Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love - Audio Edition

I am a bit of a late-comer when it comes to audio books. Audio is a way of consuming that just seemed too passive to me. After all, I can read more quickly than I can listen. Frequent, long car rides with young children changed my mind, and I found myself listening to some classic children's titles with my girls. When I received my copy of Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love at a Random House preview a while back, I tucked it into my purse to bring home.

I read the first title of Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree when I was on the middle grade Cybils judging committee a couple of years ago. I liked Emma Jean just fine, but I certainly wasn't enamoured with her. She was just a bit too quirky for me. Don't get me wrong, we put it in the collection and actively hand sell it to many of our readers, it just wasn't the book for me.

So imagine my surprise and delight upon listening to the second title of Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love. This was the secret for me. Emma Jean simply must be read aloud.

The Spring Fling dance is right around the corner, and hormones are all a flutter in Emma Jean's school. This is the dance where the girls ask the boys, and this has Emma Jean looking specifically at Will Keeler like never before. She is pleased when she sees him, and is considering asking him to the dance. Colleen, however, is worried that Will (or more specifically Laura Gilroy who has a huge and obvious crush on Will) is going to laugh at her.

Colleen finds herself over-the-moon when she gets a note from a secret admirer in her locker. She wonders about who it could be, and she actually asks Emma Jean to help her solve the riddle. Colleen is happier than she has been in a long time and if finding joy in the little things, and just feels so much more "Colleen-er".

Can Colleen's and Emma Jean's friendship survive another round of Emma Jean's helping? Who actually wrote that note that ended up in Colleen's locker.

Lauren Tarshis has written a not-too-sweet story about changing friendships, shifting family, crushes and the 7th grade. Mamie Gummer is a suburb reader, and her slight changes in voice when it comes to Emma Jean and Colleen are perfect. Her reading made me like Emma Jean as a girl. This shift has me thinking about the power of audio books and the reader.

If anyone has any audio editions to recommend of tween titles that changed their mind about a book, I'd love to hear them!


GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I want to read (or listen) to this book!

I enjoyed Found on audio (not the best narrator, but still suspensful) and I listened to the first Gregor the Overlander book and several Percy Jackson books on audio.

I adore the Harry Potter books on audio-I think they're the best and what got me back into audiobooks. I hadn't listened to them since I was a child.

And I haven't read it yet, but I've heard Skuldugery Pleasant on audio is fabulous!

Stasia D said...

Maybe this is how I will jump into Percy Jackson (I know, I know, I'm late!)

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I read the first one, and listened to the next two. I'm still behind, because I'm waiting for the fourth audiobook, but if it weren't for the books on CD, I never would have read them!

readingwildly said...

I really liked how the reader sounded young. Emma Jean, in all her smartness, sounded like Emma Jean.

I really liked The Kind of Friends We Used to be by O'Roark on CD.

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