Friday, December 30, 2011

Murder at Midnight

Murder At Midnight - AudioMurder At Midnight - Audio by Avi

Travel back to Medieval Times when the printing press was the newest technology in the land and magic was feared. King Claudio outlaws magic and Magnus is thrown in jail. Magnus' newest servant is a mission to save him from jail and a sentence of death.

I do not read many stories set in Medieval Times, but Avi shares a wonderful tale of mystery. I particularly enjoyed the new technology that travelers brought to the city - a printing press. A great treasure was discovering that a Printer's Devil was the individual who set the type and brushed on the ink. The sticky ink would cover the worker and make him (or her) look like a devil.

Avi wrote this story in 2009, but it is a prequel to Midnight Magic written in 2004. I am interested to see where the story leads in the next book.

As far as the narrator goes...I waited too long to write this review. I would slot Woodman in the average category. Nothing dynamic stood out and I finished the audiobook, so he has an enjoyable voice.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Murder at Midnight by Avi
Series: Book 1, Midnight Magic
Read by Jeff Woodman
Produced by Scholastic Audiobooks
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 55 minutes

Monday, December 26, 2011


Brandon Mull created the world of Fablehaven in 2006. The idea of a sanctuary for mystical creatures intrigued me and I set the book on my "to-read" list. It wasn't until I discovered the audiobook of Fablehaven at the library in 2009. What a great solution! I will listen to Fablehaven. I was blown away by the story and the narrator E. B. Stevens. I was also thrilled to have jumped in late as a reader. I only needed to wait one year for the last installment of Fablehaven. I don't want to give too much information away, but I want to interest every reader (or listener) to find Fablehaven and enjoy Mull's creation.

Fablehaven opens with Seth and Kendra being dropped off at their Grandparent's home. They have never been there and they would rather not be there. Grandpa welcomes his grandchildren and shares a mystery with Kendra. Kendra uncovers a secret and precocious Seth follows right along (at least when he's not running ahead and getting into trouble). When the siblings realize the enormity of Fablehaven's existance, there is no going back to living normal. Their journey continues as they meet friends, enemies, creatures of light and creatures of dark. Friends and loved ones come and go, but Fablehaven needs to stand so the Sorenson family has a home and the world will not be overrun by dark creatures.

I could listen to this series over and over again. Mull's play with words is fantastic. He doesn't use simple words for little listeners (or readers). Adults, teens and tweens will enjoy these novels. Similar to Rowling, Mull doesn't shy away from difficult subjects including betrayal, loss and battle. As people have stated for years..."I laughed, I cried, it was great!"

The narrator, E. B. Stevens is amazing. Stevens created so much feeling with each character. Some characters required a some computer enhancing, but it did not take away from the storyline. I believe it enhanced the characters. Stevens creativity places next to Jim Dale in my book. I look forward to hearing Stevens' voices again.

Fablehaven (2006)
8 CDs and 9 hrs, 30 mins
Rise of the Evening Star (2007)
10 CDs and 12 hrs
Grip of the Shadow Plague (2008)
11 CDs and 13.6 hrs
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (2009)
12 CDs and 15.6 hrs
Keys to the Demon Prison (2010)
14 CDs and 17 hrs, 45 mins

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fear Itself

Fear Itself (Keepers of the School, #2)Fear Itself by Andrew Clements

Fear Itself is the second book in the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements. Clements continues the story right immediately from book one - We the Children. The closing scene involves preparations for a boat race. The opening scene is the boat race. Mystery, adventure, and believable characters keeps these tales moving! Clements uses cliffhangers very well in Keepers of the School. I'm at the edge of my seat waiting for book three - Whites of Their Eyes - coming January 2012.

I was pleased to hear the return of narrator Keith Nobbs. Continuing with the same reader for books in a series is very appreciated! I hope to hear more from Nobbs in 2012.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Fear Itself by Andrew Clements
Series: Book 2, Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School
Read by Kevin Nobbs
Produced by Simon Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Friday, December 9, 2011

No Passengers Beyond This Point

No Passengers Beyond This PointNo Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Tompkin siblings are traveling on an adventure. Their home was sold and they're on their way to live with their Uncle. Strangely enough before their reach their Uncle's home, they discover the city of Falling Bird. Mom told them to stay together, but it's difficult in Falling Bird and even worse to try to find answers.

