Life hasn’t been easy for Amber Appleton, but she doesn’t let it affect her. Amber gives the best and brightest parts of herself to make a difference in the lives of others.
Amber is a ray of sunshine, a self-proclaimed “hope spreader”. She spends her free time teaching English to a group of Korean Catholic women using 1960s pop music. She visits a nursing home and challenges a cranky old woman to smack talk word battles. She writes haikus and drinks green tea with a lonely Vietnam veteran and his dog. Amber adopts a tiny dog, Bobby Big Boy, she found abandoned on the street in a designer shoe box. Her best friends are a motley crew of misfit guys she met in elementary school.
You see, Amber and her alcoholic mother secretly live in Mellow Yellow, the school bus her mom drives during the day. Mom spends her nights in bars, looking for the next guy who will give them a place to live. Amber has found great allies in life who help her survive and thrive, but they have no idea about how bad things really are.
When an unimaginable tragedy rocks Amber’s world, those who have been on the receiving end of her goodness are determined to keep her afloat and show her how much she means to them. Find out why Amber is “sorta like a rock star”.
Why I picked up the book: A teacher at Roosevelt told me she liked it and recommended it for our book club. The group wanted something more “real”.
Why I finished it: Amber Appleton is an awesome chick. She has more hope, faith, and heart than most people, especially considering her circumstances. I think we could all learn something from her, even just to be aware that even in our community we have students who are living in situations that they aren’t telling us about.
I’d give it to: anyone!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Review by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my reviews)