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
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