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September 1, 2015

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Folklore and fantasy thrive in “Midwinterblood”| Audio Pick

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midwinterbloodSedgwick, Marcus. Midwinterblood. 5 CDs. 5:49 hrs. Listening Library. 2014. $45. ISBN 9780553552133. digital download.
Gr 9 Up–Midwinterblood is comprised of seven vignettes, with settings ranging from the future to Viking times and a variety of characters, including vampires, ghosts, and humans. Common to all the stories is the Scandinavian island, Blessed; a mysterious dragon orchid; and Eric and Merle, who play different roles in each story. This unusual book for teens (many of the stories feature adult characters only) goes backwards in time, beginning with a story that takes place in 2073. While each narrative could stand alone, combining them into one volume with the barest threads of connections (similar to Olive Kitteridge or Let the Great World Spin) makes the book noteworthy. The audiobook is expertly narrated by British actor Julian Rhind-Tutt, whose hushed English voice is perfect for the recording. Sedgwick’s sparse prose is beautifully read with a haunting, dreamlike quality that lets listeners experience the horror, mystery, romance, and tragedy that abounds in the book. Melancholy yet lovely music briefly separates the vignettes.–Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC

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