Raising four boys alone is not an easy task. Widower Joe Slagel tries, he really does. He works hard, provides a stable home with lots of love and just the right amount of discipline. But Joe Slagel also provides his sons with something else: disposable stepmothers. He never intends for them to be disposable, however, the mischievous doings of his four children make it impossible for him to keep a wife, and them a stepmother, for very long.
Boys will be boys. But when the final straw is snapped and the fifth stepmother packs up and leaves without notice, Joe realizes it is time to bring in a professional.
Tough, strong, tender, not afraid to run a tight ship, and equipped with the ability to not easily be frightened. Those were the qualifications Joe sought. In comes Sergeant Ethel Pletcher. Not only does she tower over the boys in size, but her huge heart takes over the house and their lives, as well. Sgt. Pletcher proves that the Slagel boys aren't really all that bad, they just need someone that understands them and, at times, a peacekeeper.
A story for ages nine through adult to enjoy.
©2011 Jacqueline Druga (P)2012 Jacqueline Druga
Read in August, 2014
Poor Joe Slagel struggles to raise his boys alone and to work, keep house and keep the peace, of course, he fails. His solution to the problem is to provide stepmothers, this also fails! The last in the line of stepmothers is done with it, she can't put up with the disrespect and bad behaviour.
Then there is Sergeant Pletcher, somehow this lady sorts everything out, and to me, therein lay the story.
The book is written for youngsters, maybe 8 - 12 year olds, hopefully the story would be an enjoyable way for them to learn a few life lessons.
The narration of David Dietz helped me stay with the book, let's face it, it's not always easy to read and rave over a child's story. The narrator made it easy for me to recognise all of the characters, he sounded as believable playing the enthusiastic younger child as he did the sometimes bored, know-it-all older boy.
I enjoyed narrator David Dietz. He really makes the book with his differentiated voices for all the characters. I loved his voice for the "sergeant".
I was very early put off by the characterization of the 4 boys, and that soured the rest of the story for me. Their antics were over the top, and pretty unrealistic.
Sure! It was a fun read after skimming over the first 1/3 with the boys' antics.
In general, I enjoy David Dietz's performances. This one was not as enjoyable as I did not like the boy characters.
It did give me a few parenting tips!
I am at that half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lol
No,it's a kids book.
I have no clue.
Dad brings in the big guns
This is a YA book,but I enjoyed it.The story was good and somewhat believable.The narrator was excellent.Aimed more for boys than girls I think.
I hadn't read the print version , but yes I would definately think the audio version to be better
the comedy , the fact that you wanted to wring little Hals neck... and often felt sorry for Frank
sgt pletcher at the wrestling match
for a short story ( especially one that was maybe aimed at a younger audience )
I found this audiobook suprisngly enjoyable and hillarious.
Obviously the narration played an inportant part in bringing this story to life - especially the 4 brothers, with very different characters, from the manipulating Hal to to poor older brother Frank who gets the blame for everything.
Maybe Sgt pletcher is a bit unbelievable , but hey it's all a bit of fun !!
We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis
Stars: Overall: 2 Narration: 2 Story: 3
This middle-grade geared story had some great potential, and I could clearly see and identify with the 4 brothers, their dislike of the step-mother, the always-manipulated youngest child. And bringing in a Nanny for the summer to keep the peace and perhaps get the boys to work together with less infighting was a clever twist. And the Nanny was the perfect mix of motherly love and attention with the clever insets of lesson learning and adjusting their behavior. In the written form, with a few minor adjustments, I could see this being a story that many 8 - 12 year olds could enjoy. But it was not free of issues, all of which lead into some of my pet peeves.
Just because you are writing or producing a product for a child - does NOT mean that you can be less than exact or correct in your fact-checking,and you cannot, under any circumstances pander or ‘talk down’ to the kids. BOTH no-no’s were in this audiobook version- much to my dismay.
Factually: the CIA is not operational in the United States - by charter. Therefore, a father who is a CIA agent on a drugs stakeout is incorrect. Secondly, and more important to the overall story is the character of Sergeant Plecher. Female drill sergeants were NOT used in the army until late 1971: few would have been IN the Vietnam theatre. Yet she uses and refers to being a vet of that era. Neither fact felt right - and in fact weren’t. Authors owe their readers, no matter the age, the assurance that homework and research have been done.
My third and largest issue with this audiobook was the narration from David W. Deitz. Overreaching and overly effusive, the stretches for “female tone” were achingly discordant and hard to listen to, while the overall tone of the story felt like a Ren and Stimpy cartoon - voicing emphasis replaced and overwhelmed the story action or emotional moments that could have presented an easier listen. However, I am not 8 - 12 years old, nor am I a boy who might appreciate that slapstick feel, but it did not work for me.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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