Review of Waylon!: Even More Awesome audiobook

Waylon!: Even More Awesome
by Sara Pennypacker; read by Christopher Gebauer
Intermediate    Recorded Books    Rev. 11/17
3 CDs    2.5 hrs.    978-1-5019-8150-0    $10.45

Fourth grader Waylon and his classmate Baxter (“the closest thing to a juvenile delinquent [Waylon] had ever encountered”) are dog lovers with a problem: if they don’t find a permanent home for Dumpster Eddy, a stray who keeps getting locked up at the police station, he’ll end up in a shelter. Gebauer’s youthful voice and earnest delivery are an apt fit for this material, in which the tenderhearted Waylon, from whose point of view the story is told, finds his plans repeatedly thwarted but never quite loses hope. Gebauer pitches his voice higher to reflect Waylon’s skyrocketing nerves and lower to convey Baxter’s relative worldliness, and he makes authority figures sound mildly obtuse to reflect the way that kids see adults who just don’t understand.

From the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.
Nell Beram
Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

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