Amber Brown Sees Red
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Amber Brown's going through a growth spurt . . . and her body's not the only thing that's changing. Her mom and Max are engaged. Her dad is moving back from Paris. And now her school's overrun by skunks, and she feels like she's being held captive in a hot, crowded school bus that's going nowhere. But growth spurts and skunks are not her only concerns. Why can't her parents agree on anything . . . and most important, what will happen when Dad moves back?
parents separated. My father moved to Paris. My best friend, Justin, moved to Alabama. My parents divorced. My mom started dating Max. Then he asked her to marry him, and for us to become a family. Now they’re engaged. My favorite teacher, Mr. Cohen, stayed in the third grade, and I had to go into fourth grade. And now my feet are getting bigger. My legs are getting taller. Nothing fits the same way anymore. “Say something,” I tell the gorilla. The hairy ape just sits there. PUFFIN BOOKS
one of the teachers, in front of everyone, that I have to go to the bathroom. If I do, I’ll die, just die, from embarrassment. If I don’t die, one of the teachers will have to escort me back into Skunk School and then when I get back on the bus, the sixth graders will yell out, “Hope everything came out all right.” It’s all the skunks’ fault. The skunks have won. They’re still in the school. So are Mr. Robinson, the principal, Mrs. Clarke, the vice principal, Mrs. Peters, the school
I look at each other. I sit down at the table and put my head on the table. He pats my head. It makes me feel a little like a dog, but it also makes me feel good because I know that Max is trying to make me feel better. My mother walks back into the room and hands me the phone. “It’s your father.” My father’s first words to me are, “What is SHE saying about me?” I decide to ignore that question and say, “Hi, Dad. Do you miss me? When are we going to see each other? Do you know yet?” He
I get back, we’ll go apartment hunting over the weekend.” “Just so it’s not on Saturday afternoon when the bowling team is competing,” I tell him. “OK,” he says. “I’ll go to the game to watch my little girl bowl and then we’ll search for an apartment and go shopping.” He’s going to go to the game, the game that Max will be coaching .... the game that my mother will be cheering at. My stomach really hurts. Something tells me that it won’t be just the bowling team that will be competing. When
they worked out who got what.... I’m the only thing that they couldn’t give to just one of them ... and now that Dad’s moving back ... they want to split me.... They call it shared custody, but I feel split.” The hairy ape still says nothing. I get mad at him. “You don’t understand. There’s only one of you. What am I going to do when I go to Dad’s and I need to talk to you and you’re here? I can’t carry you back and forth, take you to school with me. It would look really dumb for me, a fourth