there are a few new challenges that Amelia faces as well. Her best friend, Carly, will be switching schools after graduation, so Amelia will have to enter high school without her. Plus, her dad suggests studying for her bat mitzvah over the summer; Amelia wasn't raised Jewish, and this new leap into religion is overwhelming. A touch melodramatic (it wouldn't be a journal without angst), Amelia's tone remains chatty and breezy as always. In a nod to the very first notebook, published 20 years ago, Amelia is making the same face on the cover, just with a graduation cap perched atop her head."
--Kirkus Reviews "Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook by Marissa Moss is a cute little book that takes young readers on a nostalgic trip along with Amelia during her days at Middle School and before that. The author captures Amelia's fears of going to High School beautifully by sharing her thoughts and anxieties with readers. Amelia's Middle School days and years earlier to that are also recorded in a unique and conversational manner, pulling readers right into the story, giving more insight into Amelia's school life. For Amelia, the fact that her best friend Carly won't be there makes going to High School even more scary.
This book took me back to times when I read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Written in a diary format with a lot of conversations and illustrations, the book is a delight to read. The author captures the fears and nervousness of a young girl graduating from Middle School to High School nicely. I like the way the entire book is presented. It's very innovative and the illustrations peppered throughout complement the story effectively, adding color to the scenes and giving all the characters a personality. Kids should try to write diaries like this to chronicle their formative years in school and how they looked at their school life. It also helps them remember the important moments and people who made a difference to their lives while studying in school."
--Five Stars, Readers' Favorite "The illustrated journal format of the Amelia Notebooks series, which was a real precursor to a genre that is now commonplace, definitely appeals to readers. And the author really understands kids - and that comes out in her books. I'm sorry to see the Amelia series end, but Marissa Moss is an excellent writer, and it's always great to see what else she has in the works."
-- Kerri Poore, Politics and Prose "It's been two decades since Amelia penned and illustrated her very first journal, Amelia's Notebook, in which she recounts - in a lively spray of words and pictures - the travails of adjusting to life in a new town and school. Written by Marissa Moss ("except for words and pictures by Amelia") and published by Tricycle Press, that paper-over-board book spawned a series that follows the feisty girl through elementary and middle school. The series celebrates its 20th anniversary - as well as Amelia's middle-school commencement - on April 20, when Creston Books issues Amelia's final oeuvre, Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook. . .Moss credits the ongoing popularity of Amelia's notebooks to the books' playful storytelling style meshing words and pictures, which - the author knows from frequent feedback - has inspired many teachers to use the series to encourage their own students to write. And Amelia's comedic voice has also helped the series withstand the test of time. 'Nothing extraordinary or amazing happens to Amelia, ' Moss says. 'It's her point of view and her humor that speak to kids and strike a universal chord, given the international interest in the series.'"
--Publishers Weekly "Amelia is graduating eighth grade and is uneasy about entering high school, as she wonders what the future holds for her. She will no longer have the top-dog status of being an eighth grader; instead, she'll be a back-to-the-bottom freshman in a sea of upperclassmen. She is also afraid that her sister Cleo's notoriety for weirdness will be held against her. That summer, conditions get even more disheartening after she learns that her best friend, Carly, will be attending a private school and that her father wants her to study for her bat mitzvah, although she wasn't raised Jewish. As usual, Amelia turns to her notebook to express her emotions through writing and drawings. Instead of purchasing the school's annual yearbook, she decides to design her own, creating a memory notebook full of middle school nostalgia and life lessons. Planning and saying goodbye to Carly dominates the overall story, as Amelia works on a special surprise for her friend. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Amelia's notebooks; this latest installment features the familiar black-and-white marbleized cover and honest thoughts and expressions of a typical middle schooler. Amelia's theatrical language and naive-style illustrations are typical for a kid her age and ring with authenticity. Although the overcrowded writing on each page might lose some struggling readers, Amelia's chatty-rant writing helps to develop and sustain her character."
--School Library Journal "This is the final installment in the wildly popular Amelia's Notebook series. Like the others it is filled with Amelia's thoughts, hopes, and troubles. Amelia uses writing and drawing to discover her true feelings about situations and events. This notebook is called a "yearbook" because Amelia has used it to document middle school events, highs and lows. Rather than purchase a published yearbook, she saved the last few pages for classmate signatures. Amelia's problem in this story is the fact that she is finishing 8th grade and learns that her best friend Carly will be going to a private high school instead of starting high school with Amelia. This makes the end of year preparations even more bitter-sweet. I like how Amelia reacts to the Carly's news with anger. Although we adults would encourage children to react with happiness for your friend, Amelia's reaction is more typical of a middle school girl. She feels betrayed by her friend and is worried for herself. Then after lots of thinking (and drawing and writing), Amelia decides to make this end of the year celebration special for her friend. I LOVE Amelia. She is quirky, insecure, creative, emotional and funny. The notebooks are fun to read with adorable illustrations, and captions to accompany the story. The full color pages add to the appeal. Readers will love this latest (and seemingly last) Amelia's Notebook (yearbook)."
