Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: That Touch of Ink

That Touch of Ink is the second book in Diane Vallere's Mad for Mod / Madison Night mystery series. If you haven't read book one, Pillow Stalk, I would highly recommend starting at the beginning. That Touch of Ink picks up after Pillow Stalk ends with new characters and as well as familiar ones. Here is the book description from Dreamscape Media:

"When a rare $5,000 bill arrives in the mail, interior decorator Madison Night knows it's a message from her past. In happier times, she once joked that she could be bought for $5,000 - how could she deny a bill with her name on it? Suspecting the bill indicates trouble, she consults a numismatist. They set up a meet, but upon arrival she finds an abandoned office, a scared dog...and a dead body in the kitchen. The twist? The victim isn't the numismatist; it's a John Doe. The police, led by Lt. Tex Allen, are on the case. But before long, Madison uncovers a kidnapping plot, a unique counterfeit operation, and the true price of her own independence."

I was so excited to hear the adventures of Madison, the Doris Day super fan / mod interior designer. The mystery unfolded unexpectedly with some romance along the way. There wasn't a big teaser at the end of That Touch of Ink as much as there was in Pillow Stalk, but I'm still interested in hearing more! I loved how character names would pop up throughout the story that I could link to characters in the Doris Day films. Hearing those little details help make the book. It's like a fun little secret for a Doris Day fan.

Susan Berneis returned to read That Touch of Ink. I love it when narrators continue the series! Her consistency was fantastic. It's been a few months since I heard book one, but I felt that I was right back in the world of Madison Night with her reading. I'm looking forward to hearing more from Ms. Berneis!

Reviewed from a Dreamscape Media copy. Thank you, Audiobook Jukebox!
I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
That Touch of Ink by Diane Vallere
Series: Book 2, Mad for Mod Mystery
Read by Susan Berneis
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 hours, 28 minutes
Release Date: January 2017
ISBN: 9781520063911

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Voices on the Road Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Welcome to Adolescent Audio Adventures! 

Today I am sharing audiobook titles you can take on a road trip with your family. Visit the whole tour by stopping at Audio Publishers Association website. You can find recommendations for all listeners.

I love listening to a great narrator and an interesting story while traveling. An excellent book makes travel time fly by! It's hard to not share all the books I've enjoyed while road tripping solo or with others. Here are a few titles that also share a road trips in the story...

The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Read by Mark Turetsky
Produced by Scholastic Audiobooks
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 Hours, 48 Minutes
Release Date: October 2016
ISBN: 9781338160789
Genre: Historical Fiction

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
Genre: Historical Fiction

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Read by Mark BramhallDavid de VriesMacLeod Andrews, and Rebecca Soler
Music by Corky Siegel
Produced by Scholastic Audiobooks
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 10 Hours, 22 Minutes
Release Date: March 2015
ISBN: 9780545788366
Genre: Historical Fiction

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Read by Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney
Produced by Harper Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (8 parts)
Total Time: 9 hours, 41 minute
Release Date: March 2016
ISBN: 9780062448187
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Find these titles and more at publisher's websites or your local library! Thank you, Audio Publishers Assocation for putting this fun Voices on the Road blog tour together. Share with me one of your favorite road trip audiobooks in the comments below!


Want to win some amazing audiobooks for your next traveling adventure?

Fill out the Google Form for your chance to win! No purchase is necessary. The giveaway is open until Thursday, November 30 at 11:59pm (CT). One winner will be chosen. The prize is a pack of 10 audiobooks from amazing audiobook publishers including Galaxy Press, Hachette Audio, Harper Audio, High Bridge Audio, Macmillan Audio, Penguin Random House Audio, Post Hypnotic Press, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Audio and Tantor Audio. (Thank you for your generosity publishers!!!) Entrants are restricted to USA or Canada mailing addresses only, please. One entry per person. Once the winner is confirmed all personal data will be deleted. Good luck!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017 #AudiobooksForTheFuture

Welcome to the FINAL day of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017!

Thank you for tuning in and taking part. I'm all ready looking forward to next year!

We're wrapping up the week with a look at the future. In the next year, I am looking forward to the final installment of Maryrose Wood's Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 6, The Long-Lost Home. I thought it was coming out at the end of 2017, but it looks like it will be coming in 2018. Such a delightful series that Katherine Kellgren truly brings to life. I'm also looking forward to Brandon Mull's newest books as well as the next Unwanteds Quests by Lisa McMann.

