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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 1999

Nothing ever happens in Toby's small Texas town. Nothing much, that is, until this summer, which is full of big changes.

It's tough for Toby when his mother leaves home to become a country singer. And Toby takes it hard when his best friend Cal's older brother goes off to fight in Vietnam. But now their sleepy town is about to get an even bigger jolt with the arrival of Zachary Beaver, billed as the fattest boy in the world. Toby is in for a summer unlike any other, a summer sure to change his life.

©1999 Laurie Halse Anderson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Holt...sets her heartwarming and carefully crafted novel during 1971, but her message of tolerance is one that contemporary readers will appreciate." (Publishers Weekly)
"Will Patton is exceptional in his narration. His voice is firm and sincere, with a deliberate slowness that gives import to the motif of watching and inevitable change. His pauses allow the listener to reflect on the story's events and the understandings and friendships that develop and deepen because of them. Don't miss this recording!" (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Great Listen!!

I must confess that I was originally searching for any books narrated by Will Patton. He is very talented. When I came across this book, I hesitated because it's considered a kid's book. I was more than pleasantly surprised with how entertaining it was. I am so glad I took a chance on it!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • kansas city, MO, United States
  • 10-29-12

worth the credit

a good quick story.. came off as a human nature piece.. tv does rot your brain..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • Carmichael, CA, United States
  • 09-27-10

A wonderful surprise!

First of all: No one is a better narrator than Will Patton! He is great! Add his talent to a great book and you don't want the story to end! Ms. Holt knows how to wrap a story in beautifully crafted words and dialogue. Wonderful, wonderful! Americana at its best. Poignant, smart, and fun! Don't miss this one; and give a listen to The Water Seeker too, if you haven't heard it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kimberly
  • claremont, CA, United States
  • 06-13-10

charming

I thought the book was charming, although the ending seemed a bit contrived. Overall,it's entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kristy
  • High Prairie, AB T0G1E0
  • 09-29-08

Awesome audio book!

My family and I listened to this book while traveling, the kids stopped watching their movie to listen. We really enjoyed it, one that I have recommended over and over again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

I Absolutely Loved This Story!!!

This story is an amazing coming of age novel. Small town, odd friends with colorful personalities, beautiful setting, what's not to like.

Will Patton is my absolute favorite actor who is also a narrator. He is masterful.

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

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hzhshs shsjshs shsusush shahshs ahshshsv shshsh sysusysy ayshshs whshshs shshsh h h g y h

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

Down home story, great narrator

Story by story teller.. Sort of male coming of age .. Story about two kids who view Zachary Beaver who is billed as " the fattest boy in the world, but the story is really about being kid and longing for love.

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

Super Book

Would you consider the audio edition of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town to be better than the print version?

This was a great book. We listened to it and fell in love with the characters, the time period, and relived some of the heart ache of growning-up.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Zachary Beaver was an interesting guy.