Last month I discovered that middle grade audio books sometimes come with fun sound effects and musical accompaniment. We took a small road trip over the holiday weekend and even though I did relent and allow the boys to watch videos part of the way, I made sure to get kid friendly audiobooks just in case. And now I think I’m kinda hooked.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
We started with this one, and I’m glad the boys switched over to movies because despite the case saying it was a family friendly audio, the themes and some of the language would have been a bit much for my youngest. Definitely a 12 and up read/listen. I enjoyed the story, and hubs said it was an accurate portrayal of how boys feel at that age – specifically in terms of how they think about their relationship with their father.
Pop by Gordon Korman
My son read No More Dead Dogs last year (and I did too, as I once promised to read everything he’d been assigned to read) and we both enjoyed it. Pop was a fun listen; it’s about a young football player who moves to a new town and connects with his older, somewhat quirky neighbor. There are some nice layers to the story, and the boys enjoyed listening on the drive home. Korman is an excellent (and prolific) MG writer – check his stuff out!
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Okay, so here’s where the audio books got really fun. Main character Alex narrates the story into a “golden” iPod that he plans to launch into space. Every time someone else spoke into the iPod, a different voice actor was used. And there were sound effects. My boys thought that part was awesome. They only listened to part of the story as post-summer life began and we all returned to our respective work/school lives. But they heard enough to become invested in the characters, especially Alex. Some elements were a bit unbelievable, but we definitely enjoyed joining him on the journey.
Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones
I’m working on a new piece – a novella written entirely in verse. One of my critique group ladies mentioned this book as a model, and oh, it’s good. Finished it in an afternoon. If you read it, but sure to read the backstory too (it was the afterward in the ebook version) about how the book came to be. I will definitely be checking out more of her work.
Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
Sadly, I only finished one physical book this month. It has not been easy to carve out quiet time to read in the past few weeks. But on the nice days, if the boy behaved himself at school, I’d plop myself on a park bench and anti-socially drown myself in a book. I added this one to the list based on a “books you should read” article a few years back, and then noticed a good friend had enjoyed it. It is beautifully written. I loved the interwoven relationships and her unique similes and metaphors. I did struggle a little at time because of the adoption story line – there was negative language and difficult scenes which were a bit of a trigger for me. (For those who don’t know – my sons were both adopted.) But overall it was a lovely book that expertly dealt with the ideas of fueling passion, fitting in, and finding one’s purpose.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for next month’s reviews. Happy reading everyone!