Are you familiar with Choldenko's Al Capone series? If not, I would highly recommend those two books. If you are familiar with Al Capone, don't jump into this novel with the same mindset of historical fiction. No Passengers Beyond This Point is a modern tale of loss, questions, tragedy, answers, and family. A very good friend recommended this book, but warned me...this is not like her other stories. Too true, friend. I was intrigued by the layout of the plot. As an adult, I guessed the answer too soon. I believe the wonder of Falling Bird will amaze elementary students when they listen or read this story.

No Passengers Beyond This Point was read by three named artist - Becca Battoe, Jesse Berstein and Tara Sands - one for each child. I recongized Jesse's voice at the actor for Percy Jackson. It was very difficult not to picture Percy Jackson. The gals were all right. Becca shared a very amused and annoyed elder sibling. Tara shared an enthusiastic and inquisitive young child. All in all - they pegged the roles well. Using multiple voices worked well with the books as each chapter featured a different sibling. I would like to see this style demonstrated in other novels.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
Read by Becca Battoe, Jesse Bernstein and Tara Sands
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 6 hours, 6 minutes  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Never Stop Listening

Welcome to Adolescent Audio Adventures! Although Internet connections might come and go, jobs might change or a move might occur, I encourage you to never stop listening to audio books. Audio books entertain, enlighten, and engage. This year has been an amazing adventure! I will be posting the books I have enjoyed over the last couple months. Feel free to share what you have been enjoying as well! Happy listening, friends!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine

Secrets of a Civil War SubmarineSecrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker

Non-fiction books can be difficult to wade through for some readers. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy dynamic stories of history. Susan Walker writes an amazing story about the H.L. Hunley. The Hunley was the first submarine to sink and an enemy ship. (Note: it wasn't the first submarine in history but it was one of the earliest.) Unfortunately, after the sinking of the enemy ship, the Hunley failed to return to port. Years and decades of searching ensued. It wasn't until the 1990's that the Hunley returned to the headlines.

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine follows the history before the discovery and the steps to recover the submarine. This story didn't end with the final audio track either. The Hunley continues to be studied and enjoyed by researches, historians, archeologists, students and more.

Don't assume that non-fiction accounts are dull. J.R. Horne shares the Hunley's tale in an excellent matter-of-fact narration. It's a lively tale that begs readers to learn more about this mysterious piece of history.

If you'd like another Non-fiction Civil War era audiobook, check out Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker
Read by J. R. Horne
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 hours, 34 minutes 

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Candymakers

The CandymakersThe Candymakers by Wendy Mass

For sugar lovers, candy books beckon from library shelves. Patrick Skene Catling wrote The Chocolate Touch in 1952 and Brandon Mull wrote The Candy Shop War in 2007. Wendy Mass added to the collection of candy chronicles with The Candymakers.

Mass combines the love of candy with the reality of how people are connected to each other. Twelve-year-old Logan, Miles, Daisy and Phillip meet at the Life is Sweet Candy Factory to create the next award winning candy. They are working for the general goal of making candy, but they cannot comprehend how each of their lives are intertwined. As the children get to know each other, they realize how their past actions influenced the people they are today.

Listening to this novel is eye opening, considering the book is divided into sections. Paging through an actual book, the reader could discover such information prior to reading. Without the benefit of the printed word, surprises are revealed at every new track. Mysteries are solved while deep friendships are built. Wonderful humor is sprinkled throughout story with an adventure in candy making.

I enjoyed Mark Turetsky's narration of The Candymakers. Each character's voice had their own tone and delivery. Overall, Phillip's voice was my least favorite to hear. On a voiceover sidenote, the narrator who shared the audiobook details at the beginning of each disk was the narrator of Drizzle, Maria Cabezas

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Read by Mark
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 10
Total Time: 11 hours, 45 minutes 

Love a Good Listen

An excellent audiobook needs a compelling storyline, interesting characters and a dynamic narrator. An audiobook reader makes the story come alive for the listener. Readers can also let the book fall flat and disappoint their audience. Every book is a new adventure!

I love a good listen. Discovering an adventurous reader is a great joy as an audiobook enthusiast. If you have been following Adolescent Audio Adventures for the last month, you might have seen a trend - a Jim Dale trend. Jim Dale is well-known for his renditions of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. But before he shared his narration talents, Jim Dale was a singer, a stage actor and a Disney star. He is a very talented man and I am thrilled to be able to listen to his voice. If you would like a glimpse of Jim Dale's career, stop by his website:

Do have a favorite audiobook narrator? Let me know! I would love to hear about the books and readers you enjoy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate's mother entrusted Kate with her two younger siblings. Kate was four years old. Flash forward ten years where the three siblings are shipped off to yet another orphanage. The eldest, Kate, desires to keep her family together. Michael continues to explore the world of dwarfs through a book from his father. Emma, the youngest, picks a fight with, well, anyone who crosses her. Their goal as a family is to remain together until their parents find them.

