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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
    Overall
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    (6)
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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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    (3)
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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
    (382)
    Performance
    (215)
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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 Teddy's Bookshelf

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Bronx, NY, United States 93 REVIEWS / 96 ratings Member Since 2011 1070 Followers / Following 22
 
Teddy's greatest hits:
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    "You see growth in the Author"

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    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.

  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    "Fun KIDS Book"

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    The quintessential truth about this book is that this is a book for kids. That is no to say that as am adult you can't or won't enjoy it but the long and short is this book was designed for kids. The author takes some obvious liberties taking this into consideration and if I have to base my review solely on it being a kids book... This book was actually great... Pity though I am not a kid nor do I have any at this time.

    I liked the concept of the book, the thought process that went into creating this mythical world intertwined with our current time was rather impressive to say the least. If turned into a more young-adult/adult genre book I would thoroughly have enjoyed it because I would think the characters would have a lot more depth and certain concepts about this world would have been thought out much better. From my personal vantage point the book would have probably gotten 2 or 3 stars but thinking of it as a kids book it would get 5 stars..... so a clear medium was found here in giving it 4 stars.

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    "Anne Hathaway... Saved this for me"

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    Now that we have that out of the way... I won't spend much time on the story BUT... This is a jacked up children's book if it was meant to be one... For one they keep lopping off heads off of people! The 'Wizard of Oz' is at best a con-artist! And the characters are... let’s face it... gullible... Maybe I am reading too much into this story.. >_<

    Anne Hathaway though.... LOVE HER.... And thankfully she didn't massacre the book and did actually produce a performance worth 5 stars. To be honest, I changed my score from a 4 to a 5 stars because Anne actually got me through the book. I don't think anyone could make me be completely thrilled with the narration here but this is because I think the story was lacking so much (note also I am reviewing this right after listening to "Water for Elephants" and "Outlander" which are EXCELLENTLY written and even more EXCELLENTLY narrated). Even with the annoying squeaky voices (it does get annoying after the bazillion little person), Anne really kept me listening and I cut her slack for the squeaky voices because quite frankly, that would be how they sounded.

    I say this... Audible need to invite Anne Hathaway back to do a real book... and by a real book I mean a Jane Austen book! I think anything Jane Austen or even Phillipa Gregory (if we want to go more modern) would fit her.

Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 08-06-13 Member Since 2005
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  • "Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times ..."

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    What a pleasure it was to listen to this old story again. When I was a kid, I read it at least once a year, till I was in high school and "put away childish things." Dietz's easy-going story-telling style is perfectly suited to this book: you might just as easily be listening to tales of Lake Wobegon. He never quite loses the sense of innocence and child-like wonder that surrounds the story, but he captures the darker moments as well.

    And dark moments there are. The plot, such as it is, hinges on a murder in the graveyard, guilt, courage, and fear. Later, the man who committed the murder is overheard planning to kill the Widow Douglas as well - committing other outrages in the process. Tom and Becky are lost in the cave, facing a very real possibility of starving to death in the darkness.

    But Twain somehow manages to keep things in the realm of fairy tale; he was apparently storing up his harshest satire for the sequel.

    There are many wonderful readers of Twain on Audible - I'm not sure you can really go wrong with any of them. But Dietz's rendition of this story is one of the best.

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    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    The name "Tom Sawyer" is synonymous with the adventures of boyhood. Bold and clever, Tom gets into and out of trouble with an ease many listeners will envy. A story beloved by children, it also has relevance for adults. Twain's beloved classic of growing up in Midwest America is as popular today as when it was first published in 1876.

    Tad Davis says: "Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times quite dark"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1378)
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    (748)
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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
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    (3)
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    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.

