Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon: The Graphic Novel

 
4.5 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
147 0
Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon: The Graphic Novel
Age Range
6+
Release Date
May 21, 2024
ISBN
978-0593615706
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Even when her best friend is moving away, Amber Brown is always bold, bright, and colorful. #Amber Brown is out now on Apple TV+

Amber Brown and Justin Daniels are best friends. They've known each other for practically forever, sit next to each other in class, help each other with homework, and always stick up for each other. Justin never says things like, "Amber Brown is not a crayon." Amber never says, "You're Justin Time." They're a great team—until disaster strikes. Justin has to move away, and now the best friends are fighting. Will they be able to work it out before it's too late?

Along with the ups and downs of shared custody, the Amber Brown chapter books are beloved for tackling relatable dilemmas with thoughtfulness, humor, and plenty of puns.

Editor reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.7(3)
Characters
 
4.3(3)
Writing Style
 
4.0(3)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0(3)
Fresh Take On A Popular Series
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
As I read the latest adaptation of Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon - The Graphic Novel, I was reminded why this series is so popular. Amber is a charming third grader who's messy and forgetful, but she is also an amazing friend.

Amber and Justin have been best friends since they were little. The story begins with the friends in third grade and dealing with a big hurdle. Justin's dad took a job in Alabama and his family will move once they sell their home. As it gets closer to Justin's family moving it feels like the two friends are pushing each other away. Amber struggles with the idea of Justin moving and losing her best friend, while Justin is nervous about starting a new school and making friends. In the end, Amber and Justin realize the importance of communication in their friendship.

What I Liked: The graphic novel format breathes new life into the Amber Brown series. Victoria Ying perfectly captures Amber Brown's personality and emotions in her illustrations.

Many readers can relate to the book's topics, which include friendship, divorce, and moving. I really like how the author isn't afraid to show her characters having emotions that they need to process. A touching moment occurs when Amber and her mom discuss Justin's move and Amber's frustration with him. Amber's mother was so supportive, and it was wonderful to see a positive family relationship like this. There is another heartfelt moment between Amber and Justin where they open up about their fears about the move. It's emotional and funny all at once, and I think it captures Amber and Justin's friendship perfectly.

This graphic adaptation of Amber Brown Is Not A Crayon is the perfect introduction to the popular series and is a must read for young readers.
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An expressive, sweet, intriguing book for all ages
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Amber Brown is Not a Crayon: The Graphic Novel is a great way to introduce the topics of friendship, divorce, moving, and overall changes for a younger audience. This book goes through Amber's third-grade year in which her best friend, Justin, is moving away. The story takes you through different moments throughout the school year from Amber and Justin taking "trips" in the classroom, hanging out at Justin's house, someone buying Justin's house, and ultimately Justin and Amber talking about him moving away. 

What I liked: 
I am someone who grew up with Amber Brown so I was quite excited to see that this book was being converted into a graphic novel. I was not disappointed in this book and am so excited to share it with others. 

The images throughout the story shift in color palettes depending on the emotions of our characters which adds to the story. The blue, purple, and green tones let us know that Amber is having a hard time in these moments. There are also color shifts in which you can tell there is a shift in time through the story. 

Amber has always been a relatable character to me growing up so I'm excited to see the next generation get to engage with her as well. I love how silly and playful she is and how she doesn't allow the teasing to change who she is. 

It's great to see how Amber navigates some of the harder things that she is dealing with and I appreciate the way the author includes Amber's mom in this process. Amber mentions her mom taking her feelings seriously regardless of her age and how this makes a difference to her, and this is something that children of all ages need to hear. Change can be difficult for children and this book navigates the feelings that can come with change in a way that everyone can relate to. 

Final Verdict: Amber Brown is Not a Crayon: The Graphic Novel is a great read for younger readers and nostalgic for those who grew up with Amber. This is a cute, sweet book that will leave you wanting more of Amber which is lucky for you there is a lot more to read when it comes to Amber Brown. 
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engaging graphic novel that tackles tough topics well
Overall rating
 
4.8
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
AMBER BROWN IS NOT A CRAYON: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL is an engaging and approachable look at tough topics around a friend moving away, teasing, and divorce. Amber Brown hates when other kids tease her for having a name like a crayon, but she has come to appreciate her name over time. This year, in third grade, she is sad that her best friend, Justin, may be moving away. His father got a job in Alabama, which means that once they sell their house in New Jersey, he will be leaving.

Amber and Justin are the best of friends, and Amber is not sure what she will do when he leaves. As the time approaches, she considers her feelings and possibilities. She knows what it feels like to lose someone, as her father moved to another country after the divorce. Luckily, with good friends and her mother, Amber will learn how to approach these changes and feelings.

What I loved: This is a really relatable and approachable graphic novel that tackles some tough topics in a way that young elementary schoolers can appreciate. The story is illustrated well with plenty of details in each panel, plus plenty of color and silliness that will appeal to the intended age range. The characters are expressive and the story is primarily told with images, without having too much text on any page, which works well for the intended audience. Some particular jokes that make readers giggle are concerns about kids who pick their noses and Justin's telling of his plane trip.

Amber is a compelling character, and the story spells out her emotions, why she feels that way, and how she and other characters are handling these big feelings. This is great for elementary school aged kids who are working on understanding, naming, and dealing with tough emotions. The experience of having a good friend move away is one that many kids will understand, as are the feelings left behind after a divorce. While these are tough topics, the story handles them well and includes many light-hearted moments to help break them up along the way.

The text in the story is mainly told through narrative call-outs, but there are places of dialogue in key moments. This style works well for young readers who need things spelled out. They are easy to follow and the order is clear throughout, which is great for young independent readers who can easily travel the graphic novel on their own. The story is also broken into chapters to make it even more digestible.

Final verdict: AMBER BROWN IS NOT A CRAYON is a delightful graphic novel that handles tough topics in an approachable way and with plenty of humor to keep young readers engaged and giggling. Recommend for elementary schoolers who love a story with heart, expressive illustrations, and memorable characters, and/or who might be facing their own similar situations.
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