Just Under the Clouds

4 CDs. 5:03 hrs. Listening Library. Jun. 2018. $38. ISBN 9780525595533. digital download.
Gr 3–7—Cora, her mother, and her younger developmentally disabled sister Adare have been on their own for awhile now, ever since the death of Cora and Adare's father. They've moved from their apartment to a homeless shelter and then to a dirty and unsafe placement. After seeing the placement, they move in temporarily with Mom's childhood friend Willa, who has an elegant apartment in New York City. Cora can finally focus on friendship, figuring out math, and climbing trees. But this housing situation can't last; Willa wants to determine what is best for the family, particularly for Adare. The narrator, Monika Felice Smith, works hard, but is only partially successful in voicing the book's characters. Cora's persona is well developed, but Adare has an annoyingly childish and sing-song voice that doesn't often match the words she is speaking.
VERDICT A story rarely covered for intermediate readers that ultimately offers hope to those in a very difficult situation, as well as ample opportunity for other listeners to consider what life in such dire straits would be like.

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