'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 12 October 2012

Review: The Amber Amulet

‘I don’t mean to pry, but saving people is my calling. signed, The Masked Avenger’

A mild mannered 12-year-old by day, Liam McKenzie secretly longs for the evenings when he can transform into his true self – The Masked Avenger. With his sidekick Richie the Power Beagle, he patrols his neighbourhood ensuring that the residents of Franklin Street are safe and secure.

While The Masked Avenger doesn’t usually have to attend to anything more serious than a bicycle left out on the street or a loose hinge on a garden gate, his calling to protect and serve is challenged when he discovers Joan, a troubled woman at the end of the street who is fighting a most terrible foe – sadness.

Whimsical and gorgeously presented, The Amber Amulet is a story of bravery and being true to yourself. Liam obviously feels disconnected from others when he is himself. In the role of The Masked Avenger he is able to connect in a way that he doesn’t have the confidence to do during the day and he can be the person he believes is his 'real' self - honest, caring, responsible and brave.

Liam’s story is shared with touching humour in this short novel. The illustrations and retro-style noir detective fiction cover complement and enhance the atmosphere of the story perfectly.

My 13-year-old son and I both read this novel in one sitting. I loved Liam as a character – a little disjointed and disconnected, but a well-meaning child looking for a way to connect and contribute to his community. I think I might even envy Liam’s heart-felt belief that he can achieve amazing things empowered by the minerals and crystals attached to his handmade utility belt and armed with a passionate desire to make a difference.

Title:  The Amber Amulet
Author:  Craig Silvey
Illustrator: Sonia Martinez
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: 26 September 2012
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781742379982
For ages: 11+ years
Type: Young adult fiction, older junior fiction