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  • 11
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  • 286
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  • Waste of Space

  • By: Stuart Gibbs
  • Narrated by: Gibson Frazier
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Tensions are running high when multibillionaire Lars Sjoburg is poisoned and demands to go home, and everyone is looking to Dash Gibson to solve the case in this third and final book in the New York Times best-selling Moon Base Alpha series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Roger Jones on 08-07-18

Fine Ending to Moon Base Alpha

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-18

I'm a big fan of Stuart Gibbs and recommend his books to my students on a regular basis. I felt like this was an interesting read that gave us a mystery to solve and wrapped up some of the ongoing pieces of the series in a way that satisfied me. Gibbs writes main characters that are smart but not perfect and supporting characters with lots of, well, character. Most middle grade sci fi does not address much science, but I felt like Gibbs did introduce some sensible thinking about space travel that his target audience would find interesting, and he clearly gets the humor of middle grade readers. I'll miss this series but look forward to his future work!

  • Refugee

  • By: Alan Gratz
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 975
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 891
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 888

This timely and powerful novel tells the story of three different children seeking refuge. Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intended for 5-8th graders, but it is good for adults too

  • By LJK on 12-21-17

Well written and timely

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-17

Gratz knows how to tackle tough topics, and has done so in previous books. In Refugee, he intertwines three children's stories that span across decades but all speak to the incredible challenges of surviving a refugee experience. A compelling story for middle school students as an independent read, and I plan to read it aloud to my fifth grade class. It is intense and there is violence and death, so it may require conversations with any upper el reader who is interested. Overall, I think this is Gratz's best work to date, and all three narrators were skilled in their deliveries of the three main characters' stories.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Scar Island

  • By: Dan Gemeinhart
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys - an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves. Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming. Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing

  • By Jillaine Lucas on 12-08-17

Dan Gemeinhart + MacLeod Andrews = Well Done

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-15-17

I have enjoyed all of Gemeinhart's books so far, and Scar Island again shows how he really understands his middle grade audience and their collective love of lots of action and drama with some humor sprinkled in. In this story, the main character has massive inner and outer conflicts, builds deep friendships, and overcomes big obstacles to survive. When you add the crazy-talented Andrews as the reader, you get a gripping tale indeed. My fifth graders love this author and his other books, and I know they'll just eat up Scar Island as well.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

  • By: Firoozeh Dumas
  • Narrated by: Firoozeh Dumas
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block...for the fourth time. California's Newport Beach is her family's latest perch, and she's determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name - Cindy. It's the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes US headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can't distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You are gonna cry at the end, it's SOOOO happy!

  • By Sylvia on 05-10-17

Way better than awful!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-15-17

Firoozeh Dumas does a great job balancing the real historical facts of the Iran hostage crisis with her semi-autobiographical story of living in the U.S. as a middle school kid during that time. Maybe it is because I remember that time so clearly as a kid myself, but the experiences of the main character and how she navigates the perils of middle school and the perils of being "other" in American society felt very true to me. Dumas manages to inject plenty of humor into the story without cheapening the characters' experiences. I plan to promote this book with my fifth graders, who I think will really dig it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Jumbies

  • By: Tracey Baptiste
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining, yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Adventure with Just Enough Scary

  • By Heather on 09-02-16

Adventure with Just Enough Scary

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-16

Tracey Baptiste really took me on a ride into Caribbean lore and creepy (but not too creepy for my fifth graders) adventure. An enjoyable book that my students are sure to pick up and pass around with enthusiasm.
I should also add that I though Robin Miles did an outstanding job. Her pace was perfect and her character voices were seamlessly part of the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ark Plan

  • Edge of Extinction #1
  • By: Laura Martin
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

One hundred and fifty years ago, the first dinosaurs were cloned. Soon after, they replaced humans at the top of the food chain. The only way to survive was to move into underground compounds.... Five years ago, Sky Mundy's father vanished from North Compound without a trace. Now she has just stumbled on a clue that not only suggests his disappearance is just the tip of an even larger mystery but also points directly to the surface. To find her dad - and possibly even save the world - Sky and her best friend, Shawn, must break out of their underground home and venture topside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun for the Entire Family

  • By Jenna on 06-06-16

Great Series Start

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-16

Laura Martin's debut has lots of action as the main characters navigate a future Earth dominated by dinosaurs on an increasingly complicated mission. Martin clearly knows her middle grade audience, and has a nice balance of character development and action that kept me reading, finishing within a couple of days. Emma Galvin does a very competent job of narration. I think this will be a popular series in my fifth grade classroom!

  • The Detective's Assistant

  • By: Kate Hannigan
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sidekicks rule!

