Review of Checked audiobook

by Cynthia Kadohata; read by John Kroft
Intermediate, Middle School     Recorded Books    Rev. 5/18
7 CDs     7.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-8278-1 $20.99

Conor MacRae’s life is consumed with elite hockey. Nothing can overtake his obsession — not his growing concerns about his elderly neighbor Mr. Reynolds, not the strained relationship with his Japanese maternal grandparents, not his single (widower) cop father’s unexplained crying jags. But a cancer diagnosis for his loyal Doberman, Sinbad, has knocked him out of the zone. Conor is earnest, forthright, and good, and Kadohata never errs from his preadolescent perspective, as he befriends the other boys on his team; bears witness to the curious, sometimes worrisome behavior of adults; and chronicles the specifics of youth hockey in fascinating (even to non–hockey fans) detail. Kroft’s straightforward, natural-sounding narration reflects Conor’s sincerity and makes his singular journey both intriguing and affecting.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess is Youth Services Manager for the Whatcom County Library System in northwest Washington State.

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