Be sure to choose the right format with audio books

In The Stacks

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2004

Audio books for kids come on either tape or CD - and sometimes are available on both formats! If you decide to place a hold on any of these titles, especially the ones that we own on both tape and on CD, make sure to choose the format that you can use.

"Inkheart," by Cornelia Funke, read by Lynn Redgrave. Meggie's father, Mo, has a secret: The reason he never reads to her is that when he reads aloud, book characters come to life in the real world, at the same time sending real people to live out their lives in books. One of these book characters is the evil Capricorn, who knows Mo's secret and wants revenge, and knows the way to get to Mo is through Meggie. (cassette and CD)

"Eragon," by Christopher Paolini, read by Gerard Doyle. A sapphire stone, a farm boy, and a handful of stories about legendary Dragon Riders are spun together to create an epic fantasy. When Eragon finds a blue stone that hatches a dragon, his world shifts and then rips apart. He can't keep the fledgling a secret, his home is torched by the King's soldiers who kill his uncle, and he is forced to flee for his life with Sapphira. The only person he can rely on is a storyteller who knows an awful lot about the Dragon Riders - but is it enough to teach Eragon what he needs to learn to survive the wrath of the king? (cassette and CD)

"The Wish List," by Eoin Colfer, read by James Wilby. When Meg Finn helps a friend commit a crime, things get out of hand fast and an accidental explosion sends her spirit to limbo. Not bad enough for Hell, not good enough for Heaven, she's sent back to earth to do something to tip the balance. Though Meg decides to do good by helping the old man she'd been planning to rob, getting him to allow her to help is a different matter. And then there's her old partner in crime, Belcher, who isn't dead, but who has definitely teamed up with the Devil and is out to get her. (cassette and CD)

"Milkweed," by Jerry Spinelli, read by Ron Rifkin. Unlike Anne Frank, the young orphan Misha doesn't have a clue what's going on in his city. All he knows is that stealing bread and sharing it with others is good, that when he grows up he wants tall, shiny boots and a hat with an eagle on it just like the soldiers who've taken command of his ghetto, and that when others run, he should, too. He makes friends with a young Jewish girl and her mother, and then escapes when they are taken to a concentration camp. When he grows up, he moves to America, where he learns to live with his memories of what he now knows as the Holocaust. (cassette and CD)

"Dolphin Luck," by Hilary McKay, read by Judy Bennett. One of my favorite reads is now a book on tape! The Robinson family's Christmas holiday doesn't start off so well: first, Mrs. Robinson gets sick, and Old Blanket, the family dog, dies, and then, to add to the misery, Mr. Robinson sends the two older kids off to stay with mad Aunty Mabel and the two younger ones to the next-door-neighbors' while he takes his wife off to warmer climes to recuperate. But readers of McKay's other books know that she's a master of black humor, and that all this misery is just laugh-out-loud humor in disguise! (cassette tape)

"The Misfits," by James Howe, read by a full cast. Bobby, Skeezie, Joe, and Addie are the Gang of Five (there are only four, but they try to keep people on their toes) at Paintbrush Falls Middle School, where each has a long list of nicknames acquired through years of being the misfits in public school life. When student council elections come around, Addie decides to form the "No-name Party" and convinces each of the Gang of Five to run for office despite their unpopularity. What will happen to them when they try to buck the system? (CD)

"Sarah, Plain and Tall," "Skylark" and "Caleb's Story," by Patricia MacLachlan, read by Glenn Close. This classic trio is collected here in one volume of four CDs. Join the Wittings and Sarah from the beginning, when Jacob's plea for a mail-order bride brings Sarah to Skylark in "Sarah, Plain and Tall." Follow the new family through a drought in Kansas to the seas of Maine and back home again. And, finally, listen to things from Caleb's point of view when his big sister gets her first job and his little sister discovers a new member of the family.

"Feed," by M.T. Anderson, read by David A. Baker. This biting and witty satire for young adults may take a bit of listening to before you get caught up in it, but you will be rewarded in the end. Anderson has a talent for inventing teenspeak and has conjured up a future world in which everyone is nearly inarticulate because of their reliance on the Feed, a worldwide computer network that enables anyone with an implant to communicate with others, receive commercials tailored to their tastes, and hear the news that the Feed knows they are interested in. When Titus and his friend Violet become disconnected from the Feed for a few days because of a hacker, they see the world around them in a new way and begin to understand that the Feed is not the helpful thing it appears. (cassette and CD)

• If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. 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 this column is now even easier. The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: Simply look up the column on our Web site, click on the title you want and you will be ready to place a hold.

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