Jun 26, 2012

Quick Audio Reviews: The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson & Unwind by Neal Shusterman

The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson & John Paterson
September 27th, 2011 from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio

The Flint Heart is a complex fairytale and takes us through several generations where a stone, the flint heart, sucks the goodness out of people. The holder seeks power and wealth and in turn, grows a cold stone heart. I picked this up because of some accolades about the narrator, Ralph Lister. I do admit that his voice is absolutely brilliant and his English accent is coveted. He plays a wide variety of characters - faeries, children, kings, talking dogs - and all had a distinct voices. I was completely impressed with him and I don't think I would have enjoyed the story as much by simply reading. The story gets a little convoluted in places, but if you get lost...just pay attention to that magnificent British accent. This would be a fun family road trip read, but a few violent scenes might concern parents of little ones. 7+

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You can find Paterson at her website

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
November 1st, 2007 from Simon & Schuster Audio

Neal Shusterman is the Keynote Speaker for the Austin Teen Book Festival this year so I just had to listen to this one! I am a fan of his Everlost series and know how popular this one is in the library. I was not prepared for how dark and sophisticated this story would be. In short, kids between 13-18 can be unwound on their parents order. Their body parts are harvested and given to others. This story has many points of view, but the story of Lev, a tithe who always knew he would be unwound, was so intriguing to me. I was surprised that Lev's story, and others, got me thinking about all sorts of philosophical things. It takes ProLife and ProChoice to a whole new level of thinking. I can see this book discussed in a classroom with a mock debate. Totally compelling and the detailed scene of an unwinding was wicked awesome! 13+

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You can find Shusterman at his website