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Holly

I am a middle school reading and English teacher, and parent of two teenagers. We live in Duluth Minnesota, and our whole family enjoys audiobooks.

Member Since 2008

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2591)
    Performance
    (1895)
    Story
    (1903)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "Second Time = Still Amazing (or More!)"
    Overall

    I first read this book 18 years ago with my husband. Shakleton has rated high on my list of heroes ever since. So, although I know the story fairly well, it was incredible to be reminded of the extraordinary details of this astounding journey and these amazing men. As others have said, the narrator is outstanding, and does a lot to build and keep the listener's attention.

    This is a story that will change your perspective on what it means to "endure" and will make you grateful for all that you have in your life: drinking water, toilet paper, fresh vegetables, and most of all - a dry, warm bed to sleep in. I love this book, and am SO glad I took the time to listen to it again after many years. I suspect I may listen for a third time before another 18 years go by.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Blog on the Prairie

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Cathleen Davitt Bell
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (68)

    Gen's family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen's mom signs them up for Camp Frontiera vacation that promises the "thrill" of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at "Little Hell on the Prairie", as she's renamed the camp. But it turns out frontier life isn't without its good points, like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing.

    Champlain Mom says: "Absorbing and fun story for range of ages"
    "New + Old = Funny!"
    Overall

    Our family of four listens to books on car trips, etc. This book turned out to be perfect during our vacation to Alaska, where, we too, it seemed, went back to the pioneer days a bit. We laughed and sympathized with the characters. The plot is fairly predictable, but a couple unexpected twists. Our 13-year old daughter loved it most, but her 11-year old brother liked it too. It gave us some interesting things to talk about, which is a bonus. If you have a penchant for chickens, and kids who have cell phones - you must give this one a try!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Rodman Philbrick
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Through a series of fascinating events, Homer's older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union.

    Holly says: "Teacher's Perspective"
    "Teacher's Perspective"
    Overall

    I wanted to preview this book (while listening during my running workouts) for my 7th and 8th graders in a reading class because of the historical content. The reader does an excellent job with a wide range of voices. The story itself has a blend of humor and dramatic elements. It introduces the underground railroad, the concept of spies in relation to the Civil War, and the climax centers on the battle of Gettysburg. Add in the fact that Homer, the main character, is an orphan, and you have the ingredients for a compelling story. A word of caution: many readers may need some background about the Civil War to support their comprehension of the whole thing. I liked it, and would recommend this for a family listen on a road trip or something like that.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sahara Special

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Esme Raji Codell
    • Narrated By Phylicia Rashad
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    There are two files on Sahara Jones. The one the school counselor keeps is evidence that she is a fifth grader who needs special education. The other is the book Sahara is secretly writing, her Heart-Wrenching Life Story and Amazing Adventures.

    Holly says: "Family Favorite"
    "Family Favorite"
    Overall

    Our family listened to this at the tail end of a long road trip. We all laughed, and a couple of us wiped a couple tears. Some good humor, and a few insightful pointers for the teacher (me, mom) in the family to use with my own students. Sahara is a likable character, for sure!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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