As far as blogging in the future, I want to blog more! (Doesn't every blogger want to blog more?) I want to keep true to sharing audiobooks for youth and families on this blog. Perhaps add more picture book or easy reader reviews instead of mostly chapter books. I would also like to share my love of children's music. I took the A to Z Challenge with music last year and I would like to share music again. (Perhaps not with the A to Z Challenge.)

What books are you looking forward to hearing? Any blogging updates you'd like to share? Let me know with a comment below!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017 #ThrowbackThursday

Welcome to day five of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017!

Are there audiobooks who love to hear? Do you have an audiobook you play on repeat or wish you could play on repeat? For me, there is always so many books on the horizon it's difficult to go back and enjoy another listen to a great book. Here's my short list of books I would love to enjoy all over again!

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, narrated by E. B. Stevens
The Hero's Guide Series by Christopher Healy, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis, narrated By Caroll Spinney

What are your top listens? I would love to know!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017 #TravelTuesday

Welcome to day three of Audiobook Bloggers Week!

I love taking audiobooks on the road with me. That's how I consume most of my audiobooks is during my commute time between work, errands, and trips to see family and friends. I'm still giddy to admit that I have a multiple disc player in my car! It's so fantastic to fill it with a book and let it play!

Not all my audiobooks come on discs, so I also have an MP3 player that is one of my old smart phones. I would highly recommend using an old phone as a player. A big benefit of taking an audiobook on my player is that when I leave the car, the story can continue as I move around the house or go on a walk.

I typically only have one audiobook in the car at a time. Depending on the size of files, I always have multiple digital books on the MP3 player. I currently have three (two finished and one ready to go) on my player. Since I listen to children's stories, I can sometimes bring along five books with me which can be nice if I finish one quickly or need to change it up because I'm not into the story.

Do you like keeping a stack of audiobooks around you? Are you better with one story at a time? How do you listen while on the go?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017 #MotivationMonday

Happy Day Two of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017!

When I jumped into blogging, Tasha Saecker was my inspiration. She maintained two blogs Waking Brain Cells as well as Sites and Soundbytes. She was encouraging and offered tips and networks when I got started. Thank you, Tasha!

My goal has been to be a voice for children's audio and I still believe in sharing that voice. I would like to do more as a blogger, but I think all bloggers feel that way, too. I saw a niche when I started and still believe that I have a special area to share my love audiobooks for young listeners.

Have you been a visitor to Adolescent Audio Adventures? Is there something you'd like to see or read? What audiobook would you recommend to me?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017: #SunnyHello

Welcome to Adolescent Audio Adventures!

At Adolescent Audio Adventures, I share audiobooks for children, teens, and adults. Most of the books found on this blog can typically be found in the Juvenile section of the library. Every once in a while I do like a branch out with some adult fiction or non-fiction. I typically read chapter books for elementary or middle school age students. I occasionally will hear stories for young children or teens. I think other readers or librarians can understand that there is never enough time to read all the books! My to-be-read list is an ongoing process and sometimes battle against the read list.

In the last couple months, I have enjoyed listening to some adult non-fiction. I finished Radium Girls, Hidden Figures, and Goodbye, Things. I have a couple more nonfiction titles on the my playlist to read including Compassionate Soldier and The Happiest Kids in the World.

What was your last listen? What do you plan on listening to next?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2017 is Coming!

It's our second year of celebrating audiobook bloggers! I hope you will join me and other bloggers as we talk about audiobooks and blogging. You may use the logo I created for your posts if you'd like. Here are some blogging thoughts for the week ...

Sunday - #SunnyHello - Introduce yourself and your blog. (You can refer to original introductions/welcomes as well.) What books are you currently reading? Do you change up genres throughout the year?

Monday - #MotivationMonday - Who do you find motivating as a blogger and/or audiobook listener? OR What book motivated you to start your blog?

Tuesday - #TravelTuesday - Let's talk travel and how to travel with books and audiobooks. Do you have a preferred format? Do you pack a certain number of books while you travel?

Wednesday - #WednesdayWhere - Have you found a new place to find audiobooks? How do you share audiobooks with those closest to you?

Thursday - #ThrowbackThursday - Go back in your feed and pick a few titles that you'd love to hear again!

Friday - #FridayListens - What are you currently enjoying in audiobook form? OR What's next up on your "to-be-heard" pile?

Saturday - #AudiobooksForTheFuture - In the next year, what are you excited about? New audiobooks, new blog ideas, etc. Let's keep the excitement going!

I hope you're able to join us for the second #AudiobookBloggersWeek! Be sure to stop by fellow audiobook bloggers to say hi! I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Want to join the fun? Comment below with your audiobook blog.

Audiobook Bloggers...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: The Radium Girls

Fascinating. Horrifying. What do you know about radium and the Radium Girls?

