This is an unusual children’s bedtime tale.
Liam McKenzie is a twelve-year-old boy who patrols his neighborhood (at least his block) at night, wearing a mask and a cape and answers to the name of Masked Avenger. His faithful companion, Ritchie – a beagle – patrols at his side. On the block is a red-headed woman who often appears sad and the Masked Avenger wants to do something special for her to cheer her up. He puts an amber stone in her mailbox, along with a note as to the amulet’s special properties and how it should make her happier. But the next day, Liam’s mother asks if he knows anything about her family heirloom amber amulet being missing. Liam doesn’t – but the Masked Avenger does. How can Liam help the redheaded woman, his mother, and manage to keep his superhero identity a secret?
Author Craig Silvey does a really nice job of setting the tone, which helps identify the characters, with his writing. I am left a little underwhelmed by the story itself, however. This is not really a story for adults, but the nuances of the tale (how the redheaded woman came to understand herself and her situation better after having a talk with The Masked Avenger) seem to be over the heads of most children.
I could picture myself reading this to my children (when they were younger), but probably only once because it wouldn’t resonate enough for them to want to hear it again.
Looking for a good book? The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey is a cute tale of a preteen finding unusual ways to help local adults, but I’m not sure who the target audience would be.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Amber Amulet
author: Craig Silvey
artist: Sonia Martinez
publisher: Allen & Unwin
hardcover, 86 pages