January 22, 2018

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SLJ Audio Reviews

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The Best Bear in All the World by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis & Kate Saunders | SLJ Audio Review

BRIGHT, Paul, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, & Kate Saunders. The Best Bear in All the World. 2 CDs. 1:37 hrs. Listening Library. Oct. 2016. $22. ISBN 9780735287655. digital download

Gr 2-5 – Four seasons bring new adventures and curiosities to Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and friends. From Eeyore seeing another donkey to Piglet and Pooh meeting a dragon, the tales will delight, inspire, and encourage imagination. Narrator Martin Jarvis’s voice is ideal for bringing to life each of the Hundred […]

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown | SLJ Audio Review

BROWN, Skila. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party. 3 CDs. 3:51 hrs. Brilliance. Oct. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781522656296. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –For 19-year-old Mary Ann Graves, and her family, the journey from Illinois to California in 1846 meant an arduous walk through mountains and deserts, alongside livestock and wagons. Following Graves’s actual reports, the chapters of this novel, which is based on actual events, relate the party’s day-to-day struggles […]

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio | SLJ Audio Review

DIPUCCHIO, Kelly. Grace for President. 1 CD w tr book. 25 min. Weston Woods. Oct. 2016. $29.95. ISBN 9781338090239.

PreS-Gr 3 –The 2016 presidential race—featuring the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party—gives Kelly DiPucchio’s picture book, originally published in 2008, even greater relevance. Grace is an elementary school student who is appalled to learn that there has never been a female American president. Her interest in becoming the first leads to a school election with Grace […]

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | SLJ Audio Review

STEVENSON, Noelle. Nimona. 2:17 hrs. HarperAudio. Oct. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9780062562807. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –Imagine a future where technology meets medieval studies mashed with a bit of supernatural and government conspiracy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is determined to expose the despicable activities of the Institute of Law Enforcement, which is led by his former best friend, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin. Such a large undertaking requires not just any sidekick. Enter Nimona, a quick-witted, hilarious teen shape-shifter who has a […]

Yellow by Megan Jacobson | SLJ Audio Review

JACOBSON, Megan. Yellow. 1 MP3-CD. 7:06 hrs. Brilliance. Jul. 2016. $9.99. ISBN 9781522642121.

Gr 9 Up –Fourteen-year-old Kirra Barley’s life is spiraling out of control. She’s bullied by girls at school who claim to be her friends, her father has left home to live with another woman, and her mother’s drinking is worse than it has ever been. Unhappy and alone, Kirra answers a ringing pay phone at the beach in her coastal Australian town, and the ghost of […]

My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter | SLJ Audio Review

WALTER, Jon. My Name Is Not Friday. 9:56 hrs. Scholastic Audio. Jan. 2016. $19.50. ISBN 9780545911061. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –Samuel, almost 13, and his younger brother Joshua are orphans but born free and growing up educated. During the Civil War’s final year, Samuel takes the blame for mischief that he’s convinced that Joshua committed, and finds himself betrayed by the priest who has raised him. He’s stripped of everything familiar and renamed Friday—for the day he’s auctioned […]

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | SLJ Audio Review

Kletter, Kerry. The First Time She Drowned. 8 CDs. 10:19 hrs. Listening Library. Mar. 2016. $50. ISBN 9780399567933. digital download. 

Gr 9 Up –Eighteen-year-old Cassie is facing the world for the first time since checking herself out of the mental institution where she has spent two and a half years. She agrees to attend her mother’s alma mater and try to make a fresh start, but illness and the pressures of social engagement prove too much for her, […]

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart | SLJ Audio Review

Gephart, Donna. Lily and Dunkin. 7 CDs. 8 hrs. 48 min. Listening Library. May 2016. $45. ISBN 9780451481962. digital download. 

Gr 5-8 –Lily and Dunkin have a chance meeting just before entering eighth grade and sense an immediate connection; both harbor deep secrets. Gephart expertly weaves the characters’ separate but similar struggles with school, family, and society with concurrent narratives. Lily was assigned male at birth but has always felt she is a girl; she’s pressuring her family to […]

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick | SLJ Audio Review

Mattick, Lindsay. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. 1 CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. Apr. 2016. $15.75. ISBN 9781501923593. digital download.

K-Gr 3 –This story of the bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh is sure to find a home in the hearts of listeners worldwide. Mattick’s great-grandfather, Harry Colebourn, was a veterinarian who cared for horses in the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade during World War I. While traveling east by train across Canada from […]

Pax by Sara Pennypacker | SLJ Audio Review

PENNYPACKER, Sara. Pax. 5 CDs. 5:35 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2016. $25.99. ISBN 9780062443960. digital download. 

Gr 4-7 –Somewhere close, sometime soon, war is coming. Twelve-year-old Peter and his fox, Pax, are forced apart by a father whose noble intentions have devastating results. When Peter’s father enlists in the military, he pressures Peter to return Pax to the wild, while Peter is sent 300 miles away to live with his grandfather. Almost immediately, Peter realizes his grave mistake and […]

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry | SLJ Audio Review

Berry, Julie. The Passion of Dolssa. 10 CDs. 11:43 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $60. ISBN 9780147525819. digital download. 

