Merry Christmas, now shut up.

I'm over at Out of the Box today opining on Wild About Books, my favorite thus far of the book apps I have read/heard/fingered/etc. A larger question here, though — why are the narrators for these things so annoying? Thank God you have the option to shut them up and read aloud for yourself because I haven't yet heard a reader I thought was much good. Too perky, too much verbal underlining, too much of that talking-to-the-children voice that would and should get you slapped if you tried it on another adult. Why inflict it on kids? Courtesy of Ellin Greene, my storytelling professor at GLS, I'm definitely of the less is more school.

If you have a couple of days to sink into an audiobook during these holidays I can't say enough to recommend Kate Burton's unabridged reading of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Here's someone who knows how to sound like a child without getting all juvenile about it. She uses not voices but inflections to convey when each character is speaking — at one point Francie's brother is mimicking their mother and Burton gets the doubled effect just right. What a book, too — I think I last read it when I was twelve and I'm stunned at both what I remembered and what I forgot.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I was not a good do-bee and got all my reviews done before my vacation so I guess I'll be doing some of that (and, yes, Elissa, reading Guide pages) but I hope to get in a few books, several good meals, and some good running when we are in Ptown next week. Hope your week is terrific as well.
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.
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Roger Sutton

>With A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I had to question whether I had finished the book first time through because I didn't remember Francie's little romances and heartbreak at all. But that could have been simply too far from my experience to absorb.

I did remember the breast-aversion therapy but for years had attributed the scene to Call It Sleep.

Posted : Dec 24, 2010 04:28


>"...and I'm stunned at both what I remembered and what I forgot"

This has always been intriguing to me. Some passages can seem literally brand new - so much so I can wonder if they have been somehow added in the meantime, while others I recall almost verbatim. Or an aspect I vividly recall as being a big part of the book turns out to be just one little scene...

Posted : Dec 23, 2010 07:52


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