P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams-Garcia’s sequel to her Coretta Scott King award-winning One Crazy Summer, offers offering insight into the African-American experience of the 1960s as seen through a young girl’s eyes. Sisi Aisha Johnson’s narration of the audiobook is spot-on. Check out the starred review.
In Janie Face to Face, Caroline B. Cooney wraps up her popular thriller romance series that debuted more than 20 years ago about a young girl who discovers her face on a milk carton, setting in motion a series of rollercoaster events that affected many lives. Read the review of the audiobook narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan.
Darius and Twig both dream of leaving their poor neighborhood for better and safer lives. Narrator Brandon Gill does a great job differentiating between the two boys as they make their way through the obstacles set before them. Be sure to read the review of the audiobook version of Walter Dean Myers’s novel.
Sophia’s War. By Avi. 6 cassettes or 6 CDs. 7:15 hrs. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4703-2043-0, CD: ISBN 978-1-4703-2042-3. $66.75.
Gr 5-9–Set in 1776 during the American Revolution when New York was under siege by the British, Avi’s tale (S & S/Beach Lane Books, 2012) of resistance features an amazing female protagonist, trials aplenty as she tries to avenge her brother’s death, and a little romance thrown in for good measure. Sophia’s family believes in freedom and desperately wants America [...]
Balloons Over Broadway: The Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. By Melissa Sweet. cassette or CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-4703-2922-8, CD: ISBN 978-1-4703-2921-1. $15.75; hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-5471-9945-9: $16.99.
K-Gr 3–The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a holiday tradition. But where did those big balloons begin? With puppeteer Tony Sarg, of course! The informative, enthusiastic text of Sweet’s Robert F. Siebert Medal picture-book biography (Houghton Mifflin, 2011) tells a little about Sarg’s life and his career [...]
Anna Hibiscus. By Atinuke. cassette or CD. 1 hr. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4618-3465-6, CD: ISBN 978-1-4618-3466-3. $15.75.
Gr 1-3–With this introductory phrase, “Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa,” we are introduced to the many facets of an African child’s daily life with her close-knit family. The culture, land, and people of Africa come shining through in Atinuke’s absolutely delightful stories (Walker, 2007) in this early chapter book. Four vignettes focusing on the child’s life with her large, noisy, [...]
Splendors & Glooms. By Laura Amy Schlitz. 10 cassettes or 10 CDs. 12 hrs. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4498-3568-2, CD: ISBN 978-1-4498-3572-9. $108.75
Gr 4-8–Set in a Dickensian London, Davina Porter is the perfect narrator to capture the nuances of the characters and the time period in Schlitz’s exceptional Victorian fantasy (Candlewick, 2012). Listeners will ache for the orphan children, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, when they come up with money after pawning a watch. Should they have a proper meal [...]
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. By Lee Wardlaw. cassette or CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4640-4565-3, CD: ISBN 978-1-4640-4571-4: $15.75; hardcover book, ISBN 978-1-8050-8995-0: $16.99.
Gr 1-4–A cat sits in a shelter. There are other cats around him, yet he is alone. Will anyone choose him? Yes! But adjustments must be made…mostly by his new owners because, after all, he IS a cat. Wardlaw’s book (Holt, 2011) strikes just the right notes. Written in clever [...]
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. [...]