“Bugs in My Hair” by David Shannon
Ages: Preschool to first grade
A rollicking good time, narrator Jesse Bernstein brings to life the horror of every parent and child – lice. Balancing entertainment with a clear narration, this picture book adaptation will bring a smile to listeners of all ages. It is equally strong without the pictures — a selling point for any audiobook adaptation of a picture book.
Tiny Imani has an impossible dream, to touch the moon. She is the only one who believes she can accomplish the task. With determination and a little bit of pluck, Imani sets out to accomplish her goal.
Angus Cairns is a magical brownie who finds himself bound to 11-year-old Alex Carhart after the death of his former Scottish mistress. Although Angus is fastidiously clean while Alex is messy and totally disorganized, they come together to battle the Queen of Shadows and lift the curse that binds Angus and his fellow brownies. Hilarious dialogue and Angus’ Scottish brogue is dead on.
At Great Rapscott School for Daughters of Busy Parents, girls get lost “on purpose,” and eat birthday cake every single day. Each of the five girls under Ms. Rapscott’s care has been neglected by her very busy parents and is in need of schooling and constant adventures. Katherine Kelligren’s portrayal of the young girls and their pretentious head mistress is charming and delightful.
Neglect has defined Ada’s brief nine years since she was a baby born with a club foot until she became a young woman, shipped off to Kent to protect her from the oncoming bombings of World War II. In Kent and away from her mother, she meets Susan Smith, a grieving woman with no real family of her own. Together with her little brother, Jamie, the trio begins to fully live together and find humanity in life’s struggle.
Classroom distractions hide the fact that Ally has a hard time reading. The rest of Ally’s classmates believe she is dumb or mean — and often waste no time in telling her what they think. In a world where reading is such an integral part of learning and survival, Ally must figure out how to discover what she is really worth.
Otto is lost and alone in the Black Forest where he meets three sisters and a harmonica. The harmonica is magical and changes the lives of three different children in three different stories beginning in Nazi Germany and concluding in modern day New York City. This is a story that illustrates the power of music and destiny. This novel is better listened to than read, enhanced by the music of Corky Siegel. Munoz does an expert job of linking historical elements through music and expert storytelling.
Fourteen-year-old Adam has his hands full dealing with divorced parents and stepsiblings, not to mention his battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder. When he meets Robyn in a support group, his desire to protect her escalates his ongoing struggle with repetitive thoughts and actions.
Quincy and Biddy are “speddies” (special education students), thrown together by circumstance but bound by similar traumatic experiences. Now sharing a small apartment and both working part time they begin to heal both themselves and one another. Their raw, compelling story springs to life thanks to narrators’ adeptness at giving each young woman a unique voice.