Cambridge Falls is their new location. They meet the adults of the orphanage Miss Sallow, Abraham and Dr. Stanislaus Pym. They explore their new home and find a blank book with an emerald cover. By sticking an old photo in the pages they are transported through time: Cambridge Falls in the past. New and ancient characters come to play - the Countess, Screechers, the Secretary and creatures from the mountain.

Stephans creates a fabulous fantasy novel. It's reminiscent of Lord of the Rings trilogy with magic, creatures and the hunt for a prized possession. Other reviewers comment about elements similar to Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. It was very compelling read. The next book cannot come soon enough.

Jim Dale returns to read this new trilogy. He's a solid reader for such a fantastical tale. I hope the publishers will continue using Dale for the next installments.

Audio Book Details...
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Series: Book 1, The Books of Beginning
Read by Jim Dale
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 10
Total Time: 11 hours, 38 minutes

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock HeartThe Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoy listening to Jim Dale's renditions of classic tales and new novels. Hunting through CDs available through my library system, I discovered a new book: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I clicked to read more...Scotland, orphaned youngster, clockpart heart, adult book on cd. Interesting. Maybe this book has a steampunk twist? Did they shelve it incorrectly in the system? The book involves a baby turned young man. It could possibly be a young adult novel. Beyond the brief overview, I discovered the author is a French musician. It should be an intriguing read.

It was a very memoriable book. Malzieu wrote about the journey of love - its triumphs, its heartaches, its regrets. He also flavored his tale with revenge. The story begins with a newborn Jack. The clock gave him life when he was born on the coldest day on earth. (His cuck-coo clock was not a steampunk addition to his body.) Jack's life changed forever upon seeing Miss Acacia when he was ten. The young man grew up, discovered hate and love. Jack journeyed through his life searching for love, trying to overcome his strange wooden heart. The book was cataloged correctly, it is an adult novel. It's a haunting tale that includes a hero (if you can call him a hero).

Jim Dale read the complete story with Scottish brogue. He did is so well that I forgot it was Jim Dale reading the story.

Audio Book Details...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
Read by Jim Dale
Produced by Blackstone Audio Inc.
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart: A Novel at Amazon (Affiliate)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Peter Pan

Peter PanPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Are you familiar with the flying little boy who never grew up? It's a play. It's a movie. It's a book! I would recommend this title to anyone who never wished to grow up.

Narrator Jim Dale returns to read another classic tale. I did expect to hear him break into Disney songs, but that never happened while I listened. I did follow the Disney storyline and stage storyline throughout the book version. Of course, none of the three versions are the same, so it's an interesting listen.

Side notes about Peter Pan --

-- Jim Dale received a Grammy Award Nomination in 2007 for his audiobook.

-- The royalties from sale of this audiobook benefit the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children located in London.

-- J. M. Barrie's inspiration for Peter Pan came from the Llewelyn Davies family.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Read by Jim Dale
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours, 14 minutes

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Ready for the magic of living in dreams? Take a journey with Lewis Carroll's Alice. Alice journeys to places only dreamed about by little boys and girls around the world. Can you imagine growing so large you tower over the world or shrinking so small you nearly disappear? It's a wonderful adventure of imagination. I would encourage you to take the trip.

Many narrators voiced this work of art over the years. I selected Jim Dale's rendition of Alice. He's a talented stage, screen and voice actor. It's a pleasure to listen to his soothing British accent. He cleverly creates voices for each character in the book. On a Disney note, I kept waiting for Mr. Dale to burst into song. He share Carroll's poems, stories and a ditty or two, but never a mainstream song that so many of us know by heart. Thank you for a great classic rendition, Mr. Dale.

Reading with My Ears also reviewed an audiobook of Alice in Wonderland.

Reviewed from a library copy.

 Audio Book Details...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Read by Jim Dale
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 hours, 57 minutes

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Tale Dark and GrimmA Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

"Are there any small children in the room now? If so, it would be best if you just...hurried them off to bed. Because this is where things start to get, well...awesome. But in a horrible, bloody kind of way."

