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Literature: Amelia's Notebook

A series of realistic fiction books written by Marissa Moss and published by Simon and Schuster.

The series follows the everyday events in the life of Amelia, an ordinary girl living in the Pacific northwest. The series opened with Amelia learning how to adjust to moving to a new state. Later books center around other problems that most girls eventually have to deal with, such as crushes, making the jump to middle school, gossip, and babysitting.

Every book is told in an undated diary format, with just as many doodles in the margins and photographs and random objects taped inside as one would expect from a preteen girl. American Girl magazine also ran a column for her, but it was discontinued after nearly a decade.

Not to be confused with Amelia Bedelia.

Tropes associated with Amelia's Notebook:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council
  • Adorkable: Her occasional awkwardness and desire to fit in qualify Amelia for this.
  • All There in the Manual: It is mentioned in Amelia Tells All that her mom's name is Patience.
  • Alpha Bitch: Maxine in Amelia's Book of Notes and Note Passing
  • Animated Adaptation: The first book received an animated video titled, Amelia's Moving Pictures, starring Tabitha St. Germain in the title role. It seems possible that American Girl made this as the Pilot to a TV show that ultimately failed to find a network.
  • Art Evolution: Faces and anatomy looked much nicer as time went on. Compare the first book's illustration of Amelia, and her sixth-grade notebook.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The books are supposed to be Amelia's diaries; it makes sense her art would improve as she got older.
  • Betty and Veronica: Amelia and Carly for Luke in the camp notebook. Well, more like Betty and Betty. Amelia is definitely a Betty, but Carly is too kind to be a Veronica.
  • Be Yourself: The main Aesop of The All-New Amelia.
  • Black Best Friend: Averted in Carly's case. While Amelia considers Carly cooler and prettier, Carly can also be hot-tempered and aloof, and has her own personality and motivations outside of being Amelia's friend.
  • Blondes are Evil:
    • Clara, in a sense. More like Blondes Are Bratty, Meddlesome, Nosy, and Airheads.
    • Averted with Charisse, who can come across as snooty, but can be pretty nice.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Cleo, Amelia's older sister. She also apparently has awful table manners, too.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kayla in Amelia's Itchy-Twitchy, Lovey-Dovey Summer at Camp Mosquito. At the beginning, she's only mentioned as one of the girls in Amelia's cabin and the homesick, constantly crying kid. After that, she makes just a brief appearance and a mention later on, but at the end, she turns out to be the girl Luke chooses over Amelia and Carly at the camp dance.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several girls are introduced as Amelia's cabin-mates in Amelia's Itchy-Twitchy, Lovey-Dovey Summer at Camp Mosquito at the start of the book, but only one of them ever shows up again later on.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Amelia.
  • Demoted to Extra: Leah. She's introduced as the first friend Amelia makes after moving away in the first notebook, but makes sporadic appearances after that when Carly becomes Amelia's best friend.
  • Disappeared Dad: Played straight at first, Amelia's dad never being even mentioned. Amelia then writes him a letter in Luv Amelia Luv Nadia, and they finally meet in Amelia's Family Ties. Now he's mentioned pretty frequently.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Max towards Charisse.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Amelia's hair color varies between dark brown, light brown, and black.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: In Dr. Amelia's Boredom Survival Guide, one of the 'cures' she suggests is that you pretend to be an alien and try to describe humans and their artifacts.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: When Amelia tells Carly about Mr. Lambaste, she suggests that Amelia do this with Lambaste. It does not work.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Hilary at the end of Amelia Takes Command.
  • Love Triangle: In Amelia's Itchy-Twitchy, Lovey-Dovey Summer at Camp Mosquito, Carly and Amelia both like Luke. Who does Luke choose? Kayla.
  • Princess Classic: Charisse, according to Amelia, apparently looks like one.
  • Running Gag: Amelia often needs multiple tries to remember the spelling of "weird" (which doesn't follow the "I before E except after C" rule).
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Lambaste, Amelia's sixth-grade homeroom, English, and history teacher. When Cleo had him, she dumped salt in his coffee, and he mistakenly thought that Amelia was going to be just like her. Too bad it takes place in a world where There Are No School Counselors Or Therapists.
  • Satellite Character: Nadia is mostly defined by having been Amelia's best friend before Amelia moved away.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Luke. Outside of his role as the center of a Love Triangle with Amelia and Carly, he doesn't have much going for him other than being a Nice Guy and an artist.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: Carly is a good one.
  • Scrapbook Story: The story's told through diary entries, stories, drawings, letters, notes, and random things Amelia finds and tapes into her notebook.
  • Sequel Hook: The last line of the first book.
    Amelia: I better tell Mom that's what I want for my birthday. A brand new notebook!
  • Odd Friendship: Amelia sees Gigi and Cleo's friendship as this.
  • Only One Name: What's Amelia's last name? No one knows.
  • The Unfavorite: Cleo in the Amelia-Mom-Cleo family, as Amelia drives Mom less crazy. However, the tables are turned in the Clara-Dad-Amelia-Cleo-George family, where Amelia, while certainly loved by her father, goes unnoticed.
  • Unreliable Narrator: There is some evidence that suggests that Amelia is not above exaggerating things, given that we only see her life through her notebooks. One such example is whenever Cleo's bedroom cleanliness or her table manners are brought up. It is honestly difficult to believe that Cleo would have boyfriends or even friends with table manners that bad. They can't be that bad in real life.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Inverted, because it's Amelia who comes to visit rather than her dad. An entire book, Amelia's Family Ties, centers around Amelia getting a letter from her dad, who offers to let her come visit him in Chicago for a few days so they can catch up. There's apparently still some tension between her parents, since her mom wasn't all that thrilled when the letter came in the mail.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Amelia's Book of Notes and Note Passing is this to Othello. Carly is Othello, Maxine is Iago, and Amelia is Desdemona. Amelia even lampshades it when she begins to read the play in English class:
    "For a play written centuries ago, it's beginning to sound eerily like my life."
Amelia BedeliaChildren's LiteratureAmerican Girls Collection
Amber BrownLiterature of the 1990sAmerican Pastoral
Amber BrownLong-Running Book SeriesAmerican Girls Collection

alternative title(s): Amelias Notebook
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