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  • gilwilson 6:02 PM on April 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: katherine kellgren, raised by wolves, , YA,   

    “The Mysterious Howling: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1” By Maryrose Wood 

    The Mysterious Howling8705117
    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1
    By: Maryrose Wood
    Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
    Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
    Release date: 02-23-10
    Publisher: HarperAudio

    Sometimes I have to say that kids get the best books written for them. This is one of those cases. “The Mysterious Howling” is book one in a young adult series fo books that follows the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, much like the Lemony Snicket books about the Baudelaire orphans. I will say Lemony Snicket was funnier, but this one was still good in it’s own right.

    Three children who were discovered in the forests of Ashton Place have been raised by wolves, so needless to say their manners in proper company will be atrocious. They are and that’s one of the many factors that makes this book funny and fun. The governess has a task ahead of her in training/teaching the children how to behave in society. The children’s antics and the adults’ responses to their behaviour make this an audiobook that just keeps getting better as the end arrives.

    This book is read by the late Katherine Kellgren. Ms. Kellgren delivers this book with so much character that you can’t help but listen. Accents, emotions and subtle meanings are all translated by Kellgren to bring you a great book. I’m hoping they got her to record the other books in the series before she passed away this past January. She will be missed.

    It’s great that the first book in a series develops so much interest that I absolutely have to pick up the next book so, I will.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: “They must have been raised by wolves.” The Incorrigible children actually were. Discovered in the forests of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

    Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

    Penelope is no stranger to mystery, as her own origins are also cloaked in secrecy. But as Agatha Swanburne herself once said, “Things may happen for a reason, but that doesn’t mean we know what the reason is—at least, not yet.

    ©2010 Maryrose Wood (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

  • gilwilson 5:57 PM on April 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: YA, ,   

    “The Strange Library” By Haruki Murakami 

    The Strange Library23128415
    By: Haruki Murakami, Ted Goossen (translator)
    Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
    Length: 1 hr and 1 min
    Release date: 12-02-14
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Where to start? This book was amazing in that its twists and turns were as much as the labyrinth under the strange library. It’s dark at times and clearly a young adult piece of fiction on others. Each chapter brings a new surprise.

    The narrator, Kirby Heyborne, kept me interested throughout the book. There were times where I didn’t know (or even care) where the story was going and would have given up listening, but the delivery of Heyborne kept me in it. I’m glad I stuck with it because by the end of the book I felt a great sense of accomplishment and enjoyed the story as a whole, once I could look back from the end and absorb it all in. It is only 1 hour after all, so worth the stay.

    A boy goes to the public library to look up some information on Ottoman taxes, after all, his mother always said, “If you don’t know something, go to the library to look it up”. He is no stranger to the library and pretty much knows every shelf, but on this occasion, he’s sent to a reading room, via an enormous underground labyrinth, escorted by a sinister old man. He is required to memorize 3 books on the taxes subject he came in for, if he doesn’t then the mystery librarian will feast on the boy’s brains. On the way to Room 107 (where the memorizing is done) it’s not just the corridors that twist and turn, the boy tries to overcome his fears by rationalizing the improbability of a public body being able to afford so much secret space. Without spoiling anything, I will say the sheep man was very interesting.

    At times it seems like a Roald Dahl story, sometimes a Stephen King story. No matter what it just feels good to get through the whole story.

    From what I’ve found the physical book itself is as interesting as the story. The back cover folds over the top and bottom of the book, creating a slip-case like box out of the book itself, and each page corresponds to a full-color image that reflects the current actions of the story. These illustrations create a multi-media experience that drives the book along and returns the reader to their childhood of being just as drawn in by the pictures as the story.

    Publisher’s Summary

    From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami – a fantastical short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

    A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination.

    ©2014 Haruki Murakami (P)2014 Random House

  • gilwilson 5:35 PM on March 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , giants, , YA,   

    The BFG By: Roald Dahl 

    The BFG17415176
    By: Roald Dahl
    Narrated by: David Walliams
    Length: 4 hrs and 25 mins
    Release date: 06-24-13
    Publisher: Listening Library

    To start things off let’s get one thing clear; The BFG is not the name of a weapon in a video game. The BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant. This book was extremely fun to read. The language is pretty much a cross between cockney English and nonsense. Roald Dahl was great at playing with the sounds of words here we get such words as chiddlers, swollomp, whizbangs and so much more. The play on words just makes this so much more fun to hear.

