Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amelia Hits the Road - Marissa Moss

Grades 3-5
Pleasant Co. (American Girl) 1997
40 pgs.
Rating: 3.5

I've had Amelia books on my bookshelves in school for years, but have never read one cover to cover. They look really busy and overwhelming, but they're not hard to read at all. I wish I could keep a journal like Amelia - but you have to be able to draw. She (Amelia/Marissa Moss) makes it look so easy.

This is a series where Amelia ages, but she's only ten in this one, on a car trip with her mom and sister Cleo from Oregon to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley (with a stop afterwards at Manzanar) on the way to Yosemite, with the final destination being their old hometown in Barton, California...and her best friend, Nadia, who she hasn't seen in a year.

Cleo gets carsick a lot, and they hike down the Kaibab Tral at the Grand Canyon - full of mule poop. There's quite a bit about vomit and poop and a bratty-drive-you-crazy sister (is Cleo older or younger, I can't tell...), but it's also full of ten-year-old angst, great tourist sites, and all sorts of ephemera. She even meets a boy who makes chains of gum wrappers (great drawing) just like I used to!

I love the covers of these books - the marbelized black journals with stickers and maps and colorful drawings added.

Quick read - and a fun one. (And I love all her hand-drawn cactuses and license plates and the way she uses colored pencil circles and splashes of water color to accent certain words.)

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