Radium is a huge part of our history. It was a magical new element around the turn of the century. It was the one thing many sought, but few could hold. Yet when we look back with the knowledge we have today, it's a terrifying part of the past.

When I saw The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women at the library, it looked fascinating. I didn't know much about the radium era, and wanted to learn more about it. Author Kate Moore has written a wonderful book on the lives of the radium women. She drew her information from published and previously unpublished sources. Moore's fascination began with a theatre play and ended with a book that gives readers a glimpse into the lives of women who changed history, litigation, and science. Job well done! I would recommend this book to everyone! I couldn't wait to take a drive in my car so I could continue hearing about The Radium Girls.

Angela Brazil narrated The Radium Girls. This is the first time I've heard Brazil read an audiobook. Brazil has a strong, firm voice. Other listeners thought her voice sounded harsh, but I heard determination of telling a haunting story. I think a gentler voice could have made this story too sad to hear. I would listen to Brazil again, but she is not a narrator I would seek out.

Additional information about Radium Girls:
The Spectator newspaper article
Radium Girls on Wikipedia
The Radium Girls on Audible (with review)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
Read by Angela Brazil
Produced by HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 13
Total Time: 15 hours, 51 minutes
Release Date: May 2017
ISBN: 9781681684215

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: A Frozen Heart

Disney's Frozen is one of the top animated films right now. There have been numerous books and audiobooks about the story. A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick is another one you can add to the list of available books. Rudnick's rendition of Frozen is a chapter book for older elementary readers. She focuses on the characters of Anna and Hans. She created backstory for the characters and offers their perspective of the events that the movie shares with the audience.

A Frozen Heart was a fine story. I played the audiobook hoping for a twisted tale of Frozen. I was disappointed. It was Frozen. I wanted to stop the book and start a different one, but I was all ready committed. I listened to all 6 CDs. If you're a Frozen fan, by all means find a copy and give a listen! If you're looking for something completely different on this new classic, you could pass.

Narrator Andrew Eiden did a fine job sharing the story between two characters. He was not dynamic with voices, but he gave the characters different nuances. I previously heard him narrate another Frozen tale: Journey to the Lights. I would listen to him again.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
Read by Andrew Eiden
Produced by Disney / Blackstone Audio
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 Hours, 32 minutes
Release Date: September 2016
ISBN: 9781504751049

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Dragonwatch

Journey back to the world of Fablehaven!

Brandon Mull has begun a new series, A Fablehaven Adventure. Book one is entitled Dragonwatch. If you have yet to hear the original Fablehaven series, you need to start there before tackling his newest adventure. Familiar characters return to familiar locations in this fantastical story.

Here is the book description from Brandon Mull's website:

"In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.
No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.
As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.
How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?"

I am thrilled to hear more about Fablehaven's world! I was hoping for more stories, but I was content with end of the original series. I adored the original narrator, E. B. Stevens, too. I hoped for the return of Stevens, but Shadow Mountain went with Kirby Heyborne. I was disappointed, but Heyborne did an amazing job! Dragonwatch is a dramatic story and he fully embraced the emotions without going over the top. The only voice that got muddy in my ears was Grandpa's voice. I look forward to the next installment of A Fablehaven Adventure and hope to hear Heybourne read again.

One final note on Shadow Mountain - they produce an wonderful audiobook. The music at the beginning and end of the discs is lovely with what sounds like a full orchestra. Moving from disc to disc is an artform. They fade out the story and bring in Heybourne to tell you to go to the next disc and fade out with music. There is no abrupt cutoff of the story or jarring new voice to tell you to change discs. Well done, Shadow Mountain!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull
Series: Book 1, A Fablehaven Adventure
Read by Kirby Heybourne
Produced by Shadow Mountain
Number of Discs: 9
Total Time: 10 hours, 19 minutes
Release Date: March 2017
ISBN: 9781629722962

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Pillow Stalk

Pillow Stalk by Diane Vallere is a cozy mystery for adult readers. I typically review fiction or non-fiction that has a link to adolescent readers or families. This was purely a book for me. I am a fan of Doris Day and this Mad for Mod / Madison Knight mystery series looked too good to pass up! Here is the book description from Dreamscape Media:

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Pillow Stalk by Diane Vallere
"Interior Decorator Madison Night might look like a throwback to the sixties, but as business owner and landlord, she proves that independent women can have it all. When a killer targets women dressed in her signature style-estate sale vintage to play up her resemblance to fave actress Doris Day-what makes her unique might make her dead. The local detective connects the new crime to a twenty-year old cold case, and Madison's long-trusted contractor emerges as the leading suspect. As the body count piles up, Madison uncovers a Soviet spy, a campaign to destroy all Doris Day movies, and six minutes of film that will change her life forever."

