Ivan has lived most of his life in captivity and has accepted his small enclosure in a zoo-themed mall as his home. That is, until young elephant Ruby arrives and Ivan realizes that she deserves better. Strong narration combined with great storytelling give life to Ivan and his companions. Ivan's voice is both gruff and caring, and listeners will be anxious to find out if he can keep his promise to find a better life for Ruby. (Audio) - Colleen Beaupre
In this wordless allegory of friendship between and bird and a boy, Staake uses digital renderings of geometric shapes and shades of grey and blue, along with comic-style framing, to portray the urban setting. When a bluebird perks up a boy's miserable day, they frolic together on the street and in the park. A tragic event (that may shock some readers) leads to an inspirational, unforgettable ending. Seven to Ten. Todd Krueger
Autumn thinks with her body and her hands. She bothers with school only because she can't wrestle if her grades fall. Adonis lives in his head. He only exercises his body so he doesn't have to rely on others. Autumn has loved Adonis from the first moment she saw him, wheelchair and all. Adonis can't get far enough away from Autumn during the day, even if he can't stop dreaming about her. These two seemingly mismatched characters are fully realized by Turpin and Hoffman. The voices being almost at odds with Turpin bursting with Autumn exuberance and Hoffman maintaining Adonis's seriousness. As Autumn and Adonis wrestle with their emotions, growing up, and each other, Turpin and Hoffman find balance with each other, deepening the connection between Autumn and Adonis. 14+ Audio. Paula Langsam
When thirteen-year-old Jack Baker's mother dies, his father a naval officer moves Jack from landlocked Kansas to Maine, and enrolls him in al all boys prep school. When his father is supposed to come for a visit but does not, Jack decides to accompany Early Auden, an odd classmate on a quest on the Appalachian Trail. Early is on a mission - to search for his brother whom he believes is still alive although he was reported missing in action in WWII and presumed dead. Jack is rutterless. However, he does need a friend and Early will do. This is a wonderful story of friendship, loss and discovery. This novel is possibly better than Newbery winner Moon over Manifest, for it delves deeper into the soul. The audio is narrated in a matter of fact way by Tobbie Daymond with the story within the novel narrated with an adult voice by Mr. Bramhall which makes for a nicely paced and entertaining audio. Ages 10+ Maria E. Gentle
A wordless picture book of parallel dance instead of play, with 2 very unique participants, each fully aware of the other and at first dancing qhite separately until there is that reaching out moment. Delicate blossoms and shades of pink add to the gentleness of the mood. A few flower petals fall as does one dancer but all ends well, with a splash and a bow. Just lovely and very expressive. Up to Seven. Edie Ching
Through expressive illustrations and text the search of an exclamation mark to find his/her place in the world is achieved with the help of an overly hard working question mark and some periods. Fun for all readers, punctuation users. Up to Seven. Edie Ching.
Frances and Elsie falsify photographs to convince their family that fairies are real. But someone shows the pictures to others, and soon even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believes in the Cottingley fairies. Nicola Barber’s delightful narration brings this non-fiction fairytale to life. (10-14)
In the five years since terrorists murdered his sister Rose, Jamie, 10, can barely remember her; Rose’s twin sister, Jaz, has rebelled; his mother has left; and his alcoholic father wallows in Rose’s memory. An unexpected source forces them to reconnect with each other.
Chloe and her friends shun the new girl Maya and call her “Never New” because of her “hand-me-down” clothes. Haunting watercolors, as fluid as the text, support Chloe’s heartbreaking realization of lost opportunity.
Georges (French pronounciation) meets homeschooled Safer at his new Brooklyn apartment. As the two investigate another tenant, Georges ultimately examines the truths, secrets, lies, and imagination that can either create or destroy a relationship. Jesse Bernstein’s narration effectively conveys Georges’ range of emotions, and like the entertaining text, keeps readers wondering until Georges’ final decision. (7-10)