The Taken

6 CDs. 6:24 hrs. Scholastic Audiobooks. 2015. $34.99. ISBN 9780545881630.
Gr 3–6—Isla has led a sheltered life in her fox's den surrounded by her loving family. Her life changes in a moment when she comes home to find her home in flames, her family gone, and strange foxes surrounding her home. The girl sets out on a dangerous journey dodging humans, dogs, and enemy foxes. Along the way she meets another fox she reluctantly begins to trust, but she senses he is not telling her everything he knows about her family's disappearance or why the elders are interested in finding her brother. The story starts off slowly as Isla spends the first few days wandering aimlessly, but it starts to pick up when she joins forces with the other fox, who teaches her the magical art of foxcraft. Narrator Stephanie Drake captures Isla's childish spirit, which occasionally has the unfortunate effect of alienating listeners when Isla displays a lack of common sense.
VERDICT Fans of the author's "Erin Hunter Survivors" series (HarperCollins) will enjoy. ["A solid contribution to anthropomorphized animal stories, though not completely original in concept": SLJ 8/15 review of the Scholastic book.]—Elizabeth Elsbree, Krug Elementary School, Aurora, IL

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