Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit

Written by Paula Danziger
Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Reviewed by Lauren K. (age 8) and Alyssa S. (age -1)

Amber Brown is not doing well in school. She is extremely furious! Her mom starts dating a man named Max. Amber doesn't want to meet him. Amber's mom didn't even ask her if it was okay. You know what that feels like when your parents are divorced. Amber's dad is in London and she only gets to talk to him on the phone.

There are two lessons to be learned in this story. One is, don't make life harder than it really is. Amber wanted to show her mom how angry she was, so she didn't do well in school and didn't bring in her homework. She also didn't behave well. She wasn't even trying. The other lesson is give people a chance. Amber didn't give Max a chance because she made herself not like Max. She thought her dad would not like her for liking Max. Amber ignored Max. She thought she was hurting him, but she was really hurting herself. Amber's mom says, "Amber it's so hard. I want to be a good mom. I understand that sometimes it is very hard for a child to accept the fact that their parents are divorced." Soon, Amber goes out with her mom and Max. Amber BURST out and cries, "I don't like having to sit in restaurant with Max who I don't even like."

Soon after that a project comes up and if Amber does well she will get credit from her teacher and her mom. But will it be enough credit?

This story reminds us of when we had a fight with each other. It was just like Amber's fight with her mom. We ignored each other like they did. I (Lauren) felt that Alyssa took me for granted like Amber took her mom for granted. I (Alyssa) felt that Lauren didn't want to be my friend anymore because when I tried to talk to Lauren she would just walk away from me like when Amber tried so many time to get her mom's attention.

We both liked Amber's character because she reminds us of our sisters. Both of our sisters get mad at our mom's a lot like Amber does.

As we read this book we had mixed feelings. We felt bad for Amber because she was trying so hard to get her mom's attention. Like the lesson, she's making it harder for herself in school. We felt good for Amber because as the book went on she started to get more of her mom's attention. Like when Amber's mother realized that Amber had really missed her dad a lot.

We both had a favorite part. My (Alyssa's) favorite part was when Amber's friend's brother put a Barbie doll in her cup. It was very funny because everybody at the table was making jokes about it. My (Lauren's) favorite part was when Amber pretended that a stuffed gorilla was Max and said really mean things to it. It was very funny.

We really liked the illustrations. Because there are not many illustrations and they were not in color, they made an extra amazing picture in our minds. I (Alyssa) really like this book because it was really exciting. I (Lauren) really like this book because it kept me guessing. There was always a surprise.

We recommend this book to 1st, 2nd , 3rd and 4th graders. They will enjoy this book because it is the right level and has a story they will understand. Kindergartners may not understand the story or lesson. It is too easy for 5th graders and up. Also, we recommend it to people whose parents are divorced so they know they are not alone. Also, they may learn not to do what Amber did. So, if you are like Amber you should find someone like you to talk to. If you can't, you can read, Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit!

Lauren K. and Alyssa S. are students in Mrs. Barbagallo's 3rd Grade Class
2001-2002