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
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