Summary: Alpaca My Bags
In Alpaca My Bags, Amelia is relieved when her parents decide to pause their life on the road for a short while so they can work and earn more money to continue their adventures. She’s trying hard to think about her family’s next daredevil adventure plans, which involve skiing a black diamond slope.
Amelia has been homeschooled most of her life and has significant anxiety, so adjusting to public school is not as easy as she expects. She’s also struggling with being the most scared person in her family of adventurers and feeling like she’s holding them back. But when she finds a farm with a herd of alpacas (animals known for their anxious, fearful tendency), Amelia discovers that being brave goes beyond physically challenging adventures.
This was a sweet book. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator does a good job of capturing Amelia’s voice and her anxious nature. I learned a ton about alpacas as each chapter begins with an alpaca fact. Amelia’s family dynamic is realistic and relatable, especially for someone with anxiety. It’s obvious that her parents and brothers love her, but they don’t always understand how triggering their family adventures can be for her anxiety.
Amelia also meets a cousin with whom she used to be closer, but now has a bit of a strained relationship. Readers see how both girls figure out their relationship. I hated how misunderstood Amelia was by teachers and some students, but I understand how this can happen when other people are different from us. The best part of this book was Amelia’s work at the alpaca farm and how much it helped her come into her own.
Overall: Alpaca My Bags
Alpaca My Bags is a sweet (almost Hallmark movie-esque) middle grade book about an anxious girl who learns to see her strengths. Packed with interesting alpaca facts, a family living in an RV, and strong small town vibes, this will appeal to kids who love animal stories and middle grade books about kids with anxiety.