Monday, December 30, 2013

SYNC is Returning!

 SYNC 2014 is coming! Their blog just announced that another summer of amazing audiobooks are returning. If you're never heard of SYNC it is "the audiobook publishers’ and AudioFile Magazine’s commitment to introducing the listening experience to your young adult audience."

Over the summer they offer a pairing of two audiobooks each week. Typically they pair a classic title with a modern Young Adult piece. Something for everyone all summer long! They'll be announcing their lineup in late January. Be sure to check out their schedule next year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ghost Hawk

Ghost HawkGhost Hawk by Susan Cooper

It is Little Hawk's turn to become a man. He needs to survive three months in the woods - alone. When he returns to his people, he will be seen as a man. Unbeknownst to him, he will return a man, but face greater challenges when he returns home.

Wow. Wow! After I finished listening to Jim Dale read Susan Cooper's story I could not put into words my reaction or my review. I wanted to savor it and let it sink in. It was so captivating - a book that I might not read again, but a book that I will always take with me. Little Hawk is part of the whole story - as a child, a man, an observer, a friend. I fear saying too much, because I want readers to experience this story themselves. I could see where some of the storyline was going and wanted to reach in an intercede. Other parts of the story completely surprised me. I would recommend this tale to older middlers, high schoolers, and adults. It's a fantastical historical fiction piece that a wide range of readers will enjoy.

The amazing Jim Dale read Ghost Hawk. Most listeners are familiar with his renditions of Harry Potter, but he's read a wide range of pieces. He's a master of narration. I especially appreciate his use of silence and quiet. The use of a good pause to difficult to master and Dale does an excellent job.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Audio!

Audio Book Details...
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
Read by Jim Dale
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours
ISBN: 9781442364806

Friday, September 27, 2013

P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man OR The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse

The Case of the Petrified Man: Western Mysteries, Book TwoThe Case of the Petrified Man: Western Mysteries, Book Two by Caroline Lawrence

P.K.'s trouble does not rest. He escaped the deadly desperados, but soon is placed under arrest for the murder of Short Sally. P.K. wants to solve the crime, but surprisingly is arrested for the crime. Now he sits in jail and writes his story before the trial.

What an action packed sequel to The Case of the Deadly Desperados. P.K. did set up his detective business and found a client, but his adventure turns foal. P.K. remains strong under the pressure, mystery, and disguises of his profession. I love that the chapters are written on numbered ledger sheets. I also loved to title...the British title: The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse. I don't appreciate it when books carry multiple titles. Other than the title war, book two is a gripping story that will be appreciated by Lawrence fans or readers of historical fiction, adventure, or mystery. The setting is a bit rough and wild because it's the wild west, so I would recommend older elementary students or middle school students to pick up this tale.

Book Three: P.K. Pinkerton and the Pistol-Packing Widows is set to come out in March of 2014. I cannot wait to hear more about P.K.'s adventures!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence
Series: Book 2, P.K. Pinkerton - Western Mysteries
Read by T. Sands
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 7 hours, 52 minutes
ISBN: 9780307968869

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Pirate's Coin: a Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure

The Pirate's Coin: A Sixty-Eight Rooms AdventureThe Pirate's Coin: A Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure by Marianne Malone

Ruthie and Jack are back for another great miniature adventure in the Thorne Rooms located at the Arts Institute of Chicago. They're on an adventure to discover more information about Phoebe Monroe and the pirate Jack Norfleet.

The Pirate's Coin is the third title in the Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure series. It's my favorite so far in the series. The third installment of Ruthie and Jack's escapades involves an individual from previous travels (Phoebe Monroe) and a distant relative of Jack's (Pirate Jack Norfleet). The idea of an alternate history is shared in this story and that's always an interesting plot twist. Book three should be read after books one and two.