I will admit this is my first cozy mystery that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't wait to hop in the car and hear this story. There are little tidbits that I can match up with Day films and characteristics of characters in her movies. I was surprised by the unfolding mystery and a surprising teaser at the end of the book. I look forward to hearing more from the Mad for Mod series!

Susan Berneis narrated Pillow Stalk. I've previously heard her narrate children's titles including The Christmas Quiet Book and Ben Franklin's Big Splash. I enjoyed her narration of Madison Night's story. Berneis did a fine job of the various female and male voices. I could hear that she tried to voice each character differently. I would definitely listen to her again as Madison Night and am thrilled to see that she returned to read the next three books in the series.

Reviewed from a Dreamscape Media copy. Thank you, Audiobook Jukebox!
I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Pillow Stalk by Diane Vallere
Series: Book 1, Mad for Mod Mystery
Read by Susan Berneis
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 19 minutes
Release Date: January 2017
ISBN: 9781520063553

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: The Jolly Regina

Sisters Jaundice and Kale Bland live a very bland life. They stay in one place and repair stockings. Everything they need is delivered to them. Until one day when there is a knock at the door. Before the sisters can blink they are kidnapped and set to work on the pirate ship, The Jolly Regina. How unintended!

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Jolly Regina
A fun family listen of blandness, adventure, and silliness. There is word play during the tale as well as definitions at the beginning of each chapter. The definitions play well in hand with the topic of the chapter as well as bringing in the Bland sisters only book, a dictionary. Yes, it is adventures on the high seas, but nothing terrifying for young listeners in the family. All's well that ends well. If you appreciate silliness, adventure, or pirates, give this story a go.

Rosalyn Landor narrates the first book in the new series The Unintenional Adventures of the Bland Sisters. This is the first time I have heard Landor narrate an audiobooks. I would listen to her again. I did read that there is a second book coming, The Uncanny Express. If the books is also made into an audiobook, I hope Landor returns to narrate. The girls are soft spoken characters while the pirates are boisterous. It listens well, but I did have to adjust my volume up and down in the car as I listened to the story. Dreamscape Media adds end of the disc notifications so it is easy to know when to change CDs.

Reviewed from a Dreamscape Media copy. Thank you, Audiobook Jukebox!
I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
The Jolly Regina by Kara LaReau
Series: Book 1, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters
Read by Rosalyn Landor
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 hours, 41 minutes
Release Date: February 2017
ISBN: 9781508227960

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Dragon Captives

Unwanteds, the New Quests!

The final installment of The Unwanteds: Island of Dragons came out last year (April 2016). Such a wonderful, fantastic series. With great anticipation (with a hint of unease), a new Unwanteds series has arrived! The Unwanteds Quests by Lisa McMann, narrated by Fiona Hardingham.

Journey back to Artime and say hello to familiar friends.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Dragon Captives audiobook
Dragon Captives takes place several years after Island of Dragons. The sister twins, Fifer and Thisbe, are older and bolder. They want to strike out on their own and use their unknown, magical powers. When an old friend, Hux the ice-blue dragon, arrives on Artime's shore, new adventure calls out to the girls. They can help Hux as wells as their brother.

Author McMann truly returns to the world of Artime and the surrounding islands. Time has passed, but she captures the feelings and tone of her previous series. There is humor, seriousness, twists, and a good cliffhanger. I cannot wait to hear the next book!

Narrator Fiona Hardingham reads the story. After several books with narrator Steve West, this change of narrator was a bit of a shift. It makes sense to change from a gentleman reader to a lady because of the shift of characters from brothers to sisters, but I miss you Mr. West. Hardingham does a fine job of sharing the story. Only one character made me cringe while listening - Simba. His voice is low and gravely and it can very difficult to capture. It takes strength to maintain a voice, but he sounded like he had Southern accent. I look forward to book two and we'll see if Hardingham returns to narrate the next installment.

Reviewed from a Simon and Schuster copy. Thank you, Simon and Schuster!
I received this audiobook for free from Simon and Schuster for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Dragon Captives by Lisa McMann
Series: Book 1, The Unwanteds Quests
Read by Fiona Hardingham
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 8 minutes
Release Date: February 2017
ISBN: 9781508227960

Monday, June 12, 2017

June is Audiobook Month 2017

Welcome to Day 12 of June is Audiobook Month Blog Tour! Thanks for visiting Adolescent Audio Adventures. As a children's librarian, I love to share stories as well as listen to stories. Audiobooks help feed my reading appetite because I can always have a book with me! Audiobooks are also great for trips. It doesn't matter if it's a quick commute or a long family road trip. They can be shared to an audience of one or more. I love it! And we have a whole month to celebrate!