--The Late Bloomers Book Blog "The girl who chronicled her academic experiences in a composition-style notebook brimming with funny, insightful observations and full-color pictures celebrates her 20th anniversary. This newest edition serves as Amelia's reflections on her middle-school experiences as she anxiously imagines sharing a high school with her older sister, Cleo. Amelia's best friend Carly advises, "If you spend all your time worrying about the future, you'll miss out on the now." Yet Amelia's anxieties inspire some of the book's funniest moments, such as her pro and con list: "High School: What's Scary / What's exciting--dare I say, maybe even fun? [Answer: ] Boyfriends? / Boy friends!" Then Carly drops the bomb: she's changing schools and won't be with Amelia for ninth grade. Amelia fans will enjoy the trip down memory lane, as the narrator reflects on her shared experiences with Carly. Then she gets nostalgic about all of the "lasts" they will share (e.g., the last oral report in French class, wearing berets and lifting baguettes). Carly observes that it was Amelia's move that turned her into a writer and artist. This leads to an idea on Amelia's part: Why not make a book of "stuff I learned in middle school?" Amelia draws "the Gossip Ripple Effect" like a pink amoeba with the nucleus a rumor, and the outcasts outside the amoeba entirely. In keeping with Amelia's character, Marissa Moss's latest is both humorous and poignant. And fans will be delighted that there seems to be a teaser to another episode."
--Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness "First off, I need to say how much I love how this book looks and is set up - Amelis is writing to us in a composition notebook and this layout shows it. You have the comp notebook cover pattern and inside there is a graphic that looks just like the notebook's schedule feature and throughout it is just adorable. The book it handwritten so it really has that diary/ notebook feel from Amelia's point of view and it is filled with sketches so that the reader can visualize Amelia's notes. Amelia's Graduation Yearbook is about a lot of things - mostly the transition from an 8th grader to a 9th grader but also about siblings, friendships, and living in the moment. I really enjoyed how this book was written and the plot of it. Leaving middle-school can be a really stressful time and add in an annoying older sister and having to go into that new school without knowing what to expect is a whole other challenge. I think that young readers will enjoy this read very much - it really pinpoints some good issues for the transition between middle and high school and how best to resolve them. This is a good book for those making the transition and even parents wanting to know what their pre-teens are going through. Very cute, very fun, a good read."
--Cover2Cover "I love this book!! Amelia is such a true to life character. This book will not disappoint. My freshman daughter picked up the book and chuckled right away. She said, "That is totally how going to high school feels...being at the bottom again." Although this book is Amelia's notebook about leaving middle school, I think girls in upper elementary (ages 10+) would enjoy it. The book is centered around Amelia and her friend Carly. Amelia was able to survive middle-school because she had a best friend but heading off to high school without Carly seems impossible. Something many girls face when going from elementary to middle school. The best thing about this Amelia book and all the ones before; is the idea that writing your thoughts and feelings in a notebook is a positive way to work through all the childhood issues. This book is a springboard for starting a notebook with your daughter through the high school years...a mom and me notebook! 5 stars"
--Mrs.Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews "I am grateful to Moss for being a forerunner of what has become a new genre in kid's books - the notebook novel - and for creating her thoughtful, imaginative, funny character, Amelia, a kid you wouldn't mind your own child emulating."
--Books4YourKids Reviews "Once again Moss has created a realistic, contemporary story with a believable and likable protagonist."
--San Jose Mercury "Moss gets into the head of a middle schooler and walks in her shoes. Readers will identify with Amelia and enjoy reading her liberally illustrated notebook. Her relationship with her sister evolves, and both learn to empathize with each other. Of course, Moss leaves the ending open so in the next book the readers can find out how she survived the summer and probably, subsequently, her high school years. Teri Hennessy, Library Information Specialist, Wilmette (Illinois) Junior High School
-- Library Media Connection Best Children's Books of 2015 -- Kirkus Reviews "The perfect book for those moving into a new school and those starting middle school everywhere."
--Pen & Muse Book Reviews