Cassandra Campbell returns to narrate the story! I love it when readers return to series. Even though it's been a bit since I listened to book two, I felt that I was right back into the story. Ms. Campbell was wonderfully consistent with the characters from book to book. Thank you for a job well done!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Pirate's Coin: a Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure by Marianne Malone
Series: Book 3, The Sixty-Eight Rooms
Read by Cassandra Campbell
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours
ISBN: 9780804121606

Friday, August 30, 2013


BreadcrumbsBreadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

I fell in love with the cover and the title when this book first appeared on the shelf. I knew it would be about fairy tales, and retold tales is one of my preferred genres. Sadly, this book did not meet my expectations. I expected Hansel and Gretel with trails of crumbs in the woods, but it's about friends instead of siblings, snow and ice instead of a candy cottage. It's a retelling of Andersen's Snow Queen. (I plan to go and re-read his original story.)

The text was deep and thoughtful, so I would recommend this story for older elementary students. Hazel struggles with fitting into her new school and overcoming being alone. This storyline can help loners, but it might also drag them down depending on their mood. She does overcome her alone-ness and fights for her friend, Jack, who appreciates being saved from the Snow Queen.

Kirby Heyborne narrated Breadcrumbs. As the story unfolded, I appreciated Heyborne's talent. At the beginning, his different characters blended together for me, but as more characters were introduced his voices broadened. I would listen to another audio by Heyborne.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Read by Kirby Heyborne
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 7 hours, 47 minutes
ISBN: 9780449014004

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War

Mr. Lincoln's High-tech WarMr. Lincoln's High-tech War by Thomas B. Allen

The Civil War is of great interest to thousands of Americans. It's a war that divided the nation. Authors Thomas B. Allen and Roger Macbride Allen focused on the war, but with a new aspect - the technology of the times. The main theme is technology and how Lincoln loved it and utilized it when possible.

For any Civil War enthusiast or history lover, this is an excellent non-fiction piece. The Allens shared information about Lincoln's patent (the only President to have one), the telegraph, the railroad, hot air balloons, the navy, and more. It's a fascinating look into history and how history influenced today's machinery and war tactics. I would recommend this title to anyone, whether they're young students or retired adults.

Fred Sullivan narrates Allen's book. It's an easy listen on the ears. The text doesn't call for dynamic reading, but Sullivan adds a bit of flair when needed. I would listen to a book narrated by Sullivan again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, AudioGo!

Audio Book Details...
Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen
Read by Fred Sullivan
Produced by AudioGo
Number of Discs: MP3 Download
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
ISBN: 9781620648759

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dad is Fat

Dad Is Fat
Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan is a specialized book. Gaffigan is a comedian, but also a dad. He wrote essays about parenting and put them together in book. It's not a book about parenting tips and tricks, it's about his observations and interpretations, as well as, life events as a parent. He's a father of five children in a two bedroom apartment in New York City. Quite a different lifestyle then my life, but I can enjoy the humor of it. If the reader is familiar with Gaffigan's comedy routines, they will hear (or read) some of comedy segments, but they are part of the story not a written standup act.

Gaffigan stayed true to reading his book. He's a fun and unique comedian, but his standup is very different from his reading of the book. It's a non-fiction book, yes, it's humorous, but no it's not going to be dynamic with crazy voices.

Reviewed from a library copy.


Why is an adult audiobook on the Adolescent Audio Adventures blog?

Every once in a great while, I switch up my books. I enjoy Gaffigan's comedy and was excited to see his book available as an audiobook. I added it here, because this is my audiobook blog and parenting is a part of childhood. No, I would not recommend this title for children, but parents might appreciate it. Happy listening, friends!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way (Keepers of the School, #4)In Harm's Way by Andrew Clements

In Harm's Way is the newest installment of Clement's Keepers of the School series. Benjamin, Jill, and Robert are still working hard to stop Lyman and his new janitor buddy. The technology is still present and they're tracking the children as well as plotting to take down the school their way. Ben, Jill, and Robert need to uncover the clues and catch the fake janitors red handed

I cannot wait for each book to appear on the shelf in the this series. The characters stay true in each book. The mystery unfolds and more people are drawn into the mission to save the school. Book 4 involved more mystery than boating. The boating race didn't play too much except at the very end when there was a race, which was interrupted with a school emergency. As always, the book ends on a cliff hanger and the mystery continues. I cannot wait for the next Keepers of the School book!

Again, Keith Nobbs returns to read! Huzzah! I'm still enjoying his rendition of the characters and the dynamics of his voice. Keep up the good work, Keeper Keith!

