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
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