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Stay In and Listen to These Fall Highlights from Listening Library

October 12, 2012

Today, we welcome back our friends at Listening Library for a post on some of their favorite fall listens. Rebecca Waugh, Executive Acquisitions Editor for Listening Library tells us about two of her favorite titles.

freedom maze

Rainy fall days often make me feel like curling up on the couch and listening to audiobooks. One of my favorites this season is The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman, an unusual and thought-provoking time-travel novel. It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl named Sophie, who lives in New Orleans in the 1960s with her divorced mother.  Her mother sends her away to spend the summer with her grandmother and aunt, who live on the once-grand plantation that their family has owned for generations.  One afternoon, while wandering in the garden maze, Sophie is magically transported back in time to the pre Civil war era. The seedy and overgrown plantation is transformed to its “glory” days. There, with her tanned skin and disheveled appearance, Sophie is mistaken for a runaway slave.  She is put to work on the plantation, going through an experience that takes listeners on a journey through how slaves lived at the time.  About midway through the novel I was on the edge of my seat wondering how the story would end and what would happen to Sophie and all the other characters we meet. It’s a fascinating and absorbing tale, and what’s even more impressive is that the author, Delia Sherman, worked on this book for 18 years. Her book is very well-researched making it historically accurate as well as engaging. A starred Kirkus review called it “Multilayered, compassionate and thought-provoking, a timely read on the sesquicentennial of America’s Civil War.” For the audio recording, the talented Robin Miles brings the many characters to life and wonderfully captures the rich Southern language and atmosphere. As an extra bonus, we also invited Delia into the office to record an interview to learn more about how she came to write the book. The interview is included at the end of the audio edition; kids (and adults) who have listened to the book will find it fascinating. To give you a taste, here’s a listen, hope you enjoy!

Robin Miles in the booth Robin Miles in the recording studio

Begin your journey here—click here to listen to this compelling author interview.

wolves of willoughby chase

For a different kind of trip back in time, I also recommend The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, newly recorded for the 50th Anniversary of this classic. Set in an alternate 19th century England where wolves roam the countryside, this book has it all: plucky young girls, parents lost at sea, hidden passage-ways, daring escapes, and an evil governess. In very special touch, Joan’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, read the book for us and did a terrific recording from a studio in London.

THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE EVENT and GIVEAWAY

If you happen to be in New York on October 26th there will be a very special celebration for the 50th Anniversary of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase at The Bank Street College Auditorium. For details on how to attend, visit http://www.joanaiken.com/pages/wolves_newyork.html.

Even if you won’t be able to attend the event, 25 of you will be able to receive a CD Sampler that includes a special introduction by Joan Aiken’s daughter Lizza Aiken and the first chapter of this classic audiobook which is read by Lizza Aiken, by emailing us at BOTmarketing@randomhouse.com.

What are you listening to? We’d love to hear!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 12, 2012 8:38 am

    I just listened to a Listening Library book – EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS by A. S. King – and it was superb!

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