Saturday, August 8, 2015

Even More Summer Reading

Everyone knows how much I love audiobooks. If you don’t, you do now. I think audiobooks are better than just plain old reading. It’s almost like going and seeing a theatrical production of the book. If the narrator is good you get different voices for all the characters and soon forget you are listening to a book at all. It’s quite the experience. So why not throw in some audiobooks into your mix? I listen to them while working, driving, or cleaning. Give it a try. You can start with this insightful read about a girl’s struggle to overcome racists-prejudice in this pre-Civil War story, The Candle Star, written by Michelle Isenhoff and narrated by Fred Wolinsky.

Here are my answers to the questions ask by Audible when I reviewed this book:

If you could sum up The Candle Star in three words, what would they be?
Thought-provoking, entertaining, well-written

Who was your favorite character and why?
Emily Preston is the main character in this book and for the first few pages you want to pull her over your knee and give her a sound whooping (note: I do not condone spanking but this girl really needs one). She is one of those characters that you just down right hate. She is spoiled, selfish, and very set in her ways. You don’t expect that she will ever change and just when you are about to give up hope on her your see another quality; Emily cares for others. She has compassion and it soon grows into something strong enough to help her change for the better.

Which character – as performed by Fred Wolinsky – was your favorite?
There were several he did a wonderful job with. I liked his impression of Emily. Her southern bell accent was spot on. I also enjoyed all the black folks. He really brought a "real" aspect to the book. His best overall voice I think was the wicked Mr. Burrows, which he did so well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book really made me think and think hard. Are we all sometime like Emily Preston? Do we ignore bad things because that’s the way things have always been? Do we put ourselves above others because we feel more entitled to things? The one thing that stood out above anything else is that our prejudices are not limited to race; at least not for Emily. She not only sees the colored folks as beneath her, but those with a lower class than herself. She sees servants, white or black, as nobodies; even the people in the north because they do not see things as she. This prejudice is so extreme she is willing to destroy someone else’s happiness to see the classes don’t mix. How often do we ourselves do this? Michelle Isenhoff makes you sit back and take stock of the type of person Emily is and how to avoid becoming this way.

Any additional comments?
Overall I believe this is a book that every kid should read. I love the nods at actual things that transpired during this time in history: the mention of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the slave trade, and the underground railroad. The way these were written really show the author did her homework. I am anxious to read the rest of the books in this series. 

Summary: After a tantrum, Emily Preston is shipped from her plantation home to her inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, son of freed slaves, who challenges many ideas she grew up believing. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle's barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is only yards away, lodged in the hotel.

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