Saving Montgomery Sole

5 CDs. 5:56 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $35. ISBN 9780399566004. Digital download.
Gr 7 Up—Raised by two moms, Montgomery Sole and her sister, Tesla, are square pegs trying to fit in a round hole of a town. Montgomery loves unexplained, supernatural, and mythical mysteries. The same day an ultraconservative preacher moves into town, she orders a necklace called the "Eye of Know" that claims to give the wearer mystical knowledge. As the preacher spreads his word, Montgomery feels like her fellow students are attacking her family's way of life. Soon, as she wears the necklace, bad things start happening to the people who anger her. Does the "Eye of Know" really have mystical powers? Narrator Rebecca Lowman's voice is a bit monotone in places, but she uses distinct voices that will help listeners tell the characters apart easily. Lowman deftly captures the story's mature issues and transitions well between internal and external dialogue. Unfortunately, the characters are one-dimensional and have slightly unrealistic motives, but redeem themselves in the end.
VERDICT Readers interested in LGBT issues and school stories will appreciate the author's approach to the subject and will be more willing to see past the work's shortfalls. Recommended for additional purchase. ["While the themes are mature, the writing and characters are accessible for younger middle school readers; this would make a strong addition to most school or public library YA collections": SLJ 12/15 review of the Roaring Brook book.]

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