Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Initially, I was disappointed that Kimberley Reynolds lacks the dynamic and conversational style that is so desirable in an Audible course.
But, wait. The information packed into this set of lectures is so interesting and so valuable that I soon forgave, and actually came to like, the rather stiff delivery. This is a serious presentation of the history not only of children's literature but of the changing concept of childhood itself.
Most of us choose books for our children based on what we have enjoyed ourselves, what we think will interest the kids and advance their reading skills, and on the pure entertainment value of the material. This course will likely not change that, but having a more scholarly foundation about the psychological and developmental benefits of reading for young people at different stages will offer a great advantage for parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians and others who help children choose appropriate books.
The literature covered includes analysis of books for all ages of childhood, from infancy to young adult. When the subjects got a bit too esoteric for me (mostly in the YA lectures), I found the PDF study guide to be very helpful in deciding which lectures would interest me most. Although the analyses sometimes offer more detail than many of us ultimately want, I believe there is much general and particular information here that will be of interest and value to all parents and literature lovers.
Another benefit is the timely nature of the course. Harry Potter is discussed, as are "The Hunger Games" series. Professor Reynolds touches on new technologies like digital and interactive books and the endless merchandise tie-ins which are peddled to children on the media. There's a bit near the end about the effects of tough economic times on youngsters. This is up-to-date stuff!
Nancy Drew was an important part of my childhood. These books helped me to love reading, made me a mystery fan, and (yes!) fostered my feminism, too. For this, I am grateful to all the people who were Carolyn Keene.
Revisiting Nancy is a mixed-bag experience. Of course, the books are not spectacularly well-written. And, in modern terms, our heroine is pretty traditional. The stories are tame.
BUT, Laura Linney reads with a respect for the original excitement many of us experienced when reading Nancy Drew. I love the sound effects and the drama in her voice. It's like being a twelve-year-old again.
If you are in the mood for uncritical nostalgia, go ahead and try "The Secret of Shadow Ranch". Be sure you only select the Drew mysteries that are performed by Laura Linney. Curl up and enjoy a trip back in time!
The Nancy Drew series is not "The Hunger Games," and many young girls today will find it pretty mundane and unexciting. The authors who were Carolyn Keene in their day do not give us great literature here.
That said, I recommend the Nancy Drew books narrated by Laura Linney. She brings an uncritical freshness and enthusiasm to the old chestnuts! It would be great for a mother or grandmother who was a fan to share this listen with a daughter or granddaughter.
They also make for great before-bed listening, and I mean that in the best way. Forget your cynicism and the problems of the modern world and curl up with Nancy and Laura.
This was a delightful story about the love of family, nature, and life in general. I really enjoyed this story and the fun relationship between Grandfather and Granddaughter. Despite the name of the book evolution isn't use in it's typical argumentative state in this book. Rather it refers to the ever changing and evolving person we become as we grow and mature.