Amari and the Night Brothers


I cheated 😵.

Book cover for Amari and the Night Brothers

Sorry, Stars for Buttons readers, I just couldn’t help myself this time. Though we did eventually vote to read Amari’s story in August, I had definitely read Amari’s magical adventures the previous month, or possibly as early as the end of June 😬. I had thought, ya know, I could just take a peek, but once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. But as I promised our book club, I’ve re-read her tale along with you for the month of August 😚.

I can’t say enough good things about this young reader’s fantasy, Amari and the Night Brothers, written by B.B. Alston. He invites readers into a hidden magical world with the introduction of super genius Quinton Peters gone missing. Amari Peters, Quinton’s kid sister, is a middle school scholarship winner, resident of a less than desirable neighborhood, and (like most of us) completely unaware of a supernatural world. She decides to search for her missing brother and bring him home--even if everyone else believes he’s dead. Yeah, she’s pretty cool.

This story brings in contemporary discourse of racial issues in a less than subtle way. Readers will follow the perspective of young Amari faced with the cruel, and misleading judgements of others in both worlds, the supernatural and our own world.

Oh, yes--supernatural. While on the search to find her missing brother, Amari finds a supernatural world that most likely is the cause of his disappearance. In this hidden world, she befriends a weredragon, meets the famous Van Helsing family, and learns all about supernatural investigations--while also learning something BIG about herself.

I don’t like to compare books, as each one has its own separate story to tell, each with its own unique voice. But this one, Amari’s quest to find her brother (no matter what), had me rooting and wincing along with her. Just as I did in those 2 AM mornings whilst (read: while) reading Harry Potter as a kid. The mystery and introduction to a magical world provides a similar pacing to the HP books. The twists and turns remind me of the moving staircases at Hogwarts. But it is the overall message of equality, justice and courage that weave these tales together.

“You’re not going to change the world unless you hang with people who want to change the world too.” B.B. Alston quote from Amari and the Night Brothers.

And for the adult reader, this story is full of great mentors, allowing Amari to learn and grow without forcing her in any direction. They honor her decisions and protect her when needed. I really appreciated the adults in this story.

Amari and the Night Brothers reminds readers about the importance of friendship, the effort in empathy, and the significance of integrity. And never stop believing the good in one another. It’s a favorite and has earned a place on my bookshelf.

If this book caught your interest and you too are a huge fan of middle grade reads, I’d like to invite you to join our Stars for Buttons book club. We’d love to have ya!

Here are some books we’ve read together this year. And if magical fantasy is your happy genre, I invite you to read this one, a tale about an orphan who has no idea of the power that lurks within her.

May you keep your friends close,