If you prefer not to read about blood, gore, fights and magic, I would pass this title up...well, maybe. I would have to agree with the quote, it is awesome. Awesome, as in the definition of awe. Gidwitz put the classic tales and gave them new twists, while maintaining the old feel of blood, guts and gore. The original tales are not pretty. The original tales were gathered from the German people at that time and the folklore was bloody. Life is not always happy ever afters and those original tales reflected that feeling of right and wrong, revenge and reward. If you enjoy a good fairytale, find a copy of A Tale Dark & Grimm. Gidwitz wove the tale of Hansel and Gretal, but he offers a couple more stories on his website at

Johnny Heller returns to read! I previously heard him read Flawed Dogs and Al Capone Does My Shirts. I enjoy listening to him read. When I placed the first CD in the player, it felt like welcoming a friend back. Thanks for a great listen, Johnny.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Additional book review at Waking Brain Cells.

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 Audio Book Details...
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Read by Johnny Heller
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Friday, June 17, 2011


DrizzleDrizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Polly Peabody's family runs an unusual rhubarb farm. How unusual? Chocolate rhubarb and giant bugs for starters. Beyond those, it rains every Monday at 1pm. But one day...the rain stops. The plants try to share what's wrong, but Polly can't comprehend what they are trying to communicate with no words and all action. Polly's life is shattering before her. Can she find the source of the missing rain? Will she be able to save her family's historic farm?

The title Drizzle captured my attention. The illustrator's depiction of the famous Umbrella ride looked very merry for the cover. The Peabody farm is a juice farm with a hint of magic. Van Cleve's tale isn't as merry as a carnival ride. It's growing up story. Polly is learning about self-reliance, courage, family, friends and bullies. She's discovering new views about the giant bugs and love for her aunt. I would recommend this story for any upper elementary/middle school student.

Maria Cabezas shares Polly's story very well. Her voice is very believable for the eleven year old character.

Reviewed from a library copy.

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 Audio Book Details...
Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
Read by Maria Cabezas
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Boom! by Mark Haddon

Boom!Boom! by Mark Haddon

Boom! or 70,000 Light Years' original title was Gridzbi Spudvetch. Neither title was an eye-catcher for myself. Science Fiction is not a genre a seek out. Why seek this title out? A review about audiobooks caught my attention. They listed Boom! as a fantastic book on CD. I completely agree. If you enjoy Science Fiction or not, you'll enjoy this story. Mark Haddon takes two average students an weaves an unbelievable story that even the characters cannot believe. Charlie and Jimbo want to spy on their teachers in the staff lounge. They plant a walkie-talkie and find out more than they wanted. The hunt begins to discover the language their teachers use, which leads to greater discoveries and a missing persons case. Strap yourself in for an excellent adventure.

Reader Julian Rhind-Tutt gives a dynamic performance of Boom! As an experienced actor, he shares his talent in his use of volume, variance and tone. Thank you, Julian for a wonderful piece of audio work!

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Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Boom! or 70,000 Light Years by Mark Haddon
Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 46 minutes

Friday, May 27, 2011

100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Henry York leaves his sheltered Boston life and moves to Henry, Kansas to live with his relatives after his parents go missing. Learning to live with his extended family and small town life is a new experience for Henry. But baseball, tumbleweeds and living in an attic are just the beginning! Henry and cousin Henrietta discover hidden doors in his attic room. The doors lead seem to lead ot other worlds...but are the other worlds safe?

The cover of 100 Cupboards compelled me the most. Who wouldn't want to explore a wall full of cupboards? Unfortunately, this was my second try at listening to this book. The storyline was a bit slow in the beginning. The pace didn't pick up until late in the book. The storyline wove through family history, adventures in other worlds, mysterious people and the struggle between good and evil which are excellent themes for any fantasy book. For myself, I am not certain I'll continue with this series. A big part was not connecting with the reader, Russell Horton. His voice didn't drive me want to continue listening to the audiobook. My goal was to finish the story to see if I should continue with the series, but it was a conscious effort to listen to this book versus the radio or music CD. All in all, I think this story would be better enjoyed by reading it in book form.

Reviewed from a library copy.
Audio Book Details...
100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
Read by Russell Horton
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 6 hours, 23 minutes

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bless This Mouse

Bless This MouseBless This Mouse by Lois Lowry

Bless This Mouse shows us a small glimpse into the lives of church mice. In only a few days, the mice experience a Great X and the Blessings of the Animals. Mouse Mistress Hildegarde watches over her colony and figures out what is best for everyone to survive.