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Audio!

Audio Book Details...
In Harm's Way by Andrew Clements
Series: Book 4, Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School
Read by Keith Nobbs
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
ISBN: 9781442353022

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday of Audiobook Week 2013

Audiobook Week is wrapping up today. If you're joining us today, stop by Devourer of Books to see everyone's links.

It's been an exciting week celebrating audiobooks! The final discussion question is about finding audiobooks. Where do you learn about titles?

My top resource is the public library. I live near two different library systems which is such a blessing for an avid listener and reader. I also have access to the library's OverDrive system which is a great resource for e-audios and e-books. Working at the library also opens the doors to review journals and publisher's catalogs.

Beyond the library, I follow bloggers, GoodReads, and Twitter. I started contacting Audiobook Jukebox, which is a fantastic site for access to review copies of audiobooks. For now, my contacts are few, but as I travel more deeply into the world of audio, I hope to expand my circle of audiobook friends.


It's been a blast chatting with everyone this week about audiobooks! Thank you, Devourer of Books for putting this celebration together! I hope you'll give audios a try if you're an audio newbie. If you're an audio veteran, keep listening! I look forward to hearing your reviews. Happy listening, friends!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday of Audiobook Week 2013

Audiobook Week is going fast! Be sure to visit Devourer of Books and see everyone who is celebrating Audiobook Week. Today the discussion is about audiobook tasks.

What do you do while you listen to audiobooks? 

My preference is having an audiobook while I drive. I've started to listen while dining, or cleaning the house, and occasionally while working out. Most of the time, it takes longer to do a task when I'm listening because of all the pauses I make to listen to the story. I wish I could be a multitasking genius, but I'm not! I'll keep driving with most of my audios and continue to experiment with trying to do other things as I listen books.

What's your preferred activity when listening to audiobooks?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday of Audiobook Week 2013

We're right in the middle of Audiobook Week! It's time for a little snapshot of the here and now in our listening worlds.

Current/most recent audiobook: I finished Book #4 of the series Keepers of the School: In Harm's Way by Andrew Clements. (Review to come!) I just loaded Book #3 of the series Sixty-Eight Rooms - The Pirate's Coin by Marianne Malone in my car.

Impressions: The Keepers of the School series is fast paced and exciting as the Keepers reveal the mystery phrase by phrase from long dead Captain Oaks. The Sixty-Eight Rooms is a calmer adventure, but still mysterious with magical antiques.

Current/most recent favorite audiobook: Wow! What to choose? ... Just one? ... A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and The Island of Silence by Lisa McMann had me on the edge of my seat. Knots was modern with a hint of magic. It was fun with cake recipes scattered throughout the story. Silence was dark and mysterious. The story of an island on the brink of civil war and destruction.

Favorite narrator you've discovered recently: I love, love, love E. B. Stevens.  Not too much information on him, but his narration of the Fablehaven series written by Brandon Mull was amazing! Fablehaven is a series I could put on repeat.

One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist: Again, only one? It's so hard to choose... Oh! I would love to hear Book #4 of The Brixton Brothers - Danger Goes Berserk by Mac Barnett. I don't think they produced book four, but they shared books one, two, and three as audios. If you hear of book number four on audio, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday of Audiobook Week 2013

Happy Audiobook Month! 
Happy Audiobook Week!

Today's question for bloggers and audiobook listeners is "How Do You Choose Your Audiobooks?"

I try to read most of my juvenile fiction and YA books as audiobooks versus print books. As an Assistant Children's Librarian, I need to keep tabs on the books that are popular, unpopular, present, and past. I also love to read (books from the adult fiction section) for myself. It's difficult to fit it all in the schedule. I enjoy listening to YA audios, but I love listening to juvenile fiction. They aren't too long, so I can move through the stories quickly and have more titles on deck. For most stories, I try to find the audio before I find a print copy to read (or browse, depending on the time of year).

If you had an option between an audiobook or a printed copy, which would you choose first?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday of Audiobook Week 2013

June is Audiobook Month and this week is Audiobook Week!

