I haven't actually listened to this myself, but it kept my 6-1/2 year old happy and quiet for two days in the car. Afterwards she had to play "Jack and Annie" (the main characters in the series). If your children enjoy this series, they are bound to enjoy this listen. It's nice that the books are short enough to keep a young child's attention.
I read a lot of kids and young adult books because I want to be familiar with what my kids are reading. This time I picked the book. I chose it based on the good reviews and the fact that Jenna Lamia was one of the narrators.
The story grabbed me from the beginning. I loved how the 6th graders each told some of the same events from his or her own perspective. I spend a lot of time with middle schoolers, as a parent and a volunteer, and these characters were true both in their actions and their motives.
I loved the character of the teacher. I loved how she was all about decorum, yet she sometimes struggled with her own emotions and impulses. How many teachers have I had, or have my kids have, that were firm but good? Those were always the most memorable.
The incompetent administrator was wonderful comic relief. With apologies to all the competent administrators here in audible land, I am sure that we all know someone in such a position who constantly says and does things that make us wonder how on earth he ever got appointed.
The theme of "smart kids get ahead," while common, is also one that is dear to my heart. But the true prize was the prize of lasting friendship. I love books that portray boys and girls at this age developing good, deep friendships.
The narrators also were wonderful; I love what Jenna Lamia puts into every performance. Jan Maxwell was perfect as the voice of the teacher.
This was a book I enjoyed from beginning to end, one I couldn't wait to get back to after I had to put it down.
Like Miss Pettigrew, I truly couldn't wait for the door to open to adventure one more time.
Why do so many YA stories seem to be so depressing? And why are all teens supposed to be strung out on alcohol or drugs or both? The story was somewhat predictable but the characters were well written.
This is my fifth Christmas to listen to this audiobook. The first time I listened, I didn't even know this was part of a series. I soon fell in love with the characters and ultimately listened to the entire series in order. But I come back to this one every year. This year I am listening with my 16 yo daughter. Every year I laugh at Uncle Billy and Rose, hope with Hope, and stress out a bit with Father Tim as he takes on a project that would be overwhelming for a man half his age. Every year I return to my roots as Father Tim returns to his, and I remember with him the true meaning of Christmas.
Flavia has wormed her way into our hearts and we eagerly await each new adventure. We loved the Christmas setting and all the action at Buckshaw.
This was a great book for my daughter and me to enjoy and discuss together. It is a typical "coming of age" story but it gets into so many ethical questions: from medical technology to a parent's expectations of her child.
Jenna Lamia is a fabulous narrator; we love her storytelling ability.
The writing in this book, or maybe the editing, was poor. The trip to New York changed dates and lengths of time more than once. (At first it would go into December, but later ended up being early November, and switched several times from 3 to 6 weeks and back.) Then the writing-- a couple times she said things like, "She did a quiet laugh," instead of "She laughed quietly." I could almost forgive it when she was writing the scenes with the little girl, but then she continued in some of the adult scenes, like she forgot where she was.
The story itself was predictable and not too believable.
As for the narrator, she was ok, but at times she seemed to get her voices mixed up.
The redeeming quality was the MESSAGE of the book, which I found to be quite inspiring. I just wish that message could have been presented with better writing.
We were looking for a horse book that featured a girl. Maya is a strong and smart girl, but she still has a lot to learn about life and relationships. She makes some mistakes and she knows it, but she learns to make the best of her situation. Meanwhile the story itself is one that draws you in from the very beginning and keeps you wondering what will happen next. I will be looking for more by this author.
My 3rd grade horse-loving daughter listened to this book first and encouraged me to listen as well.
This was my introduction to Tolstoy. I loved the narrator. I found that taking the book in short chunks, vs. trying to listen to it start to finish, was best for me. Tolstoy's character development is unmatched, and the book really piqued my interest in Russian history. I will definitely try more Tolstoy, thanks to Audible.
the writing leaves something to be desired. Or is it the narration. I tried to listen to the short novel twice, but I'm afraid my attention kept wandering. Too bad, b/c the story itself begs to be told. It just needs a better delivery.
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