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April/May 2012

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Children & Family Listening HOW TO ROCK BRACES AND GLASSES Meg Haston Read by Casey Holloway Middle schooler Kacey Simon has everything she wants: popularity, her own weekly advice show, and the lead in the school musical. But when a series of misfortunes forces her to get braces and glasses, she begins to lose it all. Casey Holloway nar- rates with a spark that helps listeners understand why people are drawn to Kacey, even when she schemes and pushes away the friends she should keep close. Holloway adds her lovely singing voice when Kacey befriends the new kid in town and joins his band in an effort to regain her popularity. Listeners will root for Kacey as she develops self- awareness and learns what true friendship is worth. A.F. Hachette Audio 6.5 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: DD AudioGO Library Ed.: CD (also PRE ) ISBN 9781611130140 $18.98 ISBN 9781611131215 $74.99 THE GLORIOUS ADVENTURES OF THE SUNSHINE QUEEN Geraldine McCaughrean Read by Lorna Raver Lorna Raver gives a warmly avun- cular performance of Geraldine McCaughrean's novel, redolent of 1800s Americana. The large and lively cast of good-hearted characters (and some memorable baddies) embarks on improbable adventures on a derelict steamship drifting down the Missouri River. Raver doesn't miss an oppor- tunity to enhance the book's humor—and there's plenty of it, in the wacky situations the Sunshine Queen's crew members get themselves into and the wild schemes they concoct, and in McCaughrean's trademark clever word- play. Raver does a funny, flawless 14-year-old troublemaker of a boy, and even if such a large cast means that the voices aren't always as differentiated as they could be, i t hardly mat ters. Listeners will have great fun. J.M.D. Listening Library 8.25 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: DD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780307746740 $18.00 ISBN 9780307746757 $50.00 (also DD ) ONE DOG AND HIS BOY Eva Ibbotson Read by Steve West All 10-year-old Hal has ever wanted is a dog of his own. Instead, he receives the latest technological gadgets and items selected for him by expensive personal shoppers. Finally, his parents give in and go to Easy Pets to rent a dog for the week- end. Narrator Steve West beautifully portrays warm and wise Hal, including his excruciating pain when he realizes that his canine companion is only tem- porary. Also well rendered are Hal's wealthy yet oblivious parents, his sweet and loving grandparents, and the multi- tude of people he meets in his quest to rejoin his precious dog. Young listeners will learn much about dogs, the distinc- tions between breeds, and how to care for their beloved friends. S.G.B. Scholastic Audiobooks 7.5 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780545397117 $29.99 ISBN 9780545397124 $49.99 MIMI John Newman Read by Justine Eyre JEREMY BENDER VS. THE CUPCAKE CADETS Eric Luper Read by Lincoln Hoppe Sixth-grader Jeremy Bender knows life will never be the same if he doesn't come up with the money to repair the damages he made to his family's antique motor- boat. So he enlists the support of his best friend, Slater, and devises a plan to win $500 by entering the Windjammer Whirl model sailboat race. Unfortunately, the contest is only open to the Cupcake Cadets, an all-girls group. Lincoln Hoppe creates hilarious girlish voices for Jeremy and Slater as they pose as girls and join the troop. His portrayals of the other characters—from Jeremy's older sister to the middle school bully and the outrageous troop leader—are also spot-on. Young listeners will enjoy this funny story with some serious implications. S.G. Listening Library 6.25 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780307941886 $28.00 (also DD ISBN 9780307941909 $28.00 ) Just ine Eyre portrays a family in turmoil, focusing on the grade-school- age protagonist, Mimi. After the death of her mother, her after-school life is divided among her loving Irish family members while her despairing father stays at home and burns the dinner. Mimi delves into her sister's diary, tries to block out her brother's constant drumming, endures schoolyard bully- ing over her Chinese ethnicity, and regularly skips her homework until her dot ing teacher disappears qui te suddenly on maternity leave. Eyre gives Mimi a compelling voice, rich with angst and humor and growing under- standing. Eyre's renditions of Mimi's panicky father and her pregnant teacher are hilarious, and her switches f rom sadness to levi ty are wel l balanced. Equally well portrayed are Mimi's siblings and friends, along with her Irish family members—with their charming lilts. D.P.D. Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick 4 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: CD Hoppe's characters are spot-on. 26 s AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com (also MP3, DD Library Ed.: CD (also MP3 ) ISBN 9781455820443 $19.99 ) ISBN 9781455820450 $49.97

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