In the Stacks: New books on CD and tape for kids

Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2004

Recorded books for kids come on CD and tape, just like those for adults, and we've just added a bundle of them to the shelves! You can browse for them by scanning the audio book shelves for pink labels or look them up like a book by title or author.

For fans of Jim Weiss, the storyteller who visited Juneau in 2002, there are several new tapes and CDs to choose from. We've added "Fairytale Favorites," "Tales from cultures far and near," "Rip Van Winkle and Gulliver's Travels," and "Animal Tales," which are good for preschool kids and older (yes, older kids, even young teens who like hearing stories, will go for these).

In addition to these short tapes and CDs, there are three much longer books on CD by G.A. Henty, which are read by Weiss. Each of these historical novels is set in a different time period: "Wulf the Saxon" takes place during the Norman Conquest, "The Young Carthaginian" is the story of Hannibal's attempt to conquer Rome, and "The Cat of Bubastes" follows the fate of the son of an Egyptian high priest who accidentally kills a cat - an offense punishable by death in ancient Egypt.

They say truth is stranger than fiction; try some of these autobiographies and find out for yourself. Roald Dahl's always-popular classic book, "Boy," is now on tape, as is Tomie De Paola's autobiography for young readers, "26 Fairmount Avenue" (all four books in the series are included in this set).

For preteens and teens (yes, and adults), Jack Gantos' autobiography "Hole in my life," in which the teenage author-to-be of the Rotten Ralph and Joey Pigza books gets caught helping sail a yacht loaded with drugs, makes compelling listening. And, more than just a biography, "Getting to know William Shakespeare" features Shakespearean scholars discussing their favorite subject: Shakespeare's childhood, his work, his life. Great listening for those who, through honest interest or school-inflicted desperation, want a bit of background on the Bard.

In the fiction department, young listeners may enjoy Sid Hoff's "Danny and the Dinosaur" collection, featuring three Danny books plus Sammy the Seal, Hank the Cowdog in "The Case of the Shipwrecked Tree" by John Erickson, "David and the Phoenix" by Edward Ormondroyd, or "The Monster's Ring," by Bruce Coville (who was another Juneau visitor).

Readers with longer attention spans might like "The Witch of Blackbird Pond," by Elizabeth Speare, "The Thief Lord," by Cornelia Funke, "Sandry's Book," by Tamora Pierce, "Pictures of Hollis Woods," by Patricia Reilly Giff," and "Saffy's Angel," by Hilary McKay.

Teens and young adults should give a listen to "My Heartbeat," by Garret Freymann-Weyr, "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood," by Ann Brashares, and "Abhorsen," the sequel to Garth Nix's suspenseful "Sabriel" and "Lirael."

Don't forget - even though your favorite title may be at a library across town, it can be in your hands in a short time if you place a hold on it. Simply call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249 or, if you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalog.

Placing holds on items featured in In the Stacks is especially easy: most archived columns are hyperlinked to the catalog, so when you look up a column, you can click on the title you're interested in and you will be ready to place a hold.

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