Planning a family road trip this summer? Here are a couple suggestions for your travels this summer:

Screen Shot from Christopher Heely's Website
The Hero's Guide Series by Christopher Healy, read by Bronson Pinchot
Quick review: Funny, fairytale remix with a fantastic reader!

Screen Shot from
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman OR by Full Cast
Quick review: Slightly scary tale with two different production styles!

Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary
Quick review: Classic trilogy to enjoy again or introduce to someone new!

Wonder by R. J. Palacio, ready by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
Quick review: A new classic that can be read before the movie comes to theaters in November 2017.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren
Quick review: Hilarious historical fiction with a mystery that is still unfolding!

Thank for stopping by Adolescent Audio Adventures! Huge thanks to Audio Publishers Association for putting this blog tour together for June is Audiobook Month. They also shared with me a fun giveaway - earbuds and 3 free audiobook downloads from Comment below for your chance to win.

What are you listening to OR hope to listen to this summer?

Comment for a chance to win. No purchase is necessary. The giveaway is open until Saturday, June 17 at 8am (CT). One winner will be chosen. The prize is a pair of earbuds and 3 free audiobook downloads at (approximate value: up to US$45.00), which expires July 15, 2017. The codes have been provided by the Audio Publisher’s Association and Entrants are restricted to US addresses only, please. One entry per person, please.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Demon Dentist

Demon Dentist by David Walliams is a Middle Grade Audie Award Finalist this year. I was able to find a copy through my library's interlibrary loan program. Thank you public libraries for providing this service!!

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Demon Dentist by David Walliams
The story was not my cup of tea, but the narration was fantastic. The story was about Alfie's dental adventures that turned out to be horrible, yet uplifting at the end. It made my stomach turn over and gave me shivers. As an individual who would prefer not to visit the dentist, this was a horror story. For those readers who enjoy a disgusting scare, this is the book for you. Walliams's style reminded me of Roald Dahl and Adam Gidwitz's Grimm series. For more story information, I would recommend Ms. Yingling's book review.

The narration on the other hand was wonderful! David Walliams, Jocelyn Jee Esien, and Nitin Ganatra shared the narration of the story. It was smooth dialogue from one character to another as well as genuine. Deborah Taylor spoke about authenticity of accents and it really hit home in this audiobook. Beyond the stellar narration skills of three actors, music was also added at the beginning, end, and between chapters. It felt like a grow-up version of a book and CD audiobook that has page cues. I think it really added to the story. Another addition was a sound effect to point out the use of made up words. A thoughtful touch for readers / listeners who are learning words and what is a true word versus a created word. I would definitely listen to this combo of voice talent, music, and smooth editing.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Demon Dentist by David Walliams
Read by David Walliams, Jocelyn Jee Esien, and Nitin Ganatra
Music by Mark Morriss
Produced by Harper Audio
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 Hours, 46 Minutes
Release Date: March 2016
ISBN: 9780062443977

Review from Publishers Weekly

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: The Wooden Prince

The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis is on the shortlist for the 2017 Young Listeners Audie Award. It's the first book in a new series, Out of Abaton. Abaton is a magical kingdom, but it has ties to the Venician Empire (Venice). Book one shares snippets about Abaton, but all the action takes place in the Venician Empire.

Bemis shares a new interpretation of the classic story Pinocchio. In The Wooden Prince, Pinocchio is a automa servant who carries something mysterious inside is chest. He is sent to the alchemist Geppetto by the ruler of Abaton, Prestor John. Geppetto is in hiding. The airmen of the emperor are after Geppetto and Pinocchio. Prestor John is imprisoned and his daughter, Princess Lazuli is determined to rescue him. As the story unfolds, their paths cross and the Abatonians band together to overcome the evil forces of the emperor.

This story is not what I expected at all. The magical world is built on alchemy and elemental forces (earth, wind, fire, water) which are attached to magical creatures (gnomes, sylphs, djinn, undines). Some readers might place this story under the steampunk genre. I personally didn't feel a heavy steampunk vibe. The story does wrap up well in book one with openings for book two. No giant cliff hanger for those who are uncertain to continue with the series. I'm not sure I will continue with book two.

