Audiobook Giveaway

The Tanglewood Terror is the first book of mine to be produced as an audiobook (although a Mudville production is now underway). I was anxious about hearing my own words read back to me. Maybe prose that looks fine on a page would be clunky in a narration. Maybe I wouldn’t like the narrator. Maybe it would just be weird to have somebody else reading my book aloud.

I didn’t need to worry. I love the recording. Everette Plen strikes the perfect tone for Eric Parrish — he’s an articulate young man and a good actor, and being an actual kid, his voice is authentic. He’s got good timing for the funny parts and the proper sense of awe and wonderment for the weird parts and sounds sensitive for the emotional parts.

There’s one scene in the book that I was especially nervous about hearing — it’s my favorite scene of this book (maybe any book), and it’s full of both action and feeling. I was tempted to skip ahead to the scene, but made myself start at the beginning. When the scene it came, it was done perfectly, and I didn’t even realize right away “hey, this is the scene!” because the narration had pulled me in and I was just listening to a story instead of worrying about it as an author.

I’m going to share this terrific audiobook with someone. just leave a comment naming your favorite read-aloud book — either one you remember as a kid, one you read to your own kids, or one you shared with students if you’re a teacher.  It can also be a recording you listened to on a road trip or on a commute. I’ll  pick one commenter (maybe two or three, if enough people comment) to get a copy.

11 thoughts on “Audiobook Giveaway

  1. My third-grade teacher was wonderful for reading books aloud to the class, and she introduced me to many of my favorite stories. She read “Tuck Everlasting”, Charlotte’s Web”, “The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, and even “Animal Farm”, among others. I loved them all then and still do today. I wrote Mrs. H. a letter sometime after I graduated from college, thanking her for introducing me to so many memorable books.

    “A Wrinkle in Time” became a special favorite, because it made me feel confident about being a girl who loved science and learning. I wore out my own paperback copy, and I discovered an audiobook version of it a year or so ago. It is read by the author, Madeleine L’Engle, herself. It is so satisfying to listen to – I feel almost like I am back in third grade again with Mrs. H.

    The reader of a book has an important job to do. If they don’t do it right, the listener can’t become one with the story. Mrs. H knew how.

  2. It’s great to hear that a child actor is doing the narration. I usually forget the disconnect between the narrator’s age and the protagonist’s, but I often think that there must be some child actors willing to work in audio.

    I have heard from other authors about their mixed feelings over audio productions of their books. Jordan Sonnenblick recently posted similar worries over his favorite scene in the audio of his next book, Curveball.

    I can only imagine the worry an author must feel when his/ her book is optioned for a movie! At least with an audio, the producers aren’t changing words, or whole scenes.

    My favorite audio? Wow! That’s a tough one. I’ve only recently started counting reading with my ears separately from reading with my eye books. With the 107 I read with my ears in 2010 and the 62 & 63 audiobooks so far this year, I’d say I’ve listened to between 500 and 750 in the last 5 or so years… Hm.

    I would have to say the one that makes me smile with warmth nearly 20 years after listening to it on a family ski trip, is The Trumpet of Swan narrated by E. B. White, himself. I can’t bring myself to throw out the cassettes even though I no longer have a portable cassette player. We also enjoyed listening to White narrate Charlotte’s Web, but Trumpet was magical.

  3. One of the most memorable of my read-aloud books which I read over and over and over to our son was “old Hat, New Hat.” He just couldn’t get enough of it!

  4. I used to love reading “The Lorax” to my sister-I’d do the voices. “The Monster at the End of the Book” was also a favorite.

    As a kid, I loved being read to…I couldn’t wait to learn to read myself!

  5. I remember my mom reading us the entire Chronicles of Narnia on a road trip one year. About 15 years later, she and I listened to the HarperAudio (Kenneth Branagh, Patrick Stewart, Lynn Redgrave, etc.) recording when we drove across the country so I could relocate for my first job out of college. I think my mom was my favorite narrator of them all.

    Now, I love reading anything by Mo Willems to little kids. The best part is hearing them tell pigeon, “NO!!!!”

  6. My favorite read-aloud right now is the one I am currently reading to my students – A TALE DARK AND GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz. The students actually cheered for Gretel when she cut off her finger. They are so vocal with the story – laughing, responding, clapping – it is a true interactive experience.

    I would love to share your audiobook with my students – we LOVE audiobooks. We use them for lit circles, personal novels and class novels.

  7. My favorite read-aloud has to be the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Especially if you visualize John Cleese and Eric Idle as Rabbit and Pooh.

  8. My favorite read aloud book is Ever Ride a Dinosaur by Scott Cobrett because my 3rd grade teacher reads it out loud to my class.I really like the plot.

  9. As a child (and as an adult), I take great joy in reading /The B Book/ by the Berenstain. But, I think that has been surpassed in fatherhood by /Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom/.

  10. As a former teacher, I used to read aloud to my year 6 class all the time – my two favourties were “The Indian in the Cupboard” because I loved doing all the character voices, and also “The Phantom Tollbooth” because it was so clever. Seeing kids’ eyes light up in the midst of telling is one of the most beautiful things on the planet. :o)

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