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Katherine

Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States Member Since 2009

I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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  • "Charming children’s fantasy"

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    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature

    Five Children and It combines eleven stories that Edith Nesbit wrote about five siblings who discovered a wish-granting fairy called The Psammead in the sandlot of the house they recently moved into. The stories were originally serialized in shorter form in Strand Magazine in 1900. The first story (the first chapter of the novel) tells how the children moved from London to Kent, explored their new house and yard, and found the Psammead. He grumpily agrees to grant the children a daily wish that will end at sundown.

    Each chapter tells the story of a single day, how the children wish for something, and how it goes wrong. Usually they wish for something obvious like beauty or money, but sometimes they accidentally wish for something they didn’t really want granted, such as when Cyril carelessly wishes that his baby brother would grow up. The consequences are always unexpected and usually quite awful, and the children have to get themselves out of the situation they got themselves into, often at a cost that leaves them poorer than they were before they made the wish. It’s all rather funny and there are many lessons learned. The take away message is to be careful what you wish for!

    I love Edith Nesbit’s stories — they’re still as humorous and wonderful as they were over 100 years ago. They’re delightfully old-fashioned. For example, the little boys play outside in coats and ties and have to roll down their stockings to show off their bruises. Nesbit is an intrusive narrator, often offering commentary and amusing insights about the characters or their predicaments and sometimes making polite suggestions for the reader’s own behavior. I thought the book was charming and I think it will appeal to any modern reader, child or adult.

    Five Children and It has been adapted into anime, comics, a BBC TV series and movies, and several children’s authors have expanded upon the concept in their own novels. Nesbit also wrote some later stories which included the Psammead.

    Five Children and It is easily found for free online since it’s now in the public domain. I listened to the audio version read by Johanna Ward who is absolutely wonderful. I got this book for $3 by “purchasing” this free Kindle version and then using the Whispersync feature to purchase the audio version. If you do likewise, make sure you’re getting Johanna Ward’s narration. There are others, but I doubt they could be better.

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    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Curious to see if people on the other side of the globe walk upside down, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother start digging a hole to Australia. They don’t get too far, however, before they dig up a furry brown creature with bat’s ears. It is a Psammead, an ancient sand-fairy. The Sammyadd, as the children call it, grumpily tells them that he is obliged to grant their wishes, because making people’s wishes come true is what Sandfairies do. However, there is one catch: The wishes come undone at sunset.

    Katherine says: "Charming children’s fantasy"
  • "An endearing classic"

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    Another endearing children’s fantasy by a woman who obviously knows what children like. You can’t go wrong with Edith Nesbit and most of her books are in the public domain so you can get the free ebook at Amazon and add the whispersync narration. Great deal.

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    The Enchanted Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen can’t go home for their school holiday because their cousin is sick with measles there. Instead, they stay at Kathleen’s school with the French teacher. One morning, they set out to find adventure. Instead, they find an enchanted place - and magic, too! Walking through a nearby forest, they discover an enormous mansion, where a girl lies asleep in the garden. Although she pretends to be an enchanted princess, she is Mabel, the housekeeper’s niece. But she has a ring that really is magical. It can make the wearer invisible and grant wishes.

    Katherine says: "An endearing classic"
  • "Get this version!"

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    This is one of the best children's stories I've ever read and this particular narration with Jim Dale is stunning. Totally excellent. Highly recommended.

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    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J.M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Fly away with Peter Pan to the enchanted island of Neverland! This first chapter book adaptation of the classic novel, originally published in 1911, tells the story of the boy who never grows up. And when they join Peter on his magical island, Wendy and her brothers are in for exciting encounters with mermaids, an Indian princess, and pirates! Let the amazing adventures begin!

    H. says: "This may not be the story you think you remember"
  1. Five Children and It
  2. The Enchanted Castle
  3. Peter Pan
  4. .

A Peek at julia's Bookshelf

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julia's greatest hits:
  • The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection: All 22 Stories

    "22 books in 10 files with NO list whatsoever!!"

