Dream On, Amber
Publisher: Chicken House
Amber's real name is Ambra Miyamoto - she's 'all mixed up like a salad'. Whilst her Italian mother and Grandmother are a very big and noisy presence in her life, her Japanese father is entirely absent without explanation.
Amber has just started high school and her out of date mobile phone is causing her some serious social problems. On top of that she's doing her best to help her little sister Bella, who's being picked on at school and can't understand why her Dad won't be coming to her birthday party. Some bad decisions have got Amber into a big old mess, which is a nightmare for someone who craves cleanliness and order in every aspect of her life!
At least she can escape through her art, but the missing link to her Japanese heritage is really getting her down, and when she channels it through her pencil she ends up with an outcome she never expected. Can an imaginary father figure and samurai warriors help her defeat the beast of dark thoughts that lives under her bed?
Dream On, Amber is fast and funny with wonderful little illustrations and an eye-catching design. Amber is a fabulous character; tiny but tough with a big heart. Emma Shevah has created a wonderfully modern voice that manages to perfectly balance a sensitive subject with light and laughter. For young readers who need some persuasion away from the heavily illustrated diary style reads this is a perfect next step, providing emotional substance along with a longer text.