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
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