  • By Heather on 08-02-16

Sidekicks rule!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-16

This is the first book I've read or listened to by Kate Hannigan, but I hope it is not my last. The story is historical fiction and includes some true elements, but the main character is fiction and was fun to read and cheer for. Her adventures with the Pinkertons have a nice mix of suspense and humor and the action keeps moving along, which is important in middle grade fiction.
Hannigan includes interesting details of the time without letting the story get overwhelmed in the history--she keeps readers firmly focused on the main character, who I found relatable, clever, and spunky. I would recommend this for MG readers who enjoy a good balance of adventure and historical fiction with strong central characters and quirky secondary characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Villainous

  • Supers of Noble's Green, Book 3
  • By: Matthew Cody
  • Narrated by: Matthew Cody
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

The truth about the Super children is finally exposed, and the town of Noble’s Green has created a special boarding school for its superpowered children. That’s where Daniel’s friends are headed, while he - regular kid that he is - is headed to summer school. But all is not well at the Academy for the Extraordinarily Gifted, or in Noble’s Green. A clique of popular kids has taken over the school. And at the same time, vandals have been destroying property all over town, and citizens are beginning to blame their gifted young residents

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Practically Perfect Finale

  • By Heather on 08-02-16

Practically Perfect Finale

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I listened to Villainous, but read the first two in the series. I wondered if the listen would be good, since the author narrates, and that can be tricky. No trick in this case, Cody does a great job with keeping a good pace and setting just the right tone.

What other book might you compare Villainous to and why?

The whole series takes me back to a childhood spent reading comics with my brother, but combines a strong sensibility for middle grade friendship and adventure stories, a la Gordon Korman or Stuart Gibbs. Somehow Cody does this without being cheesy or talking down to his middle grade audience.

What about Matthew Cody’s performance did you like?

I already answered this one. Look up a bit.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Villainous--because some villains never die, no matter how old they get!

Any additional comments?

If you've ever started a great series but been disappointed by the ending, have no fear! Villainous strikes just the right note and respects what matters in wrapping up hero and friendship stories. Highly recommend.

  • Spaced Out

  • Moon Base Alpha, Book 2
  • By: Stuart Gibbs
  • Narrated by: Gibson Frazier
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 231

There's nowhere to hide on the world's first moon base. After all, it's only the size of a soccer field. So when Nina Stack, the commander of Moon Base Alpha, mysteriously vanishes, the Moonies are at a total loss. Though he may be just 12 years old, Dashiell Gibson is the best detective they've got. But this confusing mystery pushes Dash to his limits. Especially since Dash accidentally made contact with an alien and has to keep it a secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • its perfect

  • By Derek on 06-24-17

Gibbs knows what he is about.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-17-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would and regularly do recommend Stuart Gibbs' books, both audio and print, to my middle grades students and others who enjoy MG books on a regular basis. They are so well written, with a tight plot, compelling main characters, and quirky secondary characters. His work feels like a recipe for the perfect middle grade series.

What did you like best about this story?

I love how Spaced Out and its predecessor, Space Case, both have a compelling story that feels, from a scientific perspective, kind of possible. It is clear the author did his research so that life on the moon seems plausible, and we readers are not asked to suspend our disbelief too much.

Which character – as performed by Gibson Frazier – was your favorite?

Frazier does a great job with this book as well as other books by the author. I particularly enjoy how ridiculous he makes Lars Sjoberg, a fairly ridiculous character, sound. But really, he strikes just the right note with each character and the pace and mood of the book as a whole.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book is part mystery, part comedy, part adventure, and there are a few moments, mostly involving the bathroom on Moon Base Alpha, that had me laughing out loud.

Any additional comments?

I really like this series, though I prefer Gibbs' Fun Jungle and Spy School books. This author really understands his audience, and writes smart, funny, compelling stories for those kids. He is one of my favorite MG authors, and I read A LOT of middle grade books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Counting Thyme

  • By: Melanie Conklin
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

When 11-year-old Thyme Owens' little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it's just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme's best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn't exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Mehdi on 06-03-17

Great Debut!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-17-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Counting Thyme to be better than the print version?

I moved between the print book and the audio and enjoyed both. Kathleen McInerney is a talented narrator who does justice to Conklin's story.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked how the main character, Thyme, struggles in a way that feels both true to her situation (sick brother, new city) and her tween-ness.

What about Kathleen McInerney’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed Kathleen McInerney's work on the Fish in a Tree audiobook, and that motivated me to spend a credit on the audio version of Counting Thyme. She is a reliable, consistent narrator who can deliver a variety of voices without distracting from the story, and that is what matters to me.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Thyme has to come to terms with a very hard truth regarding her family's situation near the end of the book, and this just broke my heart as a reader. But how she comes to terms with that truth also put my reading heart back together again. Which is probably why I was up past midnight finishing this novel.

Any additional comments?

A great middle grade novel, particularly for those who enjoy strong character development and drama. I plan to keep an eye out for future work by Melanie Conklin.