cover image Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

Paula Danziger, J. Galbraith. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22509-3

With spunky Amber Brown, Danziger ( The Cat Ate My Gymsuit ; Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes ) adds to her oeuvre's sizable brood of magnetic young characters. This heroine's perky, first-person narrative (``I, Amber Brown, am one very excited third grader'') allows readers to make her acquaintance immediately--and effortlessly. They'll learn straight away that Amber's life is about to change, and she is not at all happy about it. Her best friend, Justin, is moving away. Since preschool, they have been ``a great team'': he helps her with fractions (``which I only half understand''); she eats the cream center out of Oreos and passes the cookie part to him (``We call it teamwork. Hannah Burton calls it `gross.' '') Though she tries to keep a stiff upper lip, Amber's emotions get the best of her when Justin, while packing, decides to throw out the chewing-gum ball they have accumulated. She resolves never to speak to him again, but the two make peace in an affecting scene that brings this brief but memorable novel to a close. Once again, Danziger demonstrates her ability to connect with her audience. One hopes she has more escapades planned for Amber. Ages 7-9. (Apr.)