The Amber Brown Series
By Paula Danziger
Penguin Young Readers, New York
Reviewed by Laura Harting
Amber Brown is a fictional young girl whose parents divorce when she is in the first grade. These chapter books for children in second through fifth grade are delightfully written and hold the reader’s interest. Amber struggles through her parents not liking each other, living in two separate places and having step-parents. In each book Amber encounters new challenges. Some have to do with her parents’ divorce and others are simply about life as a second through fifth grader. Amber’s father takes a job in France when her parents separate. Amber’s best friend moves away. Amber’s mother meets someone else and gets engaged. Amber’s school has a skunk infestation. Amber’s father returns from France and finds a place to live close to Amber. Amber now has two homes and two families.
The first book in the Amber Brown series was published in 1994. Danziger does a great job of describing divorce and the changes that come with it through the eyes of an elementary school-aged child. She weaves in the ups and downs of school, friends and teachers and deals with the topic of divorce in a very realistic and sensitive way. In addition, her books are humorous, adventurous and the characters delightful.
If your children are reading small chapter books, then this is the series for them. If they aren’t quite ready for chapter books, these are great books to read to them or with them.