Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book Review - Amelia's Family Ties

By: Marissa Moss
Published by American Girl Publishing
Release Date: March 2000
Ages 9 to 12
Source: Bought
4 out of 5 stars - I really liked this book. Go pick it up.

Synopsis (from Marissa's site): Amelia and her notebook are back. She has finally written to her father, whom she has never met, and received a reply asking her to come meet him, her stepmother, and her half-brother at their home in Chicago. This is a big step for any child, but Amelia, feisty as ever, takes the plunge. She predictably loves baby George, hates Clara, and is unsure about her father until he finally says he's loved her all along.

I picked this book up at our local used bookstore. I love those types of stores because you never quite know what you will find there. In the case of Amelia's Family Ties, I found a gem for my 8 year old daughter.

These days most kids have a blended family and in fact, that was the case in my childhood as well. And for me there's nothing better than reading a story which is centered around family bonds even when they're not immediately present. Marissa creates a story where Amelia's never met her dad and then suddenly he's back in her life. Can you imagine the confusion and emotions that go through Amelia's head? Well, they're presented in an easy to read format both graphically and in prose. My daughter loved the illustrations, the thought bubbles and the side stories. One of my favorite Amelia stories starts off with these sentences:
There was a girl who had three different families, all in her apartment building. On the first floor lived her father and brother, on the second floor lived her mother and sister and on the third floor lived her grandma and grandpa. She ate breakfast with one family, lunch with another and dinner with another. It was all very confusing. So the girl had an idea. She sawed holes in the floors and ceilings and put a long pole like they have in fire stations.
Divorce complicates relationships but it's captured moments like these that make all the hardships worthwhile:
He opened his arms and I walked into the first Dad hug of my life.
Amelia's Family Ties is a wonderful story that is well worth picking up. For children who like a DORK Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid format, these books are a must have.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~