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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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!

Erika Sorocco

Freelance Reviewer
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on July 7, 2015
Too easy for our nine year old. She zipped through it in one day even though it was recommended reading for her age. Amber Brown is 9 years old herself. I thought it'd be a good next level up from the Junie B. books she used to love so much. She still enjoyed it though.
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on October 28, 2014
One night I was babysitting my grandson who realized he left his copy of "Amber Brown..." at school but needed a copy to complete a report - so I ordered it online for my IPad. We were both happy with the online version and now I have a copy for some future sleepovers with other grandchildren. It is not a title I was familiar with but enjoyed it.
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on June 24, 2007
I liked this book because it is about two best friends named Amber Brown and Justin Daniels. In this book Justin is moving away and he and Amber have a fight. This is a funny book that is full of character! I hope you read to see IF they make up!
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on October 10, 2001
I love these Amber Brown books. I'm thirteen, so these books are a fun, light read. The books follow third grader Amber Brown, who, in this book, is coping with the fact that her best friend, Justin, is moving. She must learn to deal with her feelings with Justin. It's funny and sincere and you'll definatly like it!
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on June 3, 2010
Amber Brown is not a crayon, nor is she ready to give up her best friend. Justin Daniels and Amber have been best friends since preschool. They help each other out in school, have races, made a used bubble gum ball together along with a lot of memories. Now Justin's house is up for sale and his family is moving far away. They try to pretend it is never going to happen, until the two come home to a sold sticker over the for sale sign. Yikes, this is not going to be fun. The two friends need to learn how to accept the move and stay friends forever.

Paula Danziger does a great job getting into the mind of a third grader as she writes the stories of Amber Brown. The stories are written for early readers (7-9 years old) or a bit younger if they get some help reading. I think kids can all relate to the idea of not wanting change to occur in their lives or how hard it can be to change. I recommend the Amber Brown books for your young readers - boys or girls can equally enjoy this one!

By Kerri J. Busteed
Author of Will's First Hunt [...]
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on May 1, 2015
The book Amber Brown is not a crayon was easy and fun to read plus there is a message about loss and grief, this book would be most helpful to use to help children deal with separation issues and losses. The book speaks about a deep love and connection that is threaten and both people in that relationship fear what is ahead for them. Then message is clear that children love and suffer separation as do adults, they will go through all the stages grief, and they need support while doing so.
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on September 26, 2012
This is a sweet story about third-grader Amber Brown, whose best friend Justin Daniels is moving to Alabama with his family. Because the two kids can't express their feelings about losing each other, they quarrel and then don't talk to each other. At the end, they make up. A quick read with sympathetic characters, but nothing unexpected or surprising in the plot.
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on March 4, 2007
I like the story Amber Brown is not a crayon. The best character was Amber Brown. I like Amber Brown because she is funny. The story was good because Amber was nice. I also liked the story because it was funny. I think you should read this story because it shows how to get back together when you breakup and be friends.
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on September 19, 2011
I read this entire series when I was in elementary school. I recently passed them on to my niece who's 9. Both of us agree Amber Brown is not a crayon is the best one out of the entire series. The reading difficulty is pretty low. I read these in second grade and could comprehend them. Much better read than animorphs, but I would have taken Magic Tree House over these any day.
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