I selected this book because it was new, short and a book by a well-known author. My first impressions were shot the ground. The direction of this book was nothing that I pictured in my head. Lowry shares the simple lives of mice - eat, sleep, mate, die. She also describes a church building and associated items found in a church. It's a book like no other. I struggled at rating this book. The biggest influence was the jarring conversation at the end of the story. Hildegarde walks to the front to receive a blessing. Father Murphy blesses her and then proceeds to hold conversation with a mouse, who understands and converses back! This is the only time in the book where that happens. It took my aback. Understandably, it's a small detail, but if you do not appreciate anthropomorphism, this book is not for you. If you enjoy animals that act like humans, pick up Bless This Mouse for a quick read on a rainy day.

Bernadette Dunne gives an excellent reading. I enjoyed her lower octave female voice. She is also a well-known audiobook voice.

Reviewed from a library copy.


Audio Book Details...
Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry
Read by Bernadette Dunne
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 2
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Friday, May 13, 2011

Abby Carnelia's One & Only Magical Power

Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical PowerAbby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power by David Pogue

Abby Carnelia wasn't looking for magic. It just appeared before her with a simple tug of an earlobe. After tugging her earlobe, a hard boiled egg spun around. It's different. It's freaky! Did other kids have such powers?

Abby's journey is amusing. If readers enjoy everyday magic, this would be an excellent read to pass along. If readers are more into fantasy magic, this selection would be easy to pass up. The best part of the book would be the author's notes at the end of the story. I wish his notes would have been at the beginning. I would have enjoyed this story with the extra background knowledge.

David Pogue writes for the New York Times. He also appears on television and blogs. As a reader, his rendition was all right. It felt a bit over the top to me. At times, his enunciation was not clear. It was rather amusing to hear a magic camp called, "Abra Cadaver." As I stated earlier, if a child is interested in reality based magic, this book is for you.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Abby Carnelia's One & Only Magical Power by David Pogue
Read by David Pogue
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours, 44 minutes

Friday, April 29, 2011


BeastlyBeastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly, the movie trailer, inspired me to seek out Beastly, the book. I prefer to read the original story before seeing a movie remake. Beastly the book is highly recommended if you enjoy retold fairy tales.

The story begins in a chat room with four fairy tales stories. The other chat room characters never weighed down the story of the Beast; they added a bit of flair. I think it also leaves an opening for more retold fairy tales by Alex Flinn.

Chris Patton shares Beastly beautifully. He captures the two identities of the Beast very well. The other characters also have their unique voice that remains strong throughout the book.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Read by Chris Patton
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time:6 hours, 46 minutes

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop WarThe Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

Summer, Trevor and Pigeon meet the new kid in the neighborhood - Nate. Although, Nate isn't the only new character in town. Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth Candy Shop also arrives in town. Who can turn away from entering a candy store? The group of friends couldn't refuse. They just didn't expect to find so many adventures with magical candy.

I read Mull's Fablehaven series before The Candy Shop War. I adored Fablehaven, so naturally, I found Mull's previous story. Mull writes an imaginative and adventurous tale that will be enjoyed by kids of all ages. What sold me on this piece of fiction was the amazing final twist to the tale. Mull has a way of adding the perfect surprise twist that takes my breath away. I am looking forward to his new series - Beyonders.

Reader Emily Janice Card shares the story very well. Each character has a distinct voice that remains strong throughout the entire story.

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
Read by Emily Janice Card
Produced by Shadow Mountain
Number of Discs: 8
Total Time: 10 hours, 30 minutes 

Friday, April 15, 2011


CloakedCloaked by Alex Flinn

Retold fairytales always draw my attention. I enjoyed the tales of Perrault, Andersen and Brothers Grimm. Creating new stories from classics always is an adventure. When I saw Cloaked, I pegged it as a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. A hint - not even close! The cloak refers to a magic cloak, not a red cloak. And Flinn wove one story out of seven little known fairytales. For myself, it was a little too many fairytale elements in one story. In one word, it was unbelievable. I am curious to read his first book, Beastly.

