The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo & Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

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I have been doing some listening …

I loved the audio of The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo! I couldn’t wait to get in the car again to listen. I loved the story and the narrator…I can’t imagine a better match. I don’t usually dig anthropomorphic tales but this one is riveting. I gave one of our Trustees the audio version because the book was out…when she brought it back she told me that at some point she had started reading it but preferred the audio! So if you haven’t read this year’s Newbery winner I suggest you listen!

I am in the middle of Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff… this story is also riveting…I can’t think of a better word but I just can’t stop listening! If I had the book I would be staying up all night to finish! Hollis has been running away all her life…she feels unloved and unwanted until she lives with the Regan family… but we don’t know yet why that didn’t work out…we learn about her life through the pictures she has drawn (with an amazing artistic gift) … currently she lives with Josie, a retired art teacher who needs Hollis in a way that is greater than an emotional bond…Josie is losing her memory. For the first time in a long time Hollis feels needed again but what will happen when the “mustard” lady from the family services finds out about Josie? So I left off today with Hollis on the run again…but this time she is not alone…she’s taking Josie with her! I can’t wait to find out what happens to Josie and Hollis … and I really can’t wait to find out what happened with the Regan family.

Two you can skip:

P.S. Longer Letter Later … I have always wanted to read this book…it gets requested a lot by middle school/high school girls…but listening to a book written in letters is a drag. Also, Paula Danziger just does not make for a convincing 12 yr old girl. She sounds like a middle-aged smoker. And I found the characters and their litany of problems and letter-fights a bore.

Judy Moody Saves the World … I have been recommending this series to 3rd & 4th grade girls thinking they look so cute and are so popular…well Judy Moody is a Junie B. Jones wannabe and she is not charming at it. Instead I found her to be spoiled, rude, and generally unpleasant. It’s only 1 cassette long and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. I would rather listen to static on the radio.

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