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
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