April 23, 2014

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Pick of the Day: About Average (CD)

star Pick of the Day: About Average (CD)51a5sRLXQnL. SL500 AA300 PIaudibleBottomRight1373 AA300  Pick of the Day: About Average (CD)About Average. By Andrew Clements. 2 cassettes or 2 CDs. 2 hrs. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4703-0081-4, CD: ISBN 978-1-4703-0082-1. $25.75.
Gr 3-6–Jordan understands that it’s hard being average. Everyone around her seems to have a shining talent, or even two or three—but not Jordan. She realistically examines herself and recognizes her ordinariness. She is a C student and has average looks, but she hopes that her enthusiasm will make up for a lack of talent in sports and music. It’s a little depressing. Jordan is good at babysitting and organizing. She wins a haiku contest. She’s even good at coming up with a plan to deal with a bully. Still, none of that is going to win her accolades. Besides, she’s just trying to make it through to the end of sixth grade, as oppressive heat and sauna humidity melt the students into puddles of inactivity. However, when disaster strikes, it is average, cool-headed Jordan who comes up with a plan to save lives. Andrew Clements’s winning book (Atheneum, 2012) is read by Celia Keenan-Bolger in a young, sympathetic voice that draws listeners into Jordan’s all-too-ordinary life. Yet listeners also catch hints of Jordan’s strengths that she fails to recognize, offering hope to adolescents who are often too hard on themselves. The pacing is perfect and the narrator’s creation of unique character voices brings the story to life. This exceptional production will have listeners smiling and rooting for the girl who doesn’t realize how extraordinary “average” can be.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA