AMELIA GRAY IS ALMOST OKAY, by Jessica Brody, Delacorte Press, March 28, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 10 and up)
A girl decides to give herself three different makeovers at the same time — what could possibly go wrong? — in Amelia Gray is Almost Okay, by Jessica Brody.
Twelve-year-old Amelia Gray has changed schools thirty-nine times (!!!) because of her dad’s job, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for making friends. But that’s okay. Amelia loves her “life on the go” with Dad and their adorable supermutt, Biscotti. She’s been in enough middle schools to know that friendships are messy, and who needs that?
But when her dad announces that he wants to stay in their new town for the whole summer—maybe even forever—Amelia realizes she’s going to have to do the one thing she’s never had to do: fit in.
So she gives herself not one but three total makeovers, to try out a few personalities and hopefully find her “thing.” Is she Amie, a confident track star? Mellie, a serious journalist? Or Lia, a bold theater kid?
Juggling three identities is hard, and Amelia soon finds herself caught in the kind of friendship drama she has always managed to avoid. Yet despite her best efforts, she still can’t answer the most important question of all: Who is the real Amelia Gray? —Synopsis provided by Delacorte Press
After years of perfecting the art of blending in, Amelia Gray is forced to stand out. The problem is, she’s not sure who she is — or who she wants to be. But starting out in a new town gives her a unique advantage, she can try on new personalities to see what fits — if only it was that easy.
It’s clear from the start of Amelia Gray is Almost Okay that author Jessica Brody knows her audience. Her prose is bright and energetic with a conversational tone that immediately makes you want to read more. Moreover, at more than 400 pages, you don’t feel like you’re reading a long novel — though some reluctant readers may be discouraged by the length before even trying to read it.
Because Amelia is trying out different personalities, she, and readers, discover the true facets of who Amelia really is throughout. It’s a story of growth and connections and being happy with who you truly are.
Amelia Gray is Almost Okay is an engaging, heartfelt novel that will strongly resonate with tweens as they transition into middle school and/or junior high.
*Amelia Gray is Almost Okay is a Cybils-nominated book. This review is my opinion and not the opinion of the middle-grade fiction panel as a whole.
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