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    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It's absolutely ridiculous --- they don't even tell you the names of the 22 books included anywhere! What is worse -- in order to find a book... you have to know to look for it... and then search the 10 downloads for the book you want. (Which I suppose you should psychically divine before scanning the 10 downloads to find it!! VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, AUDIBLE!! The least you could do is list which stories are in which download!!


Darwin8u

Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-08-13

A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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  • "An adventurous hagiography, you kno..."

    12 of 12 helpful votes

    Finished reading this with my kids, but I probably enjoyed it the most. It was a fun introduction to Lawrence of Arabia written by Alstair MacLean in 1962. It focuses on the role that T.E. Lawrence played in the Arab Revolt during WWI. There is just enough wind-up with his early life, character, etc., and the history/geography of Arabia to insure the thrust of MacLean's small biography doesn't lose nonserious readers in a desert of Arab ignorance. But the book's real brilliance is in MacLean's depiction of the Capture of Aqaba, Battle of Tafileh and the Fall of Damascus. At the end, MacLean also ties the book off with a summary of the post-War years and some of the political results of T.E. Lawrence's work with Winston Churchill and the Colonial Office.

    Again, as a biography this is probably not where I would start for T.E. Lawrence. This is more literary hagiography than biography. Alistar MacLean is better known for his war novels like 'The Guns of Navarone' and 'Where Eagles Dare'. MacLean's book came out the same year as Lawrence of Arabia the academy award winning movie (which suggests this was one of those books intended to surf the wave of interest generated by a popular film). But still, if you are going to read one biography to your kids designed around a legend, saint, or mythmaker ... you could certainly feed the kids worse.

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    Sterling Point Books: Lawrence of Arabia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Alistair Maclean
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
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    Best-selling author and screenwriter Alistair MacLean follows Lawrence as he breaks with tradition to live with Arabs and, using modern-day guerrilla tactics, helps them defeat the Turks and gain an independent state. In addition to the enthralling details of the campaign, MacLean provides valuable insight into the origins of the Middle East we know today.

    Darwin8u says: "An adventurous hagiography, you know, for kids!"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
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    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Stephanie says: "Awesome story, suspenseful, lots to think about!"
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Payne (translator)
    • Narrated By Bernard Cetaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
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    (3)
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    (3)

    The original story of Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale. It concerns an impoverished young man named Aladdin. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father and convinces Aladdin and his mother of his goodness by making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. His real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave.

  • If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck.

    Heidi P :) says: "Loved the story!"
  • Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rush Limbaugh
    • Narrated By Rush Limbaugh
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    Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has long wanted to make American history come to life for the children of his listeners. In Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, he created the character of a fearless middle-school history teacher named Rush Revere, who travels back in time and experiences American history as it happens, in adventures with exceptional Americans. In this second book in the series, Rush Revere is transported back to the people and events leading up to the American Revolution.

    Deborah Gunnlaugsson says: "Over the top!"
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  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (3413)
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    (853)

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
  • Wonder

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    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (677)
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    (616)
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    (612)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
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    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
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    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
  • The Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2085)
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    (1059)

    When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and...a ride from his mom.

    Craig says: "Percy's not just for kids"
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  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Performance
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    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Teddy says: "You see growth in the Author"
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (356)

    Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

    Patricia says: "Thank You for a New Narrator"
  • Auggie the Doggie and Pat the Cat

    • UNABRIDGED (2 mins)
    • By Mike Konsul
    • Narrated By Mike Konsul
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    When Auggie the doggie and Pat the cat strike a deal to help each other out, Auggie holds up his end of the bargain, but Pat goes back on his word after Auggie helps him catch a mouse! Will Pat be rewarded for cheating? Will Auggie be rewarded for his loyalty? Find out in this charming story about hard work, perseverance and loyalty.

