Friday, July 27, 2012

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic EyesPeter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

A baby boy was found in the ocean and brought to land by sailors. He was sent to an orphange and named Peter. A hard-hearted thief saw Peter's small, nimble fingers and adopted him, so Peter could pick locks and steal. Peter scratched out a living, until he unlocked a visiting magician's wagon and stole a mysterious box filled with magical eyes.

The magical title in a golden and curly font above a shadowy figure on the rooftops caught me right away. I began reading a digital copy from NetGalley, but never finished. When the book officially released, I found the audio version as soon as possible so I could finish the tale. I loved the historical fiction beginning of Peter Nimble, but was taken aback at the quick change to fantasy. I knew the story would be magical, but I never pictured such a fantastical tale. I believe this story will be enjoyed by elementary and middle school students. Families could add this to their playlist on a car trip. The story was predictable, but I think the younger listeners will enjoy figuring out the clues and how the story fits together.

Michael Page narrates Auxier's imaginative tale. (He previously narrated Leaving the Bellweathers.) Most of the voices were distinct. The voices that puzzled me were the police or mob creatures. They sounded very similar, so every once in while I did not know who was talking in the scene. My favorite characters were the sea creatures near the end of the book.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Read by Michael Page
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 8
Total Time: 9 hours, 48 minutes

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Help

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

A friend told me about The Help before the movie came out. I tend to read more juvenile fiction, YA, or faith fiction, so I set it aside for the moment. As more friends shared the enjoyment of the book, I added it to my "to-read" mental list. As the book gained popularity and became a film, I sat down and placed a library hold on The Help. It wasn't until I finished another audiobook that I finally picked up and listened to The Help.

More? Ms. Stockett can you please give me more!? 

To date, The Help has been the longest audiobook I have followed with 15 discs. It looked daunting, but once it began I couldn't listen to the CDs fast enough. The Help told the story of several ladies who lived in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960's. Stockett shares the stories of society ladies and stories about household help. This novel will touch your heart and give much food for thought. She wraps up her characters very well, but I greedily want to know more. I want to follow the lived of these amazing characters. I want to hear how Baby Girl grows up and how Aibileen becomes a writer. I want to see the new Skeeter and if she meets a special someone. I much more.

Well, listeners (and readers) will just have to wait and see.

The multiple readers added a beautiful flair to this piece. The readers gave life to Aibileen Clark, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, and Minny Jackson. The middle section that embodied all the characters (like a news article about the benefit) was read by a seperate narrator. The middle section was the strangest, but after talking with someone who read the book verses listening to it, it was understandable. A highlight was listening to Octavia Spencer. I enjoy her numerous roles as an actress and she was also the movie version of Minny.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Read by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell
Produced by Penguin Audio
Number of Discs: 15
Total Time: ca. 18 hours
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