©1998 E. L. Konigsburg; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
I will listen to this book again; it's delightful on many levels. It's a mood enhancer.
This is a charming tale - 5 stories within a story from the viewpoints of one paraplegic teacher and 4 sixth graders whose lives entwine, first because of family connections, then friendship connections and then the teacher selects them to be teammates in a knowledge bowl. Their individual and collective knowledge makes them formidable contestants and they defeat 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams to reach the state finals. The questions they are asked segue into each tale. Each voice is distinct; each story different. The narration is brilliant. The characters are people I wish I knew personally so I could go to tea with them.
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.
Coming from y 9 year old daughter, she really enjoyed this book a lot! She hasn't stopped talking about the story, and the twists and turns it has. Please note I do my best to get her adventure books without killings and violence. So this was a keeper!
The audio version is better in that you can listen to it and do other things while you're at it too, but I think that's the same of all audiobooks.
It's witty and unassuming and I think it can be enjoyed by story lovers of all ages. You can really feel for the characters in this story.
They voiced all the characters really well. I have nothing to complain about.
This was amazing, and a completely feel good read.
I would highly recommend this story/book/audiobook to anyone.
Probably not, but that doesn't take anything away from the Book. I just do not re-listen very often.
Julian, I loved his confidence and his spirit.
They were delightful, they nailed the personas of each child and person in the story.
Julian's response to bullying was inspiring.
The story was very quick and an overall good book to read. The beginning started out a little slow. But, hang in there- it gets better.
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Four unique children who have experienced loss and challenges end up forming the 6th grade team for knowledge bowl... becoming friends and almost family in the process. Narration jumps around from child to child showing the same events from different points of view... it isn't a story young children would enjoy... the word play and changing voices make it too complex. But as an adult I loved it and middle school and up children would too.
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