Jen from Devourer of Books set up Audiobook Week 2013. (Thank you, Jen!) Today, she asked bloggers about their audiobook year - new books, new discoveries, favorite titles, new places, etc. I started documenting my audiobooks a couple years ago, so I won't rehash old blog posts. (If you want to dive into history, here is Year One and Year Two.)

My newest discovery is a feature in my new car - a CD changer! My old car had a CD changer and I was sad to see it go, because it made listening to audiobooks quick and easy. I could listen to a couple of short fiction books or a complete book in one load. During my commute to work or a road trip, the story moved swiftly between discs without worrying about stopping and starting as often without a changer. When I purchased my new car, I knew the sound system was fantastic, but I never realized it had a CD changer until a week or so after owning the car. It was a very good day when I found that feature!

How do you like to listen to audiobooks? Do you prefer a book on CD or MP3 files on a player?

Happy Listening, Friends!

A Tangle of Knots

A Tangle of KnotsA Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

Everyone has a talent - someone can whistle, someone can spit, another can knit, and one can bake amazing cakes. Each talent is unique and special. Some people know their talent and use it, while others continue to look for their talent. Everyone's stories and talents intermingle as history and modern events collide.

A Tangle of Knots was touted as a story similar to Savvy by Ingrid Law. I loved Savvy, so I requested this title as soon as I was able! Yes, the book reflects similar talents that characters discover and use. Yes, it can stand on its own. It also reminded me of Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power by David Pogue. (I did prefer Savvy or A Tangle of Knots to Abby Carnelia.)

As the story unfolds, more characters (with their talents) are introduced. The stories are woven together as events evolve. One mysterious man (with a talent for knots) always seems to pop-up at fortunate and unfortunate times. The first couple chapters can be confusing, but as the story continues, it's a fun and adventurous tale. In addition to the interwoven tale, the author also includes cake recipes for the characters in the book.

Katie Honaker was a fun and creative narrator for this story. Her characters were distinct and varied. She read the recipes as well as the story. I was impressed with the sharing of the recipes. The recipes were timed well and they had fun sound effects and music underneath each recipe.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Penguin Audio!

Other Audiobook Reviews...

Audio Book Details...
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
Read by Katie Honaker
Produced by Penguin Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 Download
Total Time: 4 hours, 9 minutes
ISBN: 9781101601877

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Mysterious Howling

Have you checkout Audiobook SYNC yet? It's an amazing summer celebration of free audiobooks! SYNC began week two with The Mysterious Howling and Jane Eyre. I've previously enjoyed The Mysterious Howling and adored it! (Below is my original review from GoodReads.) I would highly encourage you to give it a listen. Wood and Kellgren make an outstanding team!


The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place, #1)The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The beautiful cover art by Sarah Hoy drew me to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. Another bonus, I adore historical fiction. After reading the brief synopsis of the book, I knew that I had to read it, well, listen to it. Briefly, the story is about the common phrase, "You must have been raised by wolves!" Lord Ashton of Ashton Place found three children in his woods and decided to keep them. (Can you play finder's keepers with people?) Ashton and his newly wed wife employ fresh-faced Penelope Lumley to take the children in hand. The story follows Miss Lumley as she strives to train and education three rambunctious children.

Reader Katherine Kellgren gives an outstanding performance that will be enjoyed by the whole family. Each voice is very distinguishable and full of life. The story unfolds so humorously and mysteriously that I cannot wait to read the second installment of Maryrose Wood's series. If you enjoy topics such as England, governesses, English Literature and a good laugh, you will definitely enjoy this book. Happy reading!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
Series: Book One, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours, 28 minutes
ISBN: 9780307711229


If you enjoyed The Mysterious Howling, continue the adventure with ...
Book Two, The Hidden Gallery
Book Three, The Unseen Guest
Book Four, The Interrupted Tale (Coming September 2013)

Friday, May 31, 2013

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only IvanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Applegate personifies a great silverback gorilla who lives as an entertainer in a mall. She doesn't go so far as to write a book that embraces anthropomorphism. (Huzzah!) It's a fictionalized story of animal entertainers. They tell their stories in their words and interact with humans with touches, looks, and art. It's very well done. Listeners (and readers) will befriend these circus animals, root for them, cry for them, and rejoice with them. Ivan's tale also lends itself well to many research projects for students (and animal lovers).