The Wooden Prince under the shortlist for the Young Listeners Audie category and after finishing the story I'm questioning the placement. Shouldn't The Wooden Prince be in the next step up with Middle Grade? Young Listeners goes up to age 8 which is around second grade. This story is pretty in-depth with magic, battle, new worlds, etc. Readers can even download a glossary of terms online. I am sure there are some children who would happily jump into this tale, but in general this is not a book I would recommend to third graders and younger. If you have ideas or thoughts on the The Wooden Prince, please let me know. I would be very interested.

Audie awards are given for the production of the piece and this is a well crafted audiobook. Oasis Audio put a lot of time in adding music, sound effects, and voice adjustments for some of the magical characters. Narrator Ralph Lister was a fine voice to hear throughout the book. I have previously heard Lister reading The Haunting of Charles Dickens and The Flint Heart. I liked Maestro's cranky voice and attitude. The undine's voice was the hardest to hear while I was listening. His voice was very low and being accompanied with sound effects made the voice very muddy to me.

The added sound effects and music were a fine addition. The music is by Vernian Process. The sound effects helped and hindered the story. Some of the squelch noises were disgusting - eating and arrow pulling. Other sound effects help set the mood of the story - night crickets or a fire burning. I think sound effects were an interesting choice to add.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis
Series: Book 1, Out of Abaton
Read by Ralph Lister
Music by Vernian Process
Produced by Oasis Audio
Number of Discs: 8
Total Time: 9 Hours, 39 Minutes
Release Date: March 2016
ISBN: 9781613757666

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals

Lady Ada and Mary return in the third Wollstonecraft Detective Agency adventure, The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals. Ada and Mary are joined by Allegra, Jane, Charles, and the staff at Ada's home. Book three closely follows book two, The Case of the Girl in Grey. In the third installment, "The game is truly afoot in this quirky caper involving blood-sucking leeches, an asthmatic pug, smoke bombs, secret elevators, diabolical disguises, and wicked word-play."

The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals Audiobooks reviewed by Adolescent Audio Adventures
The characters remain true to their personalities that were shared in the previous two stories. Sometimes it can be hard to follow all the characters through the story, but that could be just me listening instead of reading it. I did listen to book three while in the car so the story was a bit broken up instead of at one straight go. The final disc in the three disc set was my favorite. There is a letter delivery scene that I really enjoyed. The ending tied into a story from book one, The Case of the Missing Moonstone. I am intrigued to read the next book in the series. Author Stratford can't leave his listeners (or readers) hanging on this small book ledge!

I would recommend this series to families or someone who enjoyed The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. There is a website for The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency if you'd like to wander around Ada and Mary's world.

Nicola Barber returns to narrate The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals. Yahoo! I heard the characters come back to the life from the previous stories. The female and male characters were enjoyable. I still really enjoy how she says, "clandestine." I hope Barber will return for the next book.

Reviewed from a Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, HighBridge Audio!

Audio Book Details...
The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals by Jordan Stratford
Series: Book 3, The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency
Read by Nicola Barber
Produced by HighBridge Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 Hours, 50 Minutes
Release Date: January 2017
ISBN: 9781622314300

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: In a Blink

Are you a Disney fan? Are you a Disney fairy fan? The Never Girls series could be the series for you!

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Never Girls In a Blink by Kaki Thorpe
Characters from Disney's Tinker Bell movies are going about their lives in Never Land when human girls arrive. The four girls traveled in a blink. They have to stay in Pixie Hollow until a solution arrives to sent them back home.

It's a fine story that has a touch of suspense. There is a small cliff-hanger at the end. The book is categorized as an easy or early chapter book. There are currently two audiobook collections of the Never Girl series from Blackstone Audio / Each collection contains six titles in the series for a complete collection of twelve books.

I enjoyed listening to narrator Eileen Stevens. I did recall seeing / hearing some of the characters in the Tinker Bell movies. I thought she captured the Pixie Hollow fairies pretty well. The four girls have different personalities and Stevens gave each girl a slightly different voice. I would listen to Stevens again. I doubt I'll listen to the entire series. I am not passionate about Disney Fairies, just wanted to hear a taste of the series. They have been popular books at my library.

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

Audio Book Details...
In a Blink by Kiki Thorpe
Series: Book 1, The Never Girls series
Read by Eileen Stevens
Produced by Disney / Blackstone Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (11)
Total Time: 1 Hour, 27 minutes
Release Date: October 2016
ISBN: 9781504752831

Monday, March 13, 2017

Music Review: Kids in the City

Singer Laura Doherty is a new and old artist name for me. In addition to producing her own music, she is the director of the Wiggleworms program at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. At the library, we have a Wiggleworms CD and love it for storytime. I stumbled upon Doherty's "solo" albums while reading through librarian blogs. I wish I could remember which blog, but I can't recall. If I find it again, I'll try to tag the post!

