A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Amber Anthem is the fourth installment in the 5 Worlds sci-fi graphic novel series by brothers Mark and Alexis Siegel. The stunningly illustrated story follows three talented children from diverse backgrounds as they continue their quest to light five ancient beacons and save various planets from overheating. There are some mildly violent scenes in which the kids are chased by military/security personnel and a tentacled villain, but there's no bloodshed.
What's the story?
As THE AMBER ANTHEM opens, Oona Lee, Jax Amboy, and An Tzu continue their quest to the planet Salassandra, determined to light the five mystical beacons and save the 5 Worlds from climatic destruction. They're looking for the second-to-last beacon, one amber in color. On their trail is Stan Moon, possessed by the evil Mimic, who has vowed revenge against Oona and her companions. Luckily, Oona and each of her friends old and new discover something about themselves that may help them in their mission. Perhaps the most surprising revelation is An Tzu's, a vivid memory of his origins that poses as many questions as it answers.
Is it any good?
Sometimes amazing visuals can compensate for an unfocused plot line, and this fourth installment of the sci-fi adventure relies on its artwork to keep the reader's attention. With The Amber Anthem, authors Mark and Alexis Siegel may have boxed themselves in by stipulating that there would be five worlds; four might have been enough. But what's done is done, and there's still plenty of graphic inventiveness on display here. Readers who have followed this saga from the beginning will be primed for the final volume. Already a winner, the series is ready for its conclusion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Amber Anthem addresses the issue of planetary warming. How are modern-day politicians dealing with climate change here on Earth?
How does The Amber Anthem address the notion of a "chosen one"? Why does the concept of a "chosen one" appear in so many myths and legends? Do modern-day people ever believe in a chosen one?
The Amber Anthem uses the conventions of comics to tell its story. What kinds of stories are best suited for the graphic novel format? What kinds of stories work best in prose?
- Authors: Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel
- Illustrators: Xanthe Bouma, Matthew C. Rockefeller, Boya Sun
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Great Girl Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: May 12, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 25, 2020
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