With another school year on the horizon, the focus of August’s Listen In column is on the relationships that children and teens make—with other kids and with adults—to help them navigate the stormy waters of growing up. The ten audiobooks featured are excellent for group listening and for generating discussions about what’s happening to the young people in the stories, from the poignant depiction of friendship in The Other Side to the real drama wrought by abuse in Eleanor and Park.
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. [...]