Amber Ambrosia (Great Plains Juvenile Fiction)
Rae Bridgman
Great Plains Publications (2007)
ISBN 9781894283731
Reviewed by Dylan James (age 12) for Reader Views (8/08)

In “Amber Ambrosia,” famous cousin’s Wil and Sophie live with their aunts. After having disrupted a famous criminal’s evil plan to destroy snakes a couple of months ago, they were resting and having fun with honey.  Then, Wil and Sophie have to save the world from the notorious criminal that escaped from prison. He’s intent on destroying bees this time. So when all the bees fall sick, it’s not a surprise. The problem is no one can figure out how to save them.  With some magical honey and a childish game, Wil and Sophie are on an adventure to save the bees! They keep going through danger and friendship to keep the honey and bees in this world. What will happen to the criminal?  What will happen to them?

“Amber Ambrosia” was delightful.  It brought me through an adventure of courage and puzzles to finally bring me out on the other side. “Amber Ambrosia” was delightful mainly because of the topic.  People like to read about strange things.  They like to read about aliens in Star Wars or dinosaurs in Jurassic park. This was like that, but even stranger. With writing that brings crystal balls and tea leaves together with snakes and criminals and items that boggle the mind, this book had me interested from the start.  It’s amazing how much I read about bees, dragonflies, and honey in this book.  I liked it a lot. That is this author’s strength; to write about things that not many people would write about in an adventure story.

Both boys and girls will love “Amber Ambrosia” if they’re twelve and under due to the fun adventures.  For example:  four kids on a picnic to celebrate a birthday end up in an investigation when words and magical honey transform two of them into bees. Then the bees go on to save the honey in the world, while their aunt’s look into crystal balls and resort to dreams to find them.

From the start the criminal is portrayed as vile and despicable, which is true, but there is no motive for why he would do something so atrocious.  Something the author might want to do is to give some short examples throughout the book of why the criminal is so evil– like give a clip of his past or something brief like that. Another downside to this book is that it mentions the father of Wil several times, but never develops further. There is nothing about his father except to say he’s still missing. A boy of ten would have imaginations of how he’s going to find his father.  If he were too young to remember his father, he would have even more imaginations. That was the biggest fault in this book; there should have been more storyline of his father.

“Amber Ambrosia” by Rae Bridgman was a great book and definitely worth four stars.

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