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!
I'm a Grandma, and my just-turned-seven grandson has been obsessed with this series since borrowing the movie "The Owls of Ga'hoole" from the library.
Delighted with his furious reading, I decided to check out Kathryn Lasky's work. Must say I didn't have much hope that the books would offer much literary value! So, I read a couple and ordered this one from Audible.
What a nice surprise! There's real "meat" here in a riveting story about a charming society of owls. As with many of the best and most popular series for the very young, the action seems very violent and the dilemmas faced by the characters seem very mature. Smart authors like Lasky keep what are very serious human themes at a distance from young minds by using animals as characters. Their world is somewhat like ours, but the real pain and threats which make these characters and the story so real aren't experienced in an uncomfortable and scary way. Must say I am impressed with the quality and the emotional impact of the Ga'hoole books I have read.
Reading was fun, but Pamela Garelick makes this world even better! I love her narration. Of course, it's best to encourage kids to read the books themselves, but the Audible alternatives would make great family listens during car trips.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I found myself enjoying this title the more the title progressed. It was one of those books that tends to build so smoothly up to those points of sheer action. Also of specific note is the growth that one is able to witness in the general writing style of the author. The way Christopher Paolini seems to tackle certain issues in this book as opposed to book one (Eragon) also lent to the book being even more enjoyable than the previous.
Book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle is your typical mythical fantasy novel. I couldn't help but notice slight similarities with Star Wars regarding some of the twists that the story takes. That being said, I found the entire title put together very well. In this book you get a glimpse in the lives of the elves and see as Eragon himself grows into an impressive Dragon Rider. Another great addition to this story was Roran, Eragon's cousin, whose own struggles and quest becomes even more challenging and exciting than Eragon's it would seem. A number of new characters were introduced in this title and it would seem that no one from the previous novel was forgotten either, all reappearing in some form or another through the scope of the title.
The narration grew on me throughout this book. You sometimes forget that it is one person doing the narration even though there are so many distinct voices, tones and intonations in the title. The narration in this case only adds to the title here.
Truly an impressive listen all over. I look forward to listening to the third book in this series.