I usually don't enjoy books written for younger readers, but this one has enough mature elements to make it highly enjoyable.
The performance competes for first place for me with the actual novel. Joel Johnstone reads in completely believable voices, often dripping sarcasm. Love Danny's breaking voice! And the novel is a masterpiece. I loved it. It's touching and funny and serious and smart all at the same time.
It would be a spoiler, but it has to do with miracles and strawberries.
I think Holling is my favorite, though I loved Mrs. Baker, Holling's dad, and Danny too.
Highly recommended. For anyone over age 9. Truly a great book.
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I kept thinking what fun it would be to listen to this while driving cross-country with a car load of middle school kids. Creative, interesting and just plain fun as you watch the relationship between Holling and Mrs Baker evolve over the course of the year as they explore the works of Shakespeare. Set in 1967 with all its political turmoil... Vietnam and Martin Luther King... Beatles and flower children. Nice job Mr. Schmidt!
This is a story of one year in the life of Holling Hoodhood, a 7th Grade boy in 1967. There is no single plot to drive this story, but rather it's a series of interconnected anecdotes from that year. The writing is great and I enjoyed the stories and characters. The relationship between Holling and his teacher is central to the novel. Holling's father is a stereotypically conservative father of that era, and was almost too much. I liked how history is interwoven in this story. Also central - Shakespeare. Holling's teacher makes him read many plays. While I sort of enjoyed that as an adult, I had a hard time believing a 7th grade boy would connect so well with The Bard. I suspended my belief and chose to enjoy that, too, but I wonder how a 12 year old reader would relate to that. As a man who was 12 years old myself in 1967, this novel captured the era with heart and humor, and I liked it.
This was a good book with a cute idea, but it got tedious to listen to. I taught 6th and 7th grade reading for a number of years, and read many of the greatest novels written for this age group. This is not one of the greatest, but I believe it would hold the interest of many children of that age. For me personally, I found my mind wandering often.
Although I can recommend it to young readers, i won't be going on my all-time favorites list.