Kid’s Book Review: Amber Undercover

Kid’s Book Review: Amber Undercover

About the Book and Author

For readers aged 10 years + this a book about a teenage spy called Amber Roberts. It kept our young reviewer guessing and had an unexpected twist a the end of the story so if you like books set in the now that are relatable, but adventurous then this could be one for you! It is Em Norry’s first middle-grade story and is published by Oxford University Press.


Amber Undercover
Em Norry author

Emma Norry is a rising star as a writer with a particular interest in exploring difficult issues and complex characters in a realistic contemporary and accessible style. She says: ‘Finding reading a challenge shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying a good story. I believe that stories are how we make sense of the world; they are an essential part of who we are and what makes us human.’

Emma has a BA (Hons) in Film and an MA in Screenwriting and her short stories for adults have been placed in various competitions (Rhys Davis Award, West Sussex Writers), anthologies (NFFD, Reflex Press), as well as shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Award and longlisted for the S1 Leeds Literary Prize. Most recently she was shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards in the children’s category, for her book Son of the Circus (Scholastic, 2019) a middle grade novel based on the son of Pablo Fanque, the first black circus proprietor in Victorian Britain.

Emma wrote her first YA manuscript Bury the Things You Cannot Hide which draws on her personal experiences as a mixed-race child and teenager growing up in the care system in Cardiff, Wales. Emma was commissioned to write two short stories as part of the Homecoming anthology in celebration of VE day, published in April 2020. She has also written for Penguin’s Extraordinary Lives series, chronicling the life of Nelson Mandela (Penguin, 2020) as well as capturing the life of footballer Lionel Messi for Scholastic’s Football Legends series.

Emma’s work will be included in the anthology collection Happy Here, published by Knights Of in August 2021 as well as in the collection, The Place For Me: Stories of the Windrush Generation (Scholastic, June 2021) which features 12 stories inspired by the people of the Windrush generation, drawn from the Black Cultural Archives. You can read more about this author on her website.



Book Review

This book was a real page-turner and always kept me guessing, right until the very end

Amber Undercover is an exciting story. Amber is 14 and just an ordinary teenager, living with her mum and dad, until she and her best friend Vi went to the local escape room.

What she didn’t know back then was the escape room was actually an undercover spy agency recruiting young people for dangerous missions. Having unwittingly impressed the undercover agents whilst there, she received a mysterious text asking her to come back and work for them.

After being sent on a top-secret training course, her first undercover mission was to discover if the DropZone was a genuine office space or a front for something more sinister. The story follows Amber’s journey as she infiltrates, befriends and tries to stop a group of teenage hackers on a quest to cause chaos online.

This book was a real page-turner and always kept me guessing, right until the very end. I really enjoyed it and I’d recommend it for anyone around my age.

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Reviewer Profile

Lyla junior reviewer
  • Name: Lyla
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: football, skate-boarding and adventures
  • Dislikes: broccoli and SPAG for SATS
  • Favourite Book: The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
  • Favourite Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire