Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley

The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley. 236 p. Graphix/ Scholastic, Inc., February 25, 2014. 9780545453479. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)

Graphic novelist, Jimmy Gownley, author of the popular Amelia Rules! series mines his adolescence in this entertaining memoir. Usually an excellent student, after a one-two punch of chicken pox followed by pneumonia, he finds himself academically slipping and discouraged. He loves to draw though and this memoir recounts his attempts at writing and publishing his own graphic novels. 

The palette is always changing to reflect the mood, the art is crisp and energetic, the lettering is easy to read and the panel designs are varied and interesting. Jimmy and his friends are a likable bunch and his friendship with Tony is realistically portrayed, warts and all. Readers should not skip the Author's Note, by the way.

I don't think this will sit long on the shelf. I have three or four graphic novel fans who spend each lunch recess hanging out on the floor in front of my small but growing graphic novel collection. Sometimes they check them out, occasionally they are stolen. I have even found them secreted away in far flung sections of the library. This will be loved by fans of Amelia Rules, fans of Smile, and fans of the format. In other words, most kids. Highly recommended.

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