Laura Doherty is crAdolescent Audio Adventures reviews Kids in the City CD by Laura Dohertyeative, mellow,Kids in the City is a great CD for family listening or listening in the car on a roadtrip. The CD case is out of cardboard with production notes and thanks printed on the inside. The back cover lists the songs on the disc. There are not printed lyrics included. I added my notes to the track list below. I italicized some of favorite songs on the album. I also added a star to song I think have storytime potential for me. Kids in the City also was named a Parent's Choice GOLD winner. I look forward to hearing more Doherty albums!
and fun. I think

Track List --
1. I Spy -- game song
2. Kitty Cat* -- an invitation to sing along with the hummingbird, bee, pigeon, dog,
3. Hot Dog* -- food song -- colors song -- I could see this done as a flannel board!
4. Uncle Ukulele's Band -- musical instruments -- ukulele, bass, banjo, guitar, mandolin
5. Rockin' at the Zoo -- animal song -- movement song -- lions, monkeys, seals, penguins, elephants
6. Farmer's Market -- food song
7. Hello Hippopotamus -- imaginative song -- animals acting like people around the city
8. Wheels in the City -- I spy song -- impressive list of wheels and a catchy tune
9. El Train* -- transportation song -- smooth song with an element of a freeze song (clickety, clackety, STOP) -- added tidbit at the end of colors (the blue line is connected to the green line, etc)
10. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head -- classic song
11. Uno Dos Tres* -- counting to ten in Spanish -- echo song -- I appreciated the slower speed of this  counting tune for better learning for littles.
12. Elevator Escalator* -- up and down song -- counting song (1-10 and count down at the end)
13. Sweet Home Chicago -- song originally by Robert Johnson, MPCA, LLC DBA King of Spades -- counting and alphabet song
14. Firefly -- lullaby song

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Kids in the City
Artist: Laura Doherty
Genre: Kindie / Family
Length: 34:24
Release Date: May 2009

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

A long title for a quick read!

Meet Perry, a 12-year-old who grew up in a minimal security prison in tiny, tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mother, Jessica is close to parole. They have dreams when they exit the gates. Their timeline is coming to a close. But Perry is forced to leave Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility without his mom and before the parole hearing. Something isn't right. Someone is turning their lives inside out. It's the new District Attorney.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook audiobook
I could not stop listening to this audiobook. It's up for an Audio Award this year and I can hear why it made the short-list for Middle Grade. Author Leslie Connor has written a story that grabs the reader and draws them into the world of Blue River. Perry's family turns into your family. The ups and downs, the joys and heartache become your own. You want to see everyone succeed! This is a story that after you hear it, you want to share it with everyone. You should hear this book!

Extra notes ... I want to hear more about the Blue River family! There are a couple curse/swear words in the story, but it is very minor. Other themes besides family and prison include friends, school, forgiveness, and truth.

Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney narrate All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. I was intrigued about having two narrators. It fits the story well. Most of the book is narrated by Perry (Michael Crouch) while Jessica (Kathleen McInerney) narrates a couple chapters here and there. It's Perry's story, but it's Jessica's too. Both voices are needed to share the history of the Cook family. They don't take away from each other, but build on each other to create depth of character and understanding. Crouch and McInerney sounded good together in the story. The characters are on the younger side (11 and 29), and both narrators gave very believable voices for each main character. The supporting characters were given vocal depth as well, so they could be distinguished from one another. It was fantastic! I would listen to this book again.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Read by Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney
Produced by Harper Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (8 parts)
Total Time: 9 hours, 41 minute
Release Date: March 2016
ISBN: 9780062448187

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Everything is Possible

Finding Faith & Courage to Follow Your Dreams

Jen Bricker, acrobat, aerialist, daughter, sister, and speaker, is a woman with a mission to succeed in life and praise the Lord. She strongly believes that God has an amazing plan for her and everyone in the world. We need to trust God and stay connected with Him. God will give His people unbelievable adventures.

Jen shares her story - good, bad, and everything in between. As she shares her life's struggles and victories, Jen encourages her readers. It's a very refreshing read. I would highly recommend Everything is Possible to readers who enjoy biographies, athleticism, and faith journeys.

Jen Bricker narrated her book which I really enjoyed. Her words were in her voice, which doesn't always happen in audiobooks. It was an enjoyable listen. One small note was at the very end of the book after information about how to contact her, she ends with, "Thank you." It felt so genuine and the perfect way to end her story.