Gr 7 Up –This magnificent tale is set in post-Crusades 13th-century France. A pious young noblewoman blessed with the gift of healing, Dolssa de Stigata is judged a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church and sentenced to burn at the stake. Forced to watch her beloved mother burn first, Dolssa is surprised when someone cuts the ropes binding […]

28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. | SLJ Audio Review

Smith, Charles R., Jr. 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World. 1 CD w/Tr book. 68:45 min. Live Oak. Jan. 2016. $31.95. ISBN 9781430120247. 

Gr 2-5 –Each of the 28 entries in this excellent work, written to be used during Black History Month, highlights the achievements of an African American man or woman, or the details of a court decision or historical event, the effects of which are still felt today. Vibrant poetry begins many of […]

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin | SLJ Audio Review

GARVIN, Jeff. Symptoms of Being Human. ­­7 CDs. 7:47 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2016. $21.99. ISBN 9780062447258. digital download. 

Gr 9 Up –“The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?” Keep wondering: Riley Cavanaugh isn’t answering. Riley is gender-fluid, information only Riley’s psychiatrist is privy to while Riley’s conservative congressman father and teacher mother remain clueless. Between medications and therapy, Riley is struggling to just live life. […]

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez | SLJ Audio Review

Pérez, Ashley Hope. Out of Darkness. 10 CDs. 12:32 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $65. ISBN 9780735289475. digital download. 

Gr 9 Up –The 1937 school explosion in New London, TX, remains the deadliest school disaster in U.S. history. With that real-life tragedy as a starting point, Pérez adds greater volatility with race, class, and family dysfunction, by introducing a love story between two teens from different worlds in a tiny community where nothing remains hidden for long. Mexican […]

The Haters by Jesse Andrews | SLJ Audio Reviews

Andrews, Jesse. The Haters. 7 CDs. 8:37 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $45. ISBN 9780735209466. digital download. 

Gr 10 Up –Sixteen-year-old Wes and Corey go to jazz camp and immediately hate it. After teaming up with a fellow hater, 19-year-old Ash, the teens decide to run away from camp, form a band, and go on tour. Romantic entanglements, comical misadventures, and even some music making ensue in this rollicking ramble. The humor ranges from raunchy to uproarious to […]

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang | SLJ Audio Review

Kang, Anna. You Are (Not) Small. 1 CD w tr book. 21 min. Weston Woods. Jan. 2016. $29.95. ISBN 9780545936644. 

PreS-Gr 1 –Winner of the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, this delightful book is joyfully performed by Christopher Weyant, Michael Crouch, and Emily Eiden. Two furry critters are having it out as they try to describe each other. The tall one says the other is small. The small one insists he isn’t small, the other is big. […]

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly | SLJ Audio Review

KELLY, Erin Entrada. The Land of Forgotten Girls. ­­4 CDs. 5:02 hrs. HarperAudio. Mar. 2016. $49.99. ISBN 9781504696111. digital download.  

Gr 3-6 –Once upon a time, Soledad had two sisters and two loving parents. But tragedy can happen to anyone at any time, and suddenly, Sol and her younger sister, Ming, are transplanted to the other side of the world in a run-down apartment in Louisiana, abandoned by their desperate father and left in the (so-called) care […]

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo | SLJ Audio Review

DICAMILLO, Kate. Raymie Nightingale. ­­4 CDs 4:25 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $30. ISBN 9781101917435. digital download. 

Gr 4-7 –Before they became the Three Rancheros, the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition brought Raymie Clarke, Louisiana Elefante, and Beverly Tapinski together—each for wildly different reasons. Raymie is convinced that when her philandering father, who’s run off with the dental hygienist, sees a picture of her in the newspaper wearing the winning crown and sash, he will surely […]

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd | SLJ AUDIO Review

LLOYD, Natalie. . ­­4 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Scholastic. Feb. 2016. $29.99. ISBN 9780545910316. digital download. 

Gr 3-6 –Emma Casey, her brother Topher, and their Granny Blue call the Boneyard Café home. On weekends, Emma conducts tours of the haunted graveyard next door, while Topher warms visitors with his irresistible peach-lavender muffins and famous Boneyard Brew (aka hot chocolate). When their cozy haven is threatened by a greedy developer, Emma channels her late mother’s promise that the women in […]

Most Dangerous: ­Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin | SLJ Audio Review

SHEINKIN, Steve. Most Dangerous: ­Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. 7 CDs. 7:52 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $45. ISBN 9780553552775. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –Here Sheinkin tells the story of activist and military analyst Daniel Ellsberg and the famous Pentagon Papers, which were written while the United States was still fighting the war in Vietnam. The top-secret study revealed the many subterfuges used over the course of four presidencies to prolong the war […]