Archives for the month of: December, 2013

I attend school in a state eight hours away from my home, and to kill time on the holiday drives back and forth, I’ve been listening to audiobooks. The first one, given to me by my grandmother, was a Nora Roberts¬†audiobook. I don’t recall the title, but the narrator had a great baritone voice and I found myself mildly entertained for the six hour duration. Upon recommendation from several librarians, I then checked out ‘Bloody Jack‘ by L.A. Meyer. While I found the content to be interesting I could not stand the narrator. Her voice drove me bananas. All the librarians had given high praise to the energetic narration, so I was slightly surprised by my distaste. I also tried listening to Augusten Burroughs’ autobiography¬†‘Running with Scissors‘. It is painfully narrated by the author and dreadful. I stopped it after 20 minutes.

I began to think maybe audiobooks just weren’t something I would enjoy; then I listened to Divergent¬†by Victoria Roth. I loved the audiobook. Yes, it is another dystopian teen fiction novel, but it was enjoyable. Of course I found myself drawing parallels between it and The Hunger Games, but it is different enough to keep the reader/listener curious. The narration was great–not too over the top and allowed the listener to add their own imagination to the story.

So here’s my question: Do you like audiobooks? What type of narrator do you prefer…a great actor or someone with a pleasing voice? What’s the best audiobook you’ve listened to?

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A book called ‘How They Croaked‘ was brought to my attention by my practicum advisor, who suggested it as a great non-fiction book for reluctant readers.

Why? Well, broken in to bite-sized bits are the histories of how famous people have famously died. The small chunks and the snarky tone of the book make for a good read for tweens and could be a great solution to my weekly tutoring/book talk sessions with ESL students.

Both my practicum advisor and I found the content and tone incredibly funny and harmless. A patron at the desk disagreed, commenting that she found it an inappropriate topic for kids of that age. We both assured her that it wasn’t overly gore-y and showed her some of the pages for reference. She seemed appeased after viewing it, but that got me thinking about what other kinds of reactions this book might elicit. I decided to go on Amazon.com and read the comments (never read the comments). Reviews were overwhelmingly favorable, but more than a couple reviewers found the content to be unspiritual, inappropriate, and even dangerous.

Take a look at the book and tell me your thoughts!

As of late, I’ve found myself interacting often with teens and tweens and the maturity and education level between peers has been quite astounding (but I’m sure can be true for all stages of life). While I’m currently tutoring for a middle school, I’m looking for books for emergent readers with low literacy but a yearning for more mature and complex story lines and I’m utterly stumped. To be fair, the kids I work with are truly amazing–they’ll read anything if you sell it well enough, but I know they’re all currently in an awkward ‘coming of age’ stage and some of the subject matter isn’t very interesting to them. It’s difficult to find material that is relatable to their current lifestyles/problems at a lower reading level. I need some high/low book recommendations!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!