Saturday, May 02, 2009
The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau, read by Katherine Kellgren, Listening Library, 2008
I may have indicated that I am an uber-fan of Kellgren's narration of the Jackie Faber saga. I knew that I was enjoying this story but did not note that Kellgren was reading until I was nearly finished. Her versatile voice and acting bring each character to life.
In this fourth book in the series, the city of Ember, itself, returns to the story to save the people of Sparks.
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson, read by Jeannie Stith, Brilliance Audio, 2009
Reasons why I loved this book:
Terrific! Fun! Wholly entertaining! Sympathetic and engaging characters! Loving family! Siblings who like and care for each other! Witty dialog!
When an exotic new guest, Mrs. Amberson, checks in to the Hopewell Hotel, the Martin's family's life will never be the same. She is one part diva, one part New Age health nut and eight parts "fairy godmother and Glinda the Good. Staying for an indeterminate length of time, she makes the doings of the Martin family her personal business. As Scarlett is in charge of the upkeep on her room, the Empire Suite, she becomes Mrs.Amberson's gopher and assistant.
Scarlett is hoping: that her brother can follow his dream to become an actor, that her sister Lola can find happiness with her wealthy boyfriend and that her younger sister can overcome the emotional and physical ravages of cancer.
This story had me racing back to my MP3 player at every available moment
Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer, read by Sean Patrick Reilly, Listening Library; Unabridged edition, 2006
Sean Patrick Reilly perfectly captures the shadings of Colfer's laconic humor and the sweet poignancy that underscores so many of his novels.
Fletcher Moon is a real private investigator and he has the badge to prove it. Although he is only twelve years old, his powers of observation and deduction prove to be right on target. (His name,"fletcher" = a person who makes arrows.) When he is hired by another student to get the goods on a member of the notorious Sharkey crime family, Fletcher's own well being is under threat. Colfer continues the lovely sub-theme of parental love that underscores his books.
Reilly's gentle Irish cadence roots the story. When there is a sequel, Reilly must continue as the narrator. First rate!
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, read by Madisun Leigh, Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition, 2008
One of the best books of 2008. This is historical fiction at its very, very best. Madisun Leigh's interpretation of this story is beautiful. Her performance as Isabel, a thirteen year old slave in Revolutionary War era New York City, is a fine thing. The young slave, Isabel, has to walk a fine line to avoid the danger posed by her cruel and capricious owner and still remain true to herself. As the loyalists and the rebels square off, and the war begins, what side could a slave choose?
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, read by Carolyn McCormick, Scholastic Audio Books; Unabridged edition; 2008
Collins chilling and compelling dystopian tale echoes today. Can't wait for Catching Fire.