Adam Grupper narrates Ivan's story. Grupper is a new name to me ears. With his gruff, deep voice that kept going and going, it took me a bit to remain with the story. I was surprised and taken aback with the introductions of each new character voice. Grupper did a fabulous job! The gruff, deep voice suits the old silverback, Ivan. His female characters sound great and he adds zing to Bob and Mack. It's a great listen.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Read by Adam Grupper
Produced by Harper Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours
ISBN: 9780062285300

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss MaloneThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis shares the story of the Malone family through the eyes of their twelve-year-old "darling daughter Deza." The listener (or reader) jumps in their story during the Great Depression in Gary, Indiana. The Malone's are making their way, but troubles are just around the corner. Soon the Malones are on the move to Mr. Malone's hometown in Michigan seeking a better life.

I heard the reviews and I know that Curtis is highly acclaimed, but I never listened (or read) his books before this point. This story was brought to my attention because of a book committee. With slightly dragging feet, I found the audio and began to listen. After the first chapter, I was hooked. Curtis weaves an amazing story that wraps around the listener and begs you to keep listening. The Malone's live through tragic and wonderful circumstances during the Great Depression. It's historical fiction at it's best. I wanted to know more after the book ended.

Bahni Turpin narrated Deza's story. She also narrated characters in The Help. She has a great voice and personality for The Mighty Miss Malone characters. It was an excellent narration.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Read by Bahni Turpin
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 7 hours, 59 minutes
ISBN: 9780307968227

Friday, May 17, 2013

Last Child in the Woods

Last Child in the WoodsLast Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Will you or your child be the Last Child in the Woods?

Louv dives into how people (children especially) interact with nature. With today's modern marvels, we distance ourselves from the outdoors. We've created fear that never existed before when dealing with trees... woods... nature. Louv also shares examples and resources to overcome the fear, or the boogieman. He offers research of the benefits of being outdoors.

It's an eye opening listen (or read). It's been recommended to me, but it never made it onto my must read until a local book festival chose it for their city read. I'm so happy that I chose to read it along with everyone. It's a fantastic book. I understand why a friend recommended it to me. Times have changed, but nature has remained the same. I know that I fear the wildness, but also appreciate the peace and beautiful it offers. I would encourage all listeners (and readers) to give this book a try.

Jonathan Hogan narrated Louv's book. His voice was excellent for this non-fiction piece. The story wasn't dynamic, but it was thought provoking and Hogan's tempo was spot on.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Read by Jonathan Hogan
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 10
Total Time: 12 hours
ISBN: 9781428169661

Friday, May 10, 2013

Iron Hearted Violet

Iron Hearted VioletIron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill

Can you describe a princess? It's all relative. It's also changeable.

Violet is the Princess, but she's also extraordinary. She doesn't look like a beautiful princess told in stories all over the Multiverse, but she's courageous, imaginative, and friendly. She befriends Demetrius and they explore her castle with abandon, only to stumble upon a secret room and uncover a dark secret. The secret grows and brings unrest to their world. Destruction follows, but if they work together and uncover the truth, the kingdom can survive!

I listened to Barnhill's book between other stories and books, so it wasn't as smooth as my usually audiobook timing. I enjoy the fantasy genre and this ranks at the top for middle schoolers. If listeners (or readers) enjoy dragon tales, this would be a great pick for them. It also contains mystery, storytelling, and unlikely heroes. It's not a happy-go-luck, but mysterious while dark and sorrowful at times. I wouldn't recommend this to every reader, but if you're interested in fantasy or dragon stories, I would recommend you to give it a go! It's very unique, especially, because Violet doesn't share her story, but the castle's storyteller: Cassian.

Simon Vance narrates Iron Hearted Violet. As stated previously, the storyteller is a male voice, so having Mr. Vance read the story works very well with the text. He's a stellar reader and he offers a nice range of characters from ladies to gents and fantastical creatures.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, AudioGo!

