Amelia Rules! True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know)
written by Jimmy Gownley
With True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), creator Jimmy Gownley raises the quality of his now-five-book series to new heights. This long story about Amelia’s continuing progress as she learns about promises (both kept and broken) and struggles to achieve her goals shows the title heroine getting more than a few lessons from the school of hard knocks. While still a wonderful children’s story, the book is Gownley’s most emotionally mature work yet.
The book begins with a fun birthday party for Amelia (the surprise guest is Amelia’s Aunt Tanner, a former rock star who, throughout the book, struggles with her creativity while encouraging Amelia to explore her own). Quickly, though, problems begin to sprout in the form of feuding friends and bad grades and, most perplexing of all, Amelia’s new crush, who seems sweet at first and then nothing short of awful as things develop.
All of it works, even if it does get a little heavy-handed at times. Amelia is so likable that she carries the series with her charms and wit, but even when she’s facing real-life challenges, she maintains a humor and likeability that shine through.