'Amber Brown' Read-Alikes Tackle Life's Difficult Transitions

Elementary-aged fans of the Apple-TV series will like these books that chronicle managing divorce, moves, and friendship.


Amber Brown

TV-G. Apple TV+. Out now.
Amber Brown, a mixed-race (Black, Korean, and white) tween, copes with her emotions through music and art after her best friend moves away and her parents get divorced. A heartfelt series adaptation of the books by Paula Danziger.


Mallory on the Move by Laurie B. Friedman, illus. by Tamara Schmitz. Carolrhoda. 2004.
Gr 2-4–After a move to a new town, white eight-year-old Mallory feels caught between her old and new friends and desperately wishes things could go back to the way they were before she moved. An upbeat series starter with relatable characters dealing with life changes. The whole “Mallory McDonald” series will appeal to Amber fans.
Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban, illus. by Katie Kath. Houghton. 2016.
Gr 2-4–In this episodic chapter book, Max and his dad, both white, spend weekends together playing spy, working on school projects, and shopping for furniture after Max’s parents’ divorce. The gentle, amusing story honors the emotions kids experience after a big change in the family.
Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi, illus. by Meg Park. S.& S. 2015.
Gr 3-6–When her best friend suddenly starts being mean to her, third grader Anna, whose race is not specified, tries to figure out what’s gone wrong in this sensitive, realistic story. Like the whole “Anna, Banana” series, it’s an engaging, character-driven tale about girls learning to handle life’s ups and downs.
Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Putnam. 2009.
Gr 3-6–In this funny series starter, African American third grader Dyamonde tries to befriend the new kid in her class by drawing on her own experiences of moving after her parents’ divorce. Readers who identify with spunky Amber Brown and her struggles after her parents’ split will like Dyamonde.

Abby Johnson is the collection development leader at the Floyd County Library in New Albany, IN.

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