April/May 2012

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Children & Family Listening THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson Read by MacLeod Andrews MacLeod Andrews's narrative voice is soft and almost hypnotic at times as two teens discover that the stories in their classic Starcatchers books aren't stories at all—they're real. Andrews's tone provides periodic breaks from dialogue that oscillates between excitement and anxiety as teen siblings Aidan and Sarah follow clues they find in a secret compartment. Modern technology influences their journey in interesting ways as they try to escape an amorphous evil. As their wild flight eventually lands Sarah in Peter Pan's Never Land, Andrews rises to the challenge of re-creating well-known characters like Captain Hook, giving them recogniza- ble voices while still delivering fresh performances. He fully develops every voice; even characters with the smallest appearance make an impression. A.M.P. Brilliance Audio 11 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD (also MP3 Library Ed.: CD (also MP3 , DD ) FLYAWAY Lucy Christopher Read by Harriet Carmichael Isla has a love of birds. One day, when she and her father are watching their beloved flock of swans, he has a heart attack. As Isla struggles with her father's illness and the changes in her life, she meets a young man who is awaiting a bone marrow transplant and encounters a lost swan. Everywhere she looks, Isla wants to help. Narrator Harriet Carmichael is sublime as she portrays parents, siblings (and their rivalry), and an array of school friends and teachers. Each rendering adds to the outstanding dialogue and well-drawn characters. Listeners will find these moving situa- tions and characters compelling. S.G.B. Recorded Books 7.5 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Library Ed.: CD (also CS , MP3 ISBN 9781449812454 $66.75 , DD ) SOUND CLIPS Scan these QR codes with your smartphone to hear sound samples TRUE (. . . SORT OF) Katherine Hannigan Read by Danielle Ferland Danielle Ferland reads Hannigan's debut novel in a sweet voice with grav- elly undertones. Her style matches the bittersweet aspects of the story perfectly and highlights its contrasting elements. Eleven-year-old Delly has a long history of causing trouble, and just about the whole town has had enough. For listeners, Delly's troubles and her stories of freeing chickens and stealing brown- ies are highly entertaining. But under threat of expulsion from school, Delly tries to reform herself and in the process befriends a strange new girl. Ferris doesn't speak and doesn't like to be touched. Ferland's pacing and pitch are as l ively as the story, and she switches from comedy to heartbreak with perfection as Delly discovers what's behind Ferris's silence. A.M.P. Harper Audio 6.75 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: DD Recorded Books Library Ed.: CD (also CS , MP3 , PRE ) April/May 2012 s 27 ISBN 9780062111289 $18.99 ISBN 9781461817963 $66.75 THE ROD CLEMENT COLLECTION Rod Clement Read by Dino Marnika, Rebecca Macauley The Australian author's gift for wacky humor will have kids all over the world laughing over this collection of stories. Dino Marnika's and Rebecca Macauley's narrations—whether solo or blended— add to the fun. Macauley's cadences, for example, excel in the silly rhyming story of Edwina, an emu who's seeking employment rather than mothering her 12 babes. Marnika's sarcasm colors the story of a thoughtful boy whose home experiments, such as calculating how many humpback whales would fit in his bedroom, are great giggle material. A duet of both narrators' voices creates silly animal caricatures when Olga the Brolga (an Australian crane) tries to find a dancing partner. Short musical inter- ludes add to the stories' moods—from frolicking to suspenseful. S.W. Bolinda Audio 30 mins. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: DD $9.78 ISBN 9781455828043 $29.99 ) ISBN 9781455828050 $69.97 THE SON OF NEPTUNE: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 2 Rick Riordan Read by Joshua Swanson Exit the Greek pantheon of gods and Camp Half-Blood. Enter the Roman pantheon and Camp Jupiter. In Rick Riordan's second series about demigod Percy Jackson, Percy teams up with new pals Frank and Hazel and embarks upon new quests, not the least of which is releasing Death from the world of giants. Unflappable Joshua Swanson narrates with aplomb. His brisk delivery moves the fast-paced adventure along. In delivering the dialogue, he distinguishes each of the three main characters and gives unique voices to the myriad of supporting ones. Swanson's matter-of-fact and speedy treatment of Riordan's humor, word- play, and cultural juxtaposition brings such delight that one wants to replay each one to enjoy again. Such an engaging recording! A.R. Listening Library 13.5 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780307916815 $50.00 (also DD ISBN 9780307916839 $50.00 , PRE ) Swanson narrates with aplomb . . . replay each one to enjoy again.

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