Audio Book Details...
Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
Read by Simon Vance
Produced by AudioGo Ltd
Number of Discs: MP3 Download
Total Time: 7 hours, 21 minutes
ISBN: 9781619696006

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SYNC is Coming!

"SYNC is the audiobook publishers’ and AudioFile Magazine’s commitment to introducing the listening experience to your young adult audience."

And they are amazing! Over the summer they strive to introduce listeners to a wide range of books. The extraordinary part of the SYNC project ... it's free! (Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!) Every week they offer a new titles - one Young Adult title paired with one Classic title. They also offer a free tool kit for Libraries, Educators, Bloggers & Press to help share and promote this amazing service.

I cannot wait for May 30th! The summer begins with titles provided by AudioGo. They are sharing Of Poseidon by Anna Banks and The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Jingo Django

Jingo DjangoJingo Django by Sid Fleischman

Join Jingo, make that Django, as he travels South on a whirlwind treasure hunt. He is discovering more about himself as well as about his unknown family.

Jingo is "apprenticed" to General Dirty-Face Scurlock by Mrs. Daggett who runs the orphanage. Scurlock sets up Jingo to be a chimney sweep - crawling up flues to chip away soot. His goal is to escape as quickly as he is able. With the help of a fellow sweep, he escapes, but only to be captured when he returns to hideout at the orphanage. Fortunately, someone else offers to apprentice Jingo - Mr. Peacock. Mrs. Daggett hands over the boy for a handsome profit and Jingo leaves with Mr. Peacock. Mr. Peacock offers Jingo a safe haven in his traveling wagon and an opportunity to pursue a treasure hunt he discovered on a whale's tooth.

Fleischman's story is from the 70's, but his tale will be enjoyed by young listeners today. Themes of adventure, mystery, and treasure never get old.

Charles Carroll narrates Django's story with a mellow tone. The heights and depths of adventure are never too loud or too soft. The even read is very nice. Carroll reminds me of a teacher sharing a story during school. This would be excellent for a family of wide ages to enjoy.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, AudioGo!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Small Steps

Small Steps: The Year I Got PolioSmall Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret

Peg was looking forward to 7th grade and the Homecoming celebration at school. Before the Homecoming festivities, her muscles began to jump and spasm during school. As Peg walked to class, she collapsed. She was taken home and only grew sicker. Her parents took her to the doctor. The doctor informed Peg and her parent that she had polio.

Peg Kehret revisits her journey from health to sickness and back again. She writes her history as a story with fictional dialogue between friends, family, and acquaintances. Though the dialogue is fictional, her experiences are true. She opens up and shares her struggles and successes of fighting polio. Peg shares the pain of illness and the aches of recovery. It's a beautiful story of courage, determination, family, friendship, and growing up. It's a story that children and adults will enjoy.

Susan Boyce is the narrator for Small Steps. Her gentle narration will delight listeners. Her voice is reminiscent of a beloved teacher reading a story aloud during school. This narrator and non-fiction piece will delight (and not bore) its listeners.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, AudioGo!

Audio Book Details...
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret
Read by Susan Boyce
Produced by AudioGo
Number of Discs: 0
Total Time: 3 hours, 9 minutes
ISBN: MP3 download via AudioGo

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Spindlers

The SpindlersThe Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Beware the Spindlers. They come at night and steal your soul. How do you know if the Spindlers have stolen a soul? Look in the eyes. The eyes will tell you. As haunting as Coraline or as strange as Alice's Wonderland, that's for the reader to decide.

For this reader, Coraline was way more terrifying than The Spindlers. The association with Wonderland is the location - going below. The book that came to mind to this audiobook lover was The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. (It's all about spiders, too.)

Overall, the concept of The Spindlers can be daunting and a bit terrifying for younger listeners (or readers), so if the reader is open to fantastical fiction with a hint of horror this is an excellent book. I would also highly recommend this title to older siblings and/or young woman. The main characters are ladies - Liza, Mirabella, and the Queen (which isn't a focus until reflecting on this piece.) The older sibling theme is strongest and very relate able. Liza must rescue her brother's soul and she will give it her all. He might be too young to understand or care, but she knows it's her job to watch over him.