  • Little Miss Tattletale

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Konni Jo Bryant
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Every morning Ariel bounces out of bed ready to tattle on everyone around her. "He didn't take out the trash" or "She didn't wash her hands" was all she wanted to say about her family and classmates. But one day she tattles so much that she grows a tattle tail! How is Ariel going to get rid of her tail before she goes home? Find out in Little Miss Tattletale.

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    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Will Overby
    • Narrated By Will Overby
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    Charlie Barnett loves movies. He's such a fanatic that he's become best friends with the manager at the local theater, Mr. Mankiewicz. But when the mob comes looking for a mysterious object and Mr. Mankiewicz is kidnapped, Charlie is thrust into a real-life adventure more dangerous than any he's seen onscreen. With the help of a master of disguise, Charlie races against time to find Mr. Mankiewicz and save a priceless artifact from falling into the wrong hands.

  • If You Want to Be Happy, Give Something Away

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Kathleen Gauger
    • Narrated By Ricky Pope
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    The Christmas season is normally a joyous occasion, but not for Old Gentleman Gray. He was sad and lonely and had lost hope of ever feeling differently. It was Christmas Eve when he was visited by a beautiful, heavenly messenger who filled him with warmth and joy as she shared with him the secret of how to be happy.

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  • Christmas Love

    • UNABRIDGED (30 mins)
    • By Dawn Foss
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Are you looking for a Christmas book that will bring your family closer together? Then look no further! Sit down as a family and listen to Christmas Love. It will show you how the original Christmas story applies to families and communities today. Even if you don't live in a picture perfect world, you can show Christ's love to those around you and make the world a better place.

  • Princess Nia and the Magic Flower

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Tina Rillieux
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Adventure has never been so much fun as it is with Princess Nia and her amazing magic flower. Come on an explosive adventure with Princess Nia as she discovers a magic flower that grants her 3 amazing wishes! Also, discover the importance of a name.

  • I Am Not a Pirate

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Shannon Anderson
    • Narrated By Ryo Keith Sato
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    Maddie is excited to start school until she learns she has to go to the eye doctor. When she finds out she has to wear an eye patch, she thinks things can't get any worse. How embarrassing! How will Maddie gain the confidence she needs to face her new friends at school? Find out in I Am Not a Pirate.

  • Rise and Shine, Little Child

    • UNABRIDGED (2 mins)
    • By Leigh Ann Hrutkay
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Rise and shine, Little Child, let's go! It's a brand-new day, and it's about to snow. Rise and Shine! Come along with Little Child to experience the possibilities of a brand-new day, the wonder and magic in a snow-filled sky, the adventure of winter-time play, and the warmth, love, and care that every child desires. Share it with your very own Little Child today! A portion of proceeds from Rise and Shine, Little Child will be donated to Operation Warm, a charity that provides brand-new winter coats to children in need throughout the U.S.

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  • Around the Block with Mommy

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Denise Madagan
    • Narrated By Ricky Pope
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    "Here we go again, me, my yellow car, and my mommy." Explore the world through the eyes of a toddler as he discovers the world around him in Around the Block with Mommy.

  • Autumn Colors

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Laura Tovar
    • Narrated By Laura Tovar
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    Autumn colors paint the scene, with red and yellow, orange and green. Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year. Celebrate the colorful changes that take place in our everyday landscape and in the mountains, hills, and valleys that surround us in Autumn Colors.

  • Knowing the Father and the Son

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Tiffany Lee Gervais
    • Narrated By Ricky Pope
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    "Who someone becomes begins with the Father." Understanding God and His Son is a vital step in living a meaningful life in this world. Join author Tiffany Lee Gervais as she explores thoughts surrounding a deeper relationship with God and Jesus Christ in Knowing the Father and the Son.

  • Months Fly By

    • UNABRIDGED (2 mins)
    • By Laura Tovar
    • Narrated By Laura Tovar
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    Maybe you like to sled in the winter. Maybe you like to swim in the summer! Whatever you enjoy, Months Fly By is a great audiobook to get your imagination going in anticipation for all the fun activities that go on all year long.