Review of Pay Attention, Carter Jones audiobook

Pay Attention, Carter Jones
by Gary Schmidt; read by Christopher Gebauer
Middle School    Recorded Books    Rev. 1/19
5 CDs    5.18 hrs.    978-1-9800-1047-0    $15.99

Having been bequeathed to sixth-grader Carter’s household by his deceased grandfather, English butler and “gentleman’s gentleman” Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick appears at the door on the first day of school. He brings order to a chaotic home and introduces Carter to the game of cricket, which becomes a metaphor for how to come to terms with death and loss. The audiobook performance amplifies characterization and pacing: the butler is voiced in a posh, heightened English accent that brings his penchant for proper grammar and manners to life; narrator Carter is portrayed with enough adolescent snark to balance the slow-
simmering realizations about his family that boil over in an emotional climax.

From the July/August 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Hakim Azzam
Julie Hakim Azzam
Julie Hakim Azzam teaches in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh. While her academic specialization is on literature from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, she has a passion for children’s literature and has been interviewing children’s authors for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for many years.

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