Simon Vance narrated The Spindlers. For a female heavy cast, he did an amazing job! Each character had a voice and the female voices were wonderfully different from each other. The Spindler's Queen was my favorite voice.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Read by Simon Vance
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
ISBN: 9780449015001 or 0449015009

Monday, February 25, 2013

Two Years of Audiobooks

Adolescent Audio Adventures began on February 25, 2011. I wanted to share my joy of audiobooks with others who enjoy listening to books. It's been another amazing audio year and it's time to take stock of all the books I heard over 2012. Let's break it down...

Juvenile Fiction [estimated trt: 5 days, 4 hours, 57 minutes]
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow
The Whites of Their Eyes
The Haunting of Charles Dickens
The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda
The Case of the Deadly Desperados
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
The Willoughbys
War Horse
3 Below
Stealing Magic: a Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure
The Fire Chronicle
Arcade Catastrophe
The Mark of Athena
Alchemy and Meggy Swann
Fairy Realm 6 in 1 Collection
The Unseen Guest
The Spindlers

Adult [trt: ca. 18 hours]
The Help

20 books (and over 140 hours) were counted in this year's review. Quite a few less from last year, but with less time in the car, there are less hours to listen. I am looking forward to another great year of audiobooks! A couple series I'm looking forward to hearing include Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School, and The Books of Beginning. What book or books are you looking forward to hearing this year?

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 Audie Award Finalists

This just in audiobook listeners...

"The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced finalists for its 2013 Audie
Awards® competition, the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to honoring spoken word entertainment. Winners will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 30, 2013, at the New-York Historical Society in New York. Writer Daniel Handler [aka Lemony Snicket], longtime friend and supporter of the audiobook industry will emcee the event."

Since this blog celebrates adolescent audiobooks, here are the finalists for young listeners:

Same Sun Here, by Silas House and Neela Vaswani, Narrated by Silas House and Neela Vaswani, Brilliance Audio.
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, Narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, and Kate Rudd, Brilliance Audio.
The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman, Narrated by Robin Miles, Listening Library/Books on Tape.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall White, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren and Robin Sachs, Listening Library/Books on Tape.
Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz, Narrated by Davina Porter, Recorded Books.

We Are America, by Walter Dean Meyers, Narrated by Dion Graham with a Multi-cast, Live Oak Media.
The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case, by Alexander McCall Smith, Narrated by Adjoa Andoh, Listening Library/Books on Tape.
Sylvester & The Magic Pebble, by William Steg, Narrated by James Earl Jones, Simon & Schuster Audio.
Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, by Mo Willems, Narrated by Cher Mo and Trixie Willems, Weston Woods Studios.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead, Narrated by David de Vries, Weston Woods Studios.

To see the full press release, please visit:

Happy listening, friends!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fairy Realm 6 in 1 Collection

Fairy Realm 6 in 1 CollectionFairy Realm 6 in 1 Collection by Emily Rodda

Fairy Realm 6 in 1 Collection contains the first six books of the Fairy Realm series by Emily Rodda. The complete series is as follows...

Book 01 - The Charm Bracelet
Book 02 - The Flower Fairies
Book 03 - The Third Wish
Book 04 - The Last Fairy-Apple Tree
Book 05 - The Magic Key
Book 06 - The Unicorn
Book 07 - The Star Cloak
Book 08 - The Water Sprites
Book 09 - The Peskie Spell
Book 10 -  The Rainbow Wand

Since I read The Fairy Realm series a few years ago, I only listened to book one, The Charm Bracelet. If you know of young readers you enjoy fantasy stories, I would highly recommend this series. The books average around 120 pages, so these books would be appropriate for readers interested in their first chapter book (usually around third grade).

The audiobook was produced by Bolinda Audio located in Victoria, Australia. This is my first listen from Bolinda Audio. The chapter headings were read by a gentleman, but the chapters were read by a woman, Lucy Bell. Music was added at the opening and close of each chapter as well as the segments when the story led to The Fairy Realm. The delicate, music box like melody fit the book well.  Lucy Bell shares the story fittingly. Her Australian accent is not usual to hear in the US, but it does not take away from the story. I believe young listeners will enjoy her voice.