Thank you, Jen Bricker for sharing your story and your faith!

I received this audiobook for free from christianaudio for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker
Read by Jen Bricker
Produced by Mission Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (14 parts)
Total Time: 3 hours, 47 minute
Release Date: September 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale

Author Liz Braswell returns with book two in the Twisted Tales series. Book two, Once Upon a Dream tackles the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Just like book one, A Whole New World, the tell is a dark story. The tag line from the cover reads, "What if the Sleeping Beauty never woke up?"

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Once Upon a Dream a Twisted Tale
Maleficent is in control of Aurora's dream world. Aurora's dreams are gray and confusing without much love or sunlight. The tale picks up when Phillip pierces the dragon's heart and runs to wake up Aurora except the sleeping power of the castle overcomes Phillip before he can kiss Aurora. The reader is transported to Aurora's dream.

Familiar Disney characters appear in the story - Aurora Rose, Prince Phillip, Maleficent, Maleficent's minions, Aurora's parents, Phillip's father, and the three good fairies. New characters are also introduced into the tale as well.

Disney's Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney movies. I was very intrigued to hear this story and how Braswell would twist this tale. She gave the characters added depth compared to the movie. The story is very dark with some bloody scenes. I was rather relieved to finally finish the audiobook. It was a bit lengthy for me and dark magic wasn't enjoyable. (Compared to book one, book two is just over an hour longer.) I would definitely place this story in the young adult / teen section of the library. There is a hint of romance, but it focuses more on individual growth versus relationship growth.

James Patrick Cronin returns to narrate Once Upon a Dream. His reading was enjoyable. I recognized his voice from book one, but I never felt that the character voices overlapped between the books. Which is great, since each story is a solo book in the series. The ladies voices were believable. Blackstone Audio added intro and exit music.

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

Audio Book Details...
Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
Read by James Patrick Cronin
Produced by Blackstone Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (37 parts)
Total Time: 9 hours, 42 minutes
Release Date: October 2016
ISBN: 9781504751346

Friday, February 10, 2017

Armchair Audies 2017

The Audies are awards given by the Audio Publishers Association, or the APA. Audiobooks from 26 different categories are narrowed down to a short list of finalists. The finalists were announced in February and the winners will be announced at the Gala in June. The Armchair Audies are audiobook enthusiasts who listen to the finalists in each category and cast a vote for the winner.
I want to listen to the Young Listeners and Middle Grade finalists. My goal is to listen to as many titles as I can find through the library system. If there is a generous publisher, author, narrator, or friend who has a spare copy to share, let me know!

The titles for each category are listed below. I hope to link my reviews to each of these titles. If I am unable to find a copy, I will share that as well. I'm looking forward to hearing some great audiobooks for young listeners!

2017 Audie Award Finalists for Middle Grade:
  • All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, narrated by Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney, published by HarperAudio 
  • Demon Dentist by David Walliams, narrated by David Walliams, Jocelyn Jee Esien, and Nitin Ganatra, published by HarperAudio 
  • The Enchanted Files: Hatched by Bruce Coville, narrated by a full cast, published by Listening Library 
  • How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell, narrated by David Tennant, published by Hachette Audio 
  • The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, narrated by Adam Gidwitz and various, published by Listening Library

2017 Audie Award Finalists for Young Listeners:

  • 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr., narrated by a full cast, published by Live Oak Media 
  • Island Treasures: Growing up in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada, narrated by Trini Alvarado, published by Recorded Books 
  • The Quentin Blake and John Yeoman Collection by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman, narrated by Stephen Thorne, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd 
  • The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter, narrated by Helen Mirren, published by Listening Library 
  • Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, narrated by Janina Edwards, published by Dreamscape Media, LLC 
  • The Wooden Prince: Out of Abaton by John Claude Bemis, narrated by Ralph Lister, published by Oasis Audio

Want to join the audiobook fun of the Audies? Visit Armchair Audies and sign-up to judge a category! You can also follow these audiobook awards on Twitter with hashtags #ArchairAudies and #Audies2017. Happy listening, friends!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Audies 2017

Today was the day the Audio Publishers Association announced this year's Audie Award Finalists! It's an exciting day for publishers, writers, narrators, and audiobook lovers. The Audies are called the Oscars of audiobooks. This year's hashtag is #Audies2017. The winners will be announced during the Gala in New York on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Adolescent Audio Adventures primarily focuses on listens for younger readers. Here are the nominations for Young Listeners, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. For a complete listing of the 2017 Audie Award Finalists, check out the AudioFile Magazine press release.

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