The Dumbest Idea Ever!
The Dumbest Idea Ever!

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Annotation: A renowned comics creator recounts his adventures as he grows from an eager-to-please boy into a teenage comic book artist, sharing the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him.
Catalog Number: #117399
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 236 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-45347-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-93444-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-45347-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-93444-3
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2013939128
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Gownley is well known for his Amelia Rules series, full of crafty storytelling and emotional sensitivity. In his latest offering, he shows what made him the graphic novelist he grew up to be. At 13, with supportive parents and friends and teachers who gave him intellectual tools and encouragement along with hard reality checks, Jimmy creates his first (self-) published comic book, to impressive acclaim. Two years later, with a little more worldliness under his belt, as well as some heartbreak and rocky times with his best friend, Tony, Jimmy turned back to the drawing board to create a much better, more accurate story of his creativity, his dedication, and what shaped him as a successful artist. Gownley's cartoonish and expressive illustrations send the reader into Jimmy's world and thoughts, from his early fascination with superheroes right through the bittersweet afterword, in which Gownley reveals that he was able to deliver the completed story of his adolescence to Tony soon before his early death. This is an excellent example of autobiographical sequential art at its most deeply felt.
Horn Book
In this graphic novel memoir, thirteen-year-old Jimmy was a basketball star and top student until an untimely bout of chicken pox caused him to miss his teams championship game and a ton of school. As Jimmy's grades began to slide, his love of drawing grew. Jimmy is a likable kid, and the visuals are strong. Tween readers will fall for Gownley's story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;8&12; In this funny and heartfelt graphic memoir by the author of the popular "Amelia Rules" series (Atheneum), Gownley introduces readers to his 13-year-old self. With excellent grades and strong skills on the basketball court, Jimmy is a star at his school until a nasty bout with chicken pox and pneumonia force him to miss over a month of classes and the championship game. While bedridden, the young artist rediscovers his love of comics and soon sets about creating and publishing his very own&12;a task that is easier said than done. Jimmy's struggle through that awkward divide between childhood and adolescence, the palm-sweating excitement of a first girlfriend, his growing disillusionment with school and homework, and his desire to escape the confines of his small Pennsylvania town and find his own special talent is authentically portrayed and will resonate with kids. Jimmy is at times boisterous and overconfident, while secretly struggling to reconcile the kid he was with the young man he is growing into. His relationships with his parents, his friends, and even some nuns at his strict Catholic school are portrayed with realism and humor. Gownley's energetic cartoons keep the overall tone light and upbeat, while subtle shifts in palette appropriately reflect the story's emotional highs and lows. This charming and inspiring tale will be enjoyed by fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile (Scholastic, 2010) and aspiring comics creators everywhere.&12; Kiera Parrott , School Library Journal
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The charismatic creator of the Eisner-nominated Amelia Rules! series recounts his beginnings as a cartoonist. From the very first panel, Gownley's graphic memoir is refreshingly different. He's not the archetypal nerd, and he doesn't retreat to draw due to feelings of loneliness or isolation. Gownley seems to be a smart kid and a talented athlete, and he has a loyal group of friends and a girlfriend. After he falls ill, first with chicken pox and then pneumonia, he falls behind in school and loses his head-of-the-class standing--a condition he is determined to reverse. A long-standing love of comics leads him to write his own, though his first attempt is shot down by his best friend, who suggests he should instead write a comic about their group. He does, and it's an instant sensation. Gownley's story is wonderful; his small-town life is so vividly evinced, it's difficult to not get lost in it. While readers will certainly pick up on the nostalgia, it should be refreshing--if not completely alien--for younger readers to see teens interacting without texting, instead using phones with cords. Eagle-eyed readers will also be able to see the beginnings of his well-loved books about Amelia. He includes an author's note that shouldn't be overlooked--just be sure to keep the tissues handy. Humble, endearing and utterly easy to relate to; don't miss this one. (author's note) (Graphic memoir. 10 & up)
Word Count: 10,606
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 164559 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.2 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q62244
Guided Reading Level: U

What if the dumbest idea ever turned your life upside down?

At thirteen, Jimmy was popular, at the top of his class, and the leading scorer on his basketball team. But all that changed when chicken pox forced him to miss the championship game. Things went from bad to worse when he got pneumonia and missed even more school. Before Jimmy knew it, his grades were sinking and nothing seemed to be going right.

How did Jimmy turn things around, get back on top at school, and land a date with the cutest girl in class?

Renowned comics creator Jimmy Gownley shares his adventures as he grows from an eager-to-please boy into a teenage comic book artist. This is the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him.

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