An interesting side note was the echoing quality of the recording. I would attribute it to the recording room, but it could have been added as a sound effect.  The faint echo was bothersome to me, but I will let other listeners decide for themselves. At different points during the tale, the echo effect worked very well for the story setting.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Fairy Realm 6 in 1 Collection by Emily Rodda
Read by Lucy Bell
Produced by Bolinda Audio
Number of Discs: 12
Total Time: 10 hours, 55 minutes

Friday, February 1, 2013

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Alchemy and Meggy SwannAlchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Ye toads and vipers! Meggy Swann journeyed to London to be with her unknown father. When she arrives, the alchemist sees her and shows his great disappoint that she is not a he. Meggy feels unloved and unwanted in a filthy new place. Will London ever be home to an unlucky girl?

Karen Cushman excels at historical fiction. Her view of the the Elizabethan age / Shakespearean era is wonderful. She takes Meggy on a journey, not only to a new location, but to learn about herself. Meggy must overcome her physical handicap and fear of people's hate. Meggy learns to be stronger and happier. She discovers a love for London and for her fellow man. If a reader would ever be in need of historical insults, they only need read the whit of Meggy and her friend Roger. Her author's note at the end also adds insight and facts that she woven into her tale.

Alchemy and Meggy Swann would be an terrific book for classrooms or book club. Many discussions can arise about a variety of topics. History alone is one of the them, but Cushman brings up family, friends, physical handicaps, and pets just to name a few.

Katherine Kellgren reads Meggy's story. Kellgren is one of my favorite readers. Her furious back and forth between Meggy and Roger are enjoyable as well as the repeated phrase, "Ye toads and vipers!" Extra praise for singing a Capella throughout the short novel!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 23 minutes

Friday, January 25, 2013

Arcade Catastrophe

The Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull

Belinda White from the Sweet Tooth Candy Shop is gone. Mr. Sebastian Stott, a friendly magician, took over the shop and adopted a girl named Lindy. Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon have included Lindy in their group and enjoy hanging out at the Candy Shop. Life returned to normal after Mrs. White disappeared from town with her magical candy, but the next town over, Walnut Hills, has some suspicious goings-on. Stranger still, is the disappearance of magical policeman John Dart and magician Mozag. Now they must decide if they should help their missing friends and see what's happening in Walnut Hills.

It's the return of magical treats and amazing adventures! If you enjoyed the first book, The Candy Shop War, you will enjoy the continuing story in The Arcade Catastrophe. The friends you knew in the original tale reappear to fight new enemies and make new friends. Mull's second book is an excellent continuation. He combines mystery, adventure, magic, and candy together for an irresistible reading treat.

Mulls ends the novel with hints at another book to come. This novel can be enjoyed as a complete novel, but the idea of another book is very exciting!

Reader R. C. Bray shares the adventure of Arcade Catastrophe. His low timbre is amazing at creating different characters. It was a slight shock to move from different narrators (book one used Emily Janice Card), but after the first disc the story rolls along at a wonderful speed.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull
Series: Book Two, The Candy Shop War
Read by R. C. Bray
Produced by Shadow Mountain
Number of Discs: 9
Total Time: 10 hours, 45 minutes

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena picks up from The Son of Neptune. The Greek and the Roman camps need to work together. Members from each camp form a team to complete the latest quest, but dark forces (Gia and her minions) are against them. Romans believe the Greeks are against them, so they are planning to retaliate. The quest team keeps an eye on the Roman camp's movements, but know they need to journey to Europe to complete their quest - especially Annabeth, who needs to find The Mark of Athena.

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

With only part of the quest complete, the cliff hanger is monumental. Bring on the next book, Riordan!

His characters remain true as they continue on their journey. The relationships between the young men and women progress naturally as they fight along side each other, worry over one another, seek to help each other, and hope their relationship will survive this great undertaking.

Joshua Swanson returns to narrate the newest Heroes of Olympus book. He cleverly portrays a wide range of characters. I hope he can return for the next novel to keep it consistent.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Series: Book Three, The Heroes of Olympus
Read by Joshua Swanson
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 12
Total Time: 15 hours, 9 minutes
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