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May 30, 2012 / Chersti Nieveen

Reviving the Amber Brown series!

I have to admit that I was kind of excited when I heard that there is going to be another Amber Brown book. Yes, they are chapter books. And yes, I am an adult. Problem? I think not! I’m just that much quicker at reading these books now.

The Amber Brown series starts with Amber Brown is not a Crayon, published back in 1994. The author, Paula Danziger, died in 2004.

Cover of "Amber Brown Is Not A Crayon"

Publisher’s weekly reported that the next book will be “Amber Brown Is Tickled Pink, written by Danziger’s two best friends, Bruce Coville and Elizabeth Levy.” (See link here)

The thing that I thought was the most interesting is this behind-the-scenes look at the working relationship between two authors.

Coville’s long history with Amber Brown facilitated finding the character’s voice as well. He explains that he and Danziger had been “reading partners” since 1992. “We’d always call each other and read what we were working on,” he says. “I heard every word of every Amber Brown book even before it went to an editor, so I knew the character very well. At one point Paula read me a passage and I said, ‘That doesn’t sound like Amber. She’s whining and Amber doesn’t whine. You whine, Paula!’ ”

Coville and Levy worked side-by-side – literally – as they wrote Amber Brown Is Tickled Pink, in which Amber plays the role of “Best Child” when her mother and Max finally get married. Coville periodically traveled from his upstate New York home to Levy’s New York City apartment, where they would write simultaneously on their laptops. “Every now and then, I’d say, ‘You do that part,’ or I’d say, ‘Now I’ll take this segment,’ ” says Coville. “And of course we’d pass it back and forth and revise. We worked very closely together in order to submerge our voices into Paula’s voice.” (from Publisher’s Weekly article)

I’ve always wondered what it was like to collaborate with another author on a book. Maybe someday I’ll have that experience.

And as long as I’m in true confession mode on this blog, here’s my shelf of early reader books. Junie B. Jones and Timewarp Trio are my favorites, though there are so many other good ones, too.

So what is your favorite chapter book series? Your kids?

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5 Comments

  1. Kimberly / May 30 2012 10:01 pm

    I loved Babysitters Club and Nancy Drew as a kid! 🙂

  2. Chersti Nieveen / May 31 2012 7:53 am

    I loved those books, too! Seriously, I think I burned through my library shelf on the Nancy Drew books. Fortunately, Baby-sitter’s Club still had more books coming out. I was also a huge fan of Animorphs.

  3. Rebecca T / May 31 2012 3:14 pm

    I LOVE the Time Warp Trio! And my sister recently introduced me to the Ivy and Bean books which are adorable 🙂

  4. Jennifer / Jun 1 2012 11:56 am

    Around here we are reading a lot of the Rainbow Fairy books 🙂 I had totally forgotten about Amber Brown we are going to have to see if we can squeezer her into our summer reading plans! Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Chersti Nieveen / Jun 1 2012 12:47 pm

    Rebecca T: I adore TIME WARP TRIO books. I haven’t read Ivy and Bean yet, but I think I have the first one on my shelf. I’m intending to read it soon!

    Jennifer: I’ve seen those books! They look so cute, though I haven’t actually read them. I’ve glanced in a few though, and I’m sure I would’ve loved them as a child, even though I wasn’t big into fairies.

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