Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Readers fascinated by Dave Pelzer and A CHILD CALLED IT will want to pick up a copy of AMBER by Dave Webb. It tells the heartbreaking story of a little girl's struggle to survive in a world of neglect and abuse.
Life has not been kind to 10-year-old Amber, but recently things have gotten worse. She has been uprooted and moved so many times in an effort to escape her mother's abusive boyfriend that she can barely remember what the last place looked like.
When Amber returns home from school, she finds her mother gone. Hopefully, she is at work, but the passing time and her continued absence point in another direction. Warned to head straight home from school and not to talk to anyone makes having friends almost impossible for Amber. Now there is no one to turn to for help.
Finally, her mother shows up, drunk but apologetic. Amber's only real escape is her Fantasy. It's a place she calls her Kingdom, with kings and queens and all the trappings of royal life. The bad part of her Fantasy is the Voices. They are often frightening, and Amber fears that telling someone will only label her as crazy.
Amber finds friendship and some comfort when she teams up with a runaway named Shayna. Together they offer each other safety and companionship, at least temporarily.
Author Dave Webb has crafted an emotional story about Amber and her struggle to get past her fears and have her voice heard by someone who cares; someone who can help her. Although less than 100 pages, Webb reaches the hearts of his readers as Amber suffers emotional and physical stress and abuse from her absentee mother; Greg, her mother's abusive boyfriend; and teasing taunts from bullying classmates. Can she survive her environment and find that "someone" who cares?