  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3405)
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    (1562)
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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"
  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Hamilton Wright Mabie
    • Narrated By Samantha Worthen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
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    (29)
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    This volume contains a collection of fairy tales from a wide array of classical works. These immortal tales include "The Enchanted Stag", "Twelve Brothers", "Puss in Boots", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "The Princess and the Pea", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Light Princess", "Beauty and the Beast", "Hansel and Gretel", "Jack the Giant Killer", "The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor", and "The Story of Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp".

    msamsara says: "Enjoyed it"
  •  
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3468)
    Performance
    (1528)
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    (1555)

    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"
  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (618)

    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"
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1735)
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    (1611)
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    (1605)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    JT says: "Anne Hathaway Shines Throughout This Audio Edition"
  • 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
    Overall
    (43)
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    (38)
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    (39)

    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
    Overall
    (3414)
    Performance
    (823)
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    (854)

    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!"
  • If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
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    (214)
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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!"
  • Stevie Meanie Stinkerpots

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Jennifer Carlucci
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Jennifer Carlucci wrote the story Stevie Meanie Stinkerpots because as an educator, she's had many students come through her classroom with behavior problems. But, if you take the time to get to know their story and show them you care, you can turn their entire school experience into a positive one! Jennifer lives in Fairfield, Virginia, with her husband, Nick, two daughters, Katie and Sophia, their dogs Shiloh and Ace, their cats, Olive and Rue, and their horses, Elmer and Arrow.

  • 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.

  • As the Sun Said Goodnight

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Heidi Doose
    • Narrated By Heidi Doose
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    As the sun said goodnight and the moon came into sight, children all over turned out their lights. In different places, people have different bedtime rituals. Hear all about how children all over the world go to bed in As the Sun Said Goodnight.

  • 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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  • Still My Dad

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Julia A. Maki
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    When Abbey's dad goes overseas to serve in the military, she's very proud of him. But when he gets hurt and has to come home, Abbey's life changes. Join Abbey as she learns how to help her dad and his new pal, Tori the service dog, in Still My Dad.

  • The Frog Who Played the Violin

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By David Marshall
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Finn has a special talent for playing the violin, but his most special talent is what he is about to give to others. From the beginning Finn, the violin-playing frog, always knew who he was and what his talents were. But when all the other frogs try to tease him and discourage him, will Finn compromise his values and dreams? Find out in The Frog Who Played the Violin.

  • Why Won't He Look at Me?

    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By Brandie Wiley
    • Narrated By Whitney Edwards
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    Laura is nervous for her first day at her new babysitter's house. All she wants to do is make a friend. But one of the boys acts differently than anyone she has ever met. When Laura learns that he has autism, she doesn't know what that means. Join Laura as she learns all about autism and her new friend in Why Won't He Look at Me?

  • The Innkeeper's Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (11 mins)
    • By Deborah Bence Boerema
    • Narrated By Ricky Pope
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    How would you feel if you were the only animal in the stable to have missed seeing Baby Jesus? Sad? Jealous? Angry? Unimportant? Thaniel the Spaniel has all these feelings. The Innkeeper's Dog tenderly tells how Thaniel's friends and the innkeeper's son help him feel special and realize all the gifts he has to offer!

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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.

  • Minecraft Crafting : 70 Top Minecraft Essential Crafting & Techniques Guide Exposed!

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Jason Scotts
    • Narrated By Chris Brinkley
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    This book is a comprehensive guide about Minecraft's crafting system, how it works, and the 70 most-useful crafting recipes and ideas. Minecraft is a popular game of creation played by millions around the world. The game offers a unique experience that ignites the player's interest on two things: mining, and building. The game gives players an exceptional degree of freedom that even the famous Grand Theft Auto series and Skyrim cannot match.

  • 'Twas a Golf Cart for Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Jeryl Christmas
    • Narrated By Ricky Pope
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    When Haley's most prized possession is stolen from her backyard, the news quickly spreads throughout the area. 'Twas a Golf Cart for Christmas is a story that has to be told. This special day in November of 2009 shows how a community can come together in a spirit of love and charity.

  • 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.