Amber Appleton is one of The Five - a group of misfit, "freak" students who have been friends since they were put together for counseling in the fifth grade. After school, you can find Amber drinking green tea with a Vietnam vet who is fond of writing haiku's, tutoring Korean women in English by leading them in Motown songs, or visiting a retirement home where she and Joan of Old entertain residents with their optimism vs pessimism battles. At night, Amber sleeps (often alone) on the Hello Yellow bus which her mom drives for a living. Her mom is often "out fishing" at bars, looking for her next Prince Charming. Readers will smile with delight at the positive, vivacious attitude of Amber as she spreads hope among her various, eccentric friends. However, when she struggles to come to terms with a tragic, life-changing event, we find that Amber is not as capable of receiving help as she is at giving it. This is a truly delightful book which will have readers both laughing and crying throughout. Highly recommended!
We were privileged to have Matthew Quick visit our school last Spring to discuss his first novel, The Silver Linings Playbook. The students not only loved this book but were fascinating by his personal story of becoming a writer. Let's hope he has many more novels to come!