Tuesday Tales: Amber Brown Sees Red by Paula Danzinger
May 11, 2010 in Book Club Possibility, Books with Health Content, Chapter Books, Danzinger Paula, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Reading Skills, Tuesday Tales, Writing Skills Tags: Amber Brown Sees Red, books on divorce, chapter book, Paula Danzinger, Tuesday Tales
*Chapter book, contemporary fiction
*Elementary-school aged girl as main character
*Rating: Amber Brown Sees Red by Paula Danzinger is a terrific book for children in first through third grade who love a series and love a quirky character like Amber!
Short, short summary: Amber Brown is seeing red! She’s mad–she’s madder than mad. Why can’t everything just stay the same? She doesn’t want to like her soon-to-be stepfather, Max, but he’s always there for her. She misses her dad–but where is he? Living in France! However, she gets a call from her dad, and he’s moving back. Plus, he wants joint custody. So, what’s her mom going to think about that? She’s not going to be happy. On top of all these “serious” issues, Paula Danzinger doesn’t disappoint by mixing into the story a school full of skunks, a new student, a best friend who always says: “Bulletin, bulletin, bulletin,” and 1,282 points at the arcade. Amber Brown Sees Red reaches young readers who may also be dealing with a parents’ divorce while making us all laugh and become huge fans of Amber Brown.
So, how do I use this book?
1. Do your children or students ever feel like Amber Brown? They could relate to her in many ways: if their parents are going through a divorce, if they have a best friend, if they are going through a growth spurt, if there’s a new student in their classroom, and so on. The great thing about Paula Danzinger’s book is that even though it’s fiction, she deals with real life, kid issues. Kids can write about Amber in their reading response journals, or you can lead them in class discussions. Personal connections also help students improve comprehension skills.
2. One of the less serious problems in Amber Brown Sees Red is that skunks have invaded the school. The way the administration solves this problem is to hold school on the school bus. What does Amber think of this solution? What other problems does it cause? Ask students to come up with alternative solutions to this problem in the novel. Students can also name other problems and solutions in the novel, also.
3. Amber gets a haircut in the story, and it’s too short for her. Some of the students make fun of her. How does Amber deal with this problem? You can use this event in the book to start a discussion with students or your own children about teasing and bullying.