Handy Helpers Books are available at amazon
Amber Nicole Snyder is the main character in the first Handy Helper book, A Rocky Start. In fact the entire story is told from her point of view.
Amber is a fourth-grader at Bluesky Elementary School. She just turned ten on March 22. For her birthday, she received art supplies because she likes to draw. She loves hamburgers and hates spinach–or so she thinks.
There are four members of the Snyder family–John and Mary, the parents; Kyle, the big brother; and of course Amber. John and Mary met when they were in college. Both of them were working at a summer camp for kids with disabilities in Pinetop, Arizona. After college, John moved to Phoenix and they were married. Mary loved living in Phoenix, but John hated it. He missed the cool weather and being outdoors. After Kyle was born, the family moved to Flagstaff, but Mary hated the harsh winters. When John had a chance to become the manager of the Discount Mart in Bluesky, he moved his family there. Like the story of the three bears, Bluesky was just right.
Amber was a bald-headed baby and her father said she looked like Uncle Fred. Amber is now a lovely young lady with thick bronze-colored hair and big brown eyes, but her dad continues to call her Fred.
Kyle is the perfect big brother, which in Amber’s opinion is not a good thing. He’s great at everything–school work, baseball, and playing the guitar. Amber struggles because she has attention deficit disorder, or ADHD. Kyle says it stands for “Amber’s dramas happen daily.” From forgetting to take out the garbage to losing her homework, Amber seems to have lots of dramas. Although she has a very loving and supportive family, they can be somewhat overbearing. For example, Kyle checks Amber’s homework even when she doesn’t need him to.
Judging from the Snyder backyard, Amber isn’t the only one with attention problems. All the members of the Snyder family seem to start projects that they don’t finish. But they do spend time on activities that are important. There are game nights on Fridays, football games in the park, and family bike rides. John and Mary are a very loving couple who hold hands as they walk to church and watch romantic movies together.
The Snyders have a black Lab puppy named Domino. He manages to cause his share of trouble as well. Amber wanted a Lab because she read they can be hyperactive. She thought their new dog would have something in common with her.
There is a strong mother-daughter bond between Mary and Amber. They enjoy being together, cooking, shopping and going on walks. But Mary does hold Amber accountable for her own behavior. There are consequences when she does something wrong. Mary calls it “Paying your dues for your don’ts.” Amber’s relationship with her father is more laid back. He tells her, “You worry too much.” But when Amber’s impulsiveness lands her in trouble, it is her father who helps her find the answer. He is a steady supportive force in her life.
Sometimes I think of the Snyders as my neighbors. I have enjoyed getting to know them. I hope you will too.