Alexander Cendese read the story with excellent teenage attitude.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Read by Alexander Cendese
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time:6 hours, 46 minutes

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- A Love Story

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love StoryThe Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love Story by Ree Drummond

Yes, this book is not from the youth department. It's from the grown-up section of the library. If you have heard about The Pioneer Woman from her previous book or from online, you will enjoy this audiobook. Ree shares the story of her "transition from spoiled city girl to domestic country wife." She fell in love with her husband,  Marlboro Man and changed her plans. Her original plans never included him or his life in the country. She dreamed of life in the big city. One meeting at local bar changed her life forever.

I fell in love with The Pioneer Woman and her first book: The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She inspired me to play in the kitchen. When I found another book was published, I ran to the computer to put it on hold at my local library. Then I discovered, she read her own story as an audiobook! I couldn't wait to listen! I adore authors who read their own work. It adds so much life to their story. They share the words written on paper, but also the inflection, intent and enjoyment of their tale. In conclusion, a hearty thank you to Ree for sharing her story with the world.

If you'd like read more about Ree, check out her blog:

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- a Love Story by Ree Drummond
Read by Ree Drummond
Produced by Dreamscape Media, LLC
Number of Discs: 10
Total Time: 11 hours, 2 minutes

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper CranesSadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

After reflected upon the tragedies of Japan, I remembered a book that I enjoyed during elementary school. Sadako contracted the "atom bomb disease" otherwise known as leukemia. A friend suggested folding 1,000 paper cranes. If 1,000 paper cranes were folded, a wish would be granted. Sadly, Sadako is overcome and could not fold 1,000 cranes. Yet, this sad story brings so much hope to the reader. It's the hope of looking for opportunity, looking at every day as a fresh, new start. Although, Eleanor Coerr wrote this fictional tale, Sadako was a real little girl. She did fold 1,000 cranes, but still passed away from the "atom bomb disease." She is remembered by people all over the globe. For information about Sadako, visit

Narrator Christina Moore shares a beautiful story. She is straight forward with difficult topics of sickness and death.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
Read by Christina Moore
Produced by Recorded Books, LLC
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 1 hour (with extras about Eleanor Coerr and Sadako)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Death Cloud

Death CloudDeath Cloud by Andrew Lane

I love sharing the title of this book: Death Cloud. What a great mystery with two words. I ignored the cover of Bieber-fever hair and went straight to the description on the back: "It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen." No need to read the rest of the description! It's Sherlock Holmes in his teen years. What events in this novel shape the future Holmes we know and love?

Sherlock begins his adventure with summer vacation at an elderly relative's house. Right away, two men die from a mysterious disease. Could it be the return of the plague? Holmes decides to investigate with his new friend, Matty. Along the way, his American-born tutor joins the adventure. This is only the first in the many planned adventures of Young Sherlock Holmes.

This opening novel is full of death, fights and villainy. I enjoyed the mystery and found myself laughing out loud at it's oddities, too. Holmes outstanding logic and perception stand out abruptly while he seems to be learning all the fascinating knowledge he displays later in life. His education is full of Latin and traditional boys' subjects of the 1800's. The American tutor enters the picture with knowledge about the natural world, tracking individuals, noticing details, etc. I never envisioned Holmes learning his tricks of the trade from an American, so that was quite a shock. All in all, there will be more Young Sherlock Holmes adventures that will be entertaining to follow. If you enjoy historical mysteries, I would highly recommend following this series with The Agency series by Y. S. Lee.

Narrator Dan Weyman is very enjoyable - beautiful English accent with gentle transitions from character to character. His American accent brings to mind a mixture of Mark Twain and Bill Clinton.

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Audio Book Details...
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
Series: Book 1, Young Sherlock Holmes
Read by Dan Weyman
Produced by Macmillan Young Listeners
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 hours

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Lulu and the BrontosaurusLulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

Readers usually decide to read the book first, listen to the book first or read and listen to the book at the same time. For most audio selections, I listen to the book first and if I feel the need, pick up the hardcover later. Concerning Lulu and the Brontosaurus, I read the book first. The book's shape is unique (between the size a novel and an easy reader). The illustrations and typography added so much to the story. I would highly recommend reading the story. After reading the book, I spotted the audio book. With a little ditty spun throughout the story, I wanted to hear the narrator's rendition of the song.

Michele Medlin sang very well. I was pleased to hear that her beat closely reflected my beat while reading. Michele's voice works well with young character of Lulu. I prefer deeper voices for narrators, but children will relate well with Michele's sweet, young voice. All in all, it was amusing to hear the story, but I prefer reading Lulu and the Brontosaurus.