    Narrated by David Williams this audiobook version will definitely keep you entertained. There is no voice to large or too small for him to convey. He also puts some great accents on some voices that make them just fun to listen to.

    You’ll cheer for Sophie and the BFG as they keep London safe from other giants that eat little chiddlers. This book reminded me a lot of “Willie Wonka and the Cocolate Factory.” In Willie Wonka it was the candies and strange animals that had the funny sounding names, here nearly everything described by the giant is a new word which you will have fun translating.

    If you are looking for 4 hours of pure fun, this is the book for you. Follow Sophie as she is kidnapped through her bedroom window and meets with the Queen of England through the Queen’s bedroom window.


    Publisher’s Summary

    Captured by a giant!

    The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants – rather than the BFG – she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

    ©1982 Roald Dahl (P)2013 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 4:36 PM on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , YA, , , young sherlock homes   

    Death Cloud – Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins By: Andrew Lane 

    Death Cloud – Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins63128
    By: Andrew Lane
    Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
    Series: Holmes: The Legend Begins, Book 1
    Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
    Release date: 02-01-11
    Publisher: Macmillan Audio

    So once again I venture into the YA world of literature. This time, however, I go knowing what to expect. I love the Sherlock Holmes stories. So picking this up, I say yeah, why not, get those kids reading Sherlock stories. Get them into the classics. The best way to do so is to make Sherlock their age, an origin story, if you will.

    This definitely could get someone’s interest piqued toward exploring the Arthur Conan Doyle world of the master detective. However this was not without its flaws. First and foremost I have to approach the violence. Not for being a YA novel was the violence too much but just the fact that it was present. I’ve always looked at Holmes in much the same way as Doctor Who, and Star Trek, in that violence was an extremely last resort, but this book has Holmes being trained by an American on how to be more violent. It really didn’t ruin the story but it did sort of jab at me on occasion.

    In typical YA form it seems if only one adult was there to listen and believe what was going on the problems would have been over sooner. I’ve always been bugged by that go to element of YA stories. Anyway, while this did have some issues, the story still captured the essence of a Sherlock Holmes story, and did provide a good listen.

    Daniel Weyman delivers the story with great narration that just plunges the listener into the world of Young Sherlock. Being a native of the UK his accent (from this American’s point of view) was perfect.

    Publisher’s Summary

    It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is 14. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

    ©2010 Andrew Lane (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

  • gilwilson 2:10 PM on January 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ADD, , Sync ya, , YA, ,   

    Carter Finally Gets It By: Brent Crawford 

    Carter Finally Gets It45210
    By: Brent Crawford
    Narrated by: Nick Podehl
    Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
    Release date: 04-07-09
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    When a good YA book comes out I like to see what they are about. I got suckered into the “Twilight” series because of this curiosity and you’d think I’d never do it again but with examples like “The Sword of Darrow,” the Harry Potter series, the Lemony Snicket books, and the “Eragon” series I see there’s more good than bad. One bad, no make that horrible shiny vampire series will not stop me.

    This book is definitely one of the good ones. It was offered up as a free audiobook for the Summer SYNC YA reading program books, so I jumped on it. That way if it was bad I didn’t lose any money. After listening to this audiobook, I will definitely seek out the rest of the books in by Brent Crawford. Even better thing about this book is that most YA novels (unless they are supernatural based) are typically from a young girl’s point of view. This time we get the point of view of a young man about to start high school. However teen girls should read this as well, it will give them an inside source as to what is going on to their male counterpoint’s brains.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it’s a lazy nickname, but he didn’t have much say in the matter.) Here are five things you should know about him:

    1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.

    2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day…unless he gets distracted.

    3. He’s a virgin, mostly because he’s no good at talking to girls (see number 1).

    4. He’s about to start high school.

    5. He’s totally not ready.

    Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.

    ©2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2009 Brent Crawford

    Poor Carter stutters and has ADD but he is still pretty much the average teen boy. The book does have some somewhat crude teen locker room humor, but really is pretty typical. If you don’t think your teen thinks or has a friend that thinks this way, come out from under that rock once in a while.

    In Carter’s case the mixture of raging hormones, not knowing a thing about the opposite sex and throw in his ADD and things just don’t go as planned. This book has several Laugh out Loud moments, and still some of the poignancy of the troubles of growing up. Any teen going into high school NEEDS to read this book.

    In the case of the narrator of this audiobook, Nick Podehl, Nick captures the teen voice perfectly and delivers the story right where it needs to be.

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