August 31, 2012

Great Books On Tape

 We have had a really good run of books on tape lately.  Sometimes they are hit and miss--one child really likes it but the others don't, or I love the book but the reader is so bad I can't stand to listen.  These are all fantastic!  I know you've all read Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (of The Bronze Bow and Witch of Blackbird Pond fame).  It is a great book and the reader did a great job with it.
Heat by Mike Lupica was Cowen's favorite.  Everyone really enjoyed it, including my hubby, but Cowen loved it.  With a great, deep love.  As soon as it ended he asked to listen again.  I guess I'm behind the times with Mike Lupica.  I saw the book at the library and grabbed it because of the cover.  I thought it would be more about immigration issues, which interest me as I'm an immigrant.  It wasn't so much about immigration, but once I started reading I couldn't put it down. While it was on my shelves my sister came over and said that Lupica was all the rage.  She has a 12 year old boy, so maybe he helps her stay abreast of authors who write for boys.  Or maybe Lupica is crazy famous and I'm just getting sadly out of touch.  

The point--read this book, or listen to it.  The reader was fabulous.

I almost turned off Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville after the first few minutes when I realized that it was an audio cast and not just one reader.  I usually hate casts.  However, while I'm still not in love with casts, this one did a great job and I enjoyed it.  I especially loved listening to all my little children say randomly, "Juliet Dove, QUEEN of love," in drippy voices.  Hilarious.  There are two magical mice in the book, Roxanne and Jerome.  You will love them.  Or, at least, you will love your children's imitations of Roxanne.  Hilarious I tell you.  Cowen didn't want to listen to this one but even he was won over and loved it by the end.
The reader did a great job with Ella Enchanted.  My children were riveted the whole time.  The first time we put it in we weren't driving very far so we only got to the second chapter or so.  I couldn't stand it and came home and read the whole thing.  It had been a few years.  Love this book.  All my children loved this one.
I will not lie--I did not like the cast for these books.  The person who did the dragon voice was terrible. Awful.  Bleh.  However, the story is so much fun and my kids enjoyed it so much that I forced myself to overlook the one really terrible reader and that it was a cast.  We immediately listened to the second in the series when the first ended, so again, worth listening to (if you like silly stories, that is).
Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine (who wrote Ella Enchanted) was a big surprise.  I expected to like it because of the author, but I was still surprised by how good it was.  The reader was AMAZING and since I hadn't read it before (I usually only pick books I've read so I won't be disappointed) I was as enthralled as my children.  There were several times we sat out in the car or "accidentally" missed the turn to our house so we could listen longer.  We also broke my cardinal rule of audio books stay in the van and we listened to the end in our house because we couldn't stand to wait for our next outing.  Stellar.  Just loved it.

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