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Amber on the Mountain Hardcover – June 1, 1994


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Hardcover, June 1, 1994
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803712197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803712195
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,584,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The theme of Johnston's heartwarming story is apparent--"You can do almost anything you fix your mind on"--but her deceptively simple telling boasts believable characters and deft construction. There's never been a school in Amber's mountain community, and not until the appearance of Anna, whose father is helping to build a mountain road, does Amber find someone who can teach her to read. Johnston ( Yonder ; Grandpa's Song ) knits this story together with recurring themes, lyrical images, and picturesque and convincing dialogue. The girls help Granny Cotton with her quilting, "poking little silver needles in and out, in and out" and later, Amber is so eager to read that "she hurries and tangles the words like quilting thread." When Anna gets a stubborn look in her eyes, Amber tells her she looks like a mule. "When old Rockhead looks balkity," she says, "he's up to something sure." By book's end, Anna has moved on, but Amber teaches herself to write--with no small measure of persistence. "If I can read 'em, I can copy 'em," she says, and in due time she sends her first letter to Anna. Newcomer Duncan's splendid oil paintings detail the beauty of mountain folk, misty clouds and glorious meadows dotted with wildflowers. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-A story about learning to read and write that doesn't quite work. Amber lives a solitary life high in the mountains. Then one day a man comes with a crew to build a road, bringing along his wife and daughter, Anna. She teaches Amber to read before the road is completed; Amber learns to write on her own so she can keep in touch after Anna's family leaves. The process of mastering these skills, while shown to be a slow one, seems to be one in which, as Anna says, you just, "Set your whole self to the task." Johnston, who has used poetic language to great effect in previous books, seems to be straining to be descriptive here. One brief page of text, for example, is crammed with figurative language, some of which is cliched. She uses expressions that seem to evoke an Appalachian setting, a place where "folks" might "roll clean off" of a road; where people say "hey" to one another. Duncan's large, lush oil paintings unfortunately confuse the issues of time and place. While the frontispiece painting and the details of housing have an Appalachian look, the mountains have the sharp ridges of the Rockies. (The cover painting of the girls on a grassy hillside in front of imposing peaks even evokes strong images of Heidi.) While the setting includes no modern touches, the two children's wardrobes seem to be directly out of the current L.L. Bean catalog. Eve Bunting's The Wednesday Surprise (Clarion, 1989) and Florence Heide's The Day of Ahmed's Secret (Lothrop, 1990) do a better job of telling the literacy story.
Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful illustrations and a nice story.
Jennifer Blake
As a teacher I use this book to teach that children can make a positive difference and can accomplish much if they keep on trying.
Sue Metzcar
This is a must read for all elementary school aged children.
Carol Ekster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a really special book. It is all about learning to read and write and why someone might want to do so. The pictures are among the best I've seen in any children's book. The story is well told. It's also a lovely story about friendship and giving. For a kindergartener or first grader learning to read and write it is particularly appropriate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Enhanced with subtle rich oil paintings, "Amber on the Mountain" is the story of a girl who wants to learn. Amber is a mountain girl who has no one to teach her.

And then, Anna arrives - a girl her own age whose father is going to build a new road. Although Anna has to leave the mountain before she can teach Amber everything she wishes, Amber perseveres in her quest to learn.

This charming story teaches the value of education, friendship, and the importance of working for what you want.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this book as an elementary school librarian and now I'm buying it for my grandchildren. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is a delightful one of childhood friendship, but my favorite thing is the descriptive language, which is probably most appreciated by children 8 - 10, although it is certainly a great read-aloud and vocabulary builder for younger children.
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By Jennifer Blake on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
Soft cover book came in excellent condition. One of my favorite books as a child. Beautiful illustrations and a nice story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a teacher I use this book to teach that children can make a positive difference and can accomplish much if they keep on trying. The illustrations are beautiful, but so are the words that describe them. So someone can read a page aloud, and then the listeners can explain what they visualize or draw what they visualize. The author uses excellent word choice and figurative language; the story can be used as an example for the writing trait "Word Choice" or for examples of figurative language and understanding of that idea.
There are many good pieces written with realistic male heroic characters. The characters in this book are two determined girls and Amber's grandma. All three characters are strongly developed by the author. Amber lives with her grandma, and that is the only "family" mentioned. The setting is the back hills, probably in the late 20th century. If you are looking for any of those features in a book: strong and able women, nontraditional family, or set in a remote rural area, then this is a great book. I was given this book as a way to teach the importance of transportation and road building to provide advantages to those who live in under developed areas of the U.S.
I am a public school teacher teaching third grade. I'd rate the book appropriate for grades 2-5, depending on your purposes. I would also recommend this for a book to read at home with a parent, grandparent, or other important adult because it is enjoyable and can emphasize positive character traits such as persistance, being a friend, and working together as a family. The illustrations are just gorgeous.
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Format: Paperback
I read this beautifully written picture book to my fourth graders at the beginning of each year that I taught. It models using beautiful language with an important message that you can do anything you set your mind to.
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