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lane Smith
Read by Michele O. Medlin
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 45 minutes 

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Ghostwriter Secret

The Ghostwriter Secret: Brixton Brothers, Book 2The Ghostwriter Secret: Brixton Brothers, Book 2 by Mac Barnett

Steve Brixton returns for another whirlwind detective adventure! With such a great success after solving The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, Steve receives a call for help when a rare red diamond is stolen. But the missing diamond is only the beginning of the true mystery! MacArthur Bart, author of the Bailey Brothers Mysteries series is missing! Steve is on the case with some his best chum, Dana.

Another mystery novel not to be missed! Arte Johnson returns for another marvelous Mac Barnett mystery. I always rejoice when a followup book uses the voice talent from their previous books. If you enjoyed the first Brixton Brothers books, be sure to follow it up with The Ghostwriter Secret. The beautiful mix of modern and yesteryear combine again for a great audio story. Don't be surprised to find yourself slipping into the slang of the past!

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
The Ghostwriter Secret by Mac Barnett
Series: Book 2, The Brixton Brothers
Read by Arte Johnson
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity: The Brixton Brothers, Book 1The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity: The Brixton Brothers, Book 1 by Mac Barnett

Men in black rappel from the ceiling while a sinister man reaches through a bookshelf to capture a young man reading a book. That's just the cover! Writer, Mac Barnett, weaves an amazing story about a young man named Steve Brixton who lives and breathes sleuthing. Steve adores the Bailey Brothers Mysteries series and works on becoming a detective just like his literary heroes. As luck would have it, Steve stumbles into a whopper of a mystery by visiting the library to checkout a book for his social studies report that is due bright and early Monday morning. An innocent looking library explodes with action and mayhem for an unforgettable weekend!

Reader Arte Johnson gives an outstanding performance. He shares Barnett's use of yesteryear slang with flair. Modern and nostalgic characters combine for a modern Hardy Boys adventure. The whole family will enjoy this hilarious Brixton Brothers story. All in all, this story is ace!

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett
Series: Book 1, The Brixton Brothers
Read by Arte Johnson
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Monday, February 28, 2011

Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster

Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on WestminsterFlawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster by Berkeley Breathed

The idea of Flawed Dogs is very catchy. Who doesn't want to see an underdog succeed? The adorable dachshund on the cover with a ladle for a leg peaked my curiosity. I am sad to say that the story didn't meet my expectations. The storyline jumped between scenes quickly. Many times I hit rewind to repeat sections of the novel. Johnny Heller read very well. Sadly, Berkeley Breathed wrote a choppy novel that has a time setting of three years (with a year unwritten because of the horrible events that take place at that time.) I wonder what the author was reaching for in this novel: revenge, redemption, creating an anti-hero or even a Byronic hero. I can't put my finger it. My heart broke listening to the outcome of Sam the Lion. Incidentally, the Flawed Dogs troupe had very minimal appearances or action throughout this story. A brief introduction and then the shocking raid on Westminster. Regretfully, I cannot urge you to listen to this book. Perhaps it is a better book story, then a CD story. How do you rate this book?

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster by Berkley Breathed
Read by Johnny Heller
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Leaving the Bellweathers

Leaving the BellweathersLeaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti

If you could create your own village with eccentric individuals, what kind a name would you give your town? Author Kristin Clark Venuti gave her imaginative city the memorable name of Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay. Her humorously dubbed village grabbed my attention right away. A grin would stretch across my face at every mention of Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay during Michael Page's rendition of Leaving the Bellweathers.

Beyond the clever town title, Ms. Venuti, weaves a wonderful tale about the life of the Bellweather's butler named Benway. Benway is writing his memoirs, taking care of the bizarre Bellweathers and counting the day until he can leave the insanity of life at the lighthouse. The novel rotates between journal entries and actual events that happen during his last few months of service.

Michael Page give a wonderful performance. Each character is distinct and Benway has the proper butler tone of voice. The screaming triplets are also terrific throughout the entire novel. Thank you for a memorable audiobook, Mr. Page.

Reviewed from a library copy.

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Audio Book Details...
Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti
Read by Michael Page
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 21 minutes


Thank you for stopping by Adolescent Audio Adventures! Throughout our time on this blog, we'll be listening, discussing and enjoying audio books for adolescents aka children and teens. With such a wide variety of books available, I am looking forward to this adventure with you!
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