Top positive review
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Step in to the feisty world of Amber Brown and friends!
on March 8, 2007
Third grader, Amber Brown, and Justin Daniels have been best friends ever since preschool. They always know what the other is thinking, have created a giant ball of chewed gum that is their prized possession, and have the perfect way to eat Oreo cookies - Amber eats the cream filling, and Justin eats the chocolate cookie shell. Having known each other forever has only worked to help them survive school. After all, they're constantly sticking up for one another when someone decides to tease them about their names - "Amber Brown is not a crayon," "Justin Time" - they help each other out with homework - Justin is the math brainiac, while Amber's strong-point is spelling and penmanship - and they sit next to each other for all class activities. Which is why they both have a hard time accepting the fact that Justin is moving. As a dynamic duo, the two can't imagine being separated. And no, it's not being separated by a town, or a single state, but, rather, thousands of miles. Justin will be in Arizona, and Amber will be stuck in New Jersey. Now, as they begin contemplating what life will be like without the other by their side, disaster strikes, and the two bosom buddies begin fighting like cats and dogs - refusing to even speak to one another. The people around them, from their parents to their beloved teacher, Mr. Cohen, have no idea what to do to get the two pals to make up, and everyone begins to wonder whether the two will manage to mend their friendship, before it's too late.
I originally read AMBER BROWN IS NOT A CRAYON when I was in the fourth grade, and instantly fell in love with Amber. Paula Danziger has a magical way of meshing the fun (best friends, school projects) with the serious (moving away), to create a splendid work of fiction that really appeals to young readers. Her ability to bring real-life situations to the forefront, and shine a spotlight on them is inspiring, and will obviously win a place in the heart of readers who are experiencing similar situations. Danziger manages to put various lessons into such a compact book, from conflict resolution, to feeling comfortable enough to reveal your true emotions. Amber is a lovable character, whose sloppy, messy ways make her unique, and easy to relate to; while her friendship with Justin really illustrates just how strong the bond can be between children - even those as young as the two characters in this book. Justin, on the other hand, also brings a diversity to the story, and helps to highlight both his, and Amber's quirks. The two characters play off of one another marvelously, and truly bring their own unique voices to the tale. Step in to the feisty world of Amber Brown and friends!