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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Bits of science, math, grammar, and more tucked into the pages, all amid lessons about friendship and integrity and forgiveness, and at just the right level for early readers.
Amber and her friends learn to navigate their emotions in positive ways that readers can relate to, such as what it's like to be scared about the new school year, or how to deal with younger siblings in a positive way.
Positive Role Models
Amber's parents, teachers, other adults are kind and understanding, and want to talk Amber through her feelings and help her see other perspectives.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paula Danziger's A Is for Amber series is about Amber Brown, a girl in early elementary school. It's written for very young readers but offers complexity in each 40-page story, the first of which is What a Trip, Amber Brown. The series is written in clear, concise language, with new vocabulary sprinkled amid familiar words and feelings. The stories about young Amber and her friends cover relatable topics -- fights with friends, problems at school, and being mad at siblings -- and Amber's parents and teachers help her with unending positivity. This is fabulous for emerging readers, and the books and topics are simpler than those in the related Amber Brown series for early readers, which starts when Amber is in third grade and follows her into middle school.
Is It Any Good?
These books are fantastic for emerging readers, or for those who want to practice their skills while learning a bit more science and vocabulary than in typical chapter books for this age range. The Amber Brown series A Is for Amber is a fun -- occasionally deep -- take on life and friendship in early elementary school. In one of the books, Amber's parents have an argument, and Amber's worries are entirely relatable to children who have been upset by their own parents' arguments. On the positive side, there are birthday parties and lighthearted family trips and lots to laugh about, and each book ends with a lovely version of Amber telling herself that everything is going to be OK. It's a great message to kids about the complexity of life, told in ways that make sense to readers young and old.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Best Book Series for Early Readers
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate