Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Perils of Lucy Wickwright and her half-sister Pauline

So, why, you ask am I listening to K.P. Bath's (Multnomah County Library volunteer!) Escape from Castle Cant when I'm selecting the best audiobooks for teens? I am asking that myself right now, as I am midway through this title. Because the Recorded Books packaging says it's for ages 12 and up (as does SLJ in its review), that's why.

To me the first book was perfect for 4th and 5th graders -- with lots of opportunities for parents reading aloud or along to chuckle at the sly humor that Bath integrates into the story. I'm not sure that it would be of much interest to anyone over the age of 12 -- I mean, it's got illustrations for heaven's sake.

But, I must give the sequel a chance -- our charge is audiobooks for ages 12 and up. So far, I am enjoying all the naming puns (the Reverend Pious Fraud for one) that I probably enjoyed when I read the first book, but I can't remember. With listening, the puns are delightfully obvious. The plotting is a little complicated, requiring concentration, and I confess that I'm having trouble tracking the characters, but I will soldier on. The narrator isn't currently sending me -- he's chosen to partially voice the novel (give some of the characters distinctive voices), but he appears to be voicing the secondary characters (the ones that he can give the queer quirks to) rather than the two heroines -- Lucy and Pauline.

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