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Who Is AC?

I adore Hope Larson‘s work. Every single book she’s done has made my recommended list, from last year’s A Wrinkle in Time through Mercury and Chiggers to her early Gray Horses and Salamander Dream. With Who Is AC?, Larson is writing a magical girl story for artist Tintin Pantoja to draw. A magical girl is a manga convention, with Sailor Moon being the best-known example in the U.S. Because of the manga roots, Pantoja was a good choice to work […]

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Amelia Rules! Her Permanent Record

The eighth and final book in the outstanding Amelia Rules! series ends as it began: with hope. In the face of all her uncertainties and crazy friends, Amelia still has a clear head on her shoulders and the determination to see things through as best she can. We won’t see any more of Amelia for a while, if ever, but Her Permanent Record is a satisfying conclusion to her story. (For now, I hope.) Most all the key characters are […]

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Amelia Rules!: The Meaning of Life… and Other Stuff

I was pondering the other day how hard it is to keep a good independent comic series going. There are the creative struggles — how do you top yourself? how do you keep coming up with good ideas? — and the natural audience attrition. Sometimes making “just” another consistently good installment bores readers, who want more and better and different. Other times, a creator understandably wants to try something else, instead of committing years or decades to the same characters, […]

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Amelia Rules! Returns With The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular and True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know)

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we’ve seen any new Amelia Rules! stories, but that’s how long ago the series was picked up by Simon & Schuster for graphic novel reprinting. They rereleased the first four books by Jimmy Gownley, The Whole World’s Crazy What Makes You Happy Superheroes When the Past Is a Present before putting out the first original Amelia Rules! graphic novel. I’d forgotten how much I missed new adventures with this spirited young […]

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Mercury

Each of Hope Larson’s books is more accomplished than the one before, from Salamander Dream (2005) to Gray Horses (2006) to 2008’s Chiggers and now Mercury. The title refers to the liquid metal, which is contained within a mysterious pendant that ties together the stories of two girls living in the same small Nova Scotia town in different centuries. Tara is currently staying with her aunt, uncle, and cousins and preparing to enter 10th grade. She and her mother lost […]

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Chiggers

Hope Larson tells the story of a girl’s stay at summer camp in Chiggers. Abby has been looking forward to returning and catching up with friends from the previous year. One of her friends promised they’d hang out together all the time, but she’s been made a Camp Assistant, and her duties leave her busier than expected. Another girl goes home early, infected with the bugs of the title. Then there’s Shasta, the new girl. She and Abby have lots […]

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Amelia Rules!: What Makes You Happy

What Makes You Happy, the second book in the Amelia Rules! series, features a story in which a music magazine does a cover feature on Amelia’s Aunt Tanner, and Amelia becomes the center of attention for the wrong reasons. She isn’t very comfortable with this popularity by proxy, nor does she understand why Tanner isn’t more excited about the recognition. Amelia isn’t ready to deal with the idea of her aunt as a “hottie” or the adult reasons that Tanner […]

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Amelia Rules!: The Whole World’s Crazy

These all-ages color stories about a girl and her group of friends are funny and touching with enough bite to keep them from being too “kiddy”. Amelia’s parents have just gotten divorced, and she and her mom have moved in with her Aunt Tanner. Like many kids, she sees herself as the only normal one, surrounded by crazy friends and relatives. She hangs out with a varied group of misfits — some of whom really are weird, like Pajamaman, a […]

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