THE PIPER'S SON by Melina Marchette (Candlewick on Brilliance 2011) is a companion novel to SAVING FRANCESCA (2004 Knopf). I had not read the first novel, but that did not stop me from enjoying this tale of Tom Mackee who has sunk to the very bottom of life following the death of a young uncle in a suicide bombing and the break up of his parents' marriage. Tom has finally returned home to live with his Aunt Georgie after a drunken fall leaves him injured and homeless. There are loads of complications in this story. Tom is trying to repair the damage to his relationship with the lovely and hurt Tara via email long distance, maintain a sibling relationship with his younger sister who still lives with his mother, and perhaps accept a new association with his now sober father. It is complicated, but what family is not? <318>
As always, this is an unabridged audio production. Accents, dialects, and voices are stongly delivered. Adn after this novel came to a close, I popped in this one:
CHARLIE JOE JACKSON'S GUIDE TO NOT READING by Tom Greenwald was fun to listen to as I navigated the streets in the Galleria area of Houston. Took my mind off the crazy and ill-mannered drivers (yes, I DO own the road as a matter of fact) as I listened to Charlie Joe explain why reading is something to be avoided at all costs. When he was young, he got his mother to read books aloud to him. Now that he is in middle school, he has a deal with one of his friends who reads the books for him in exchange for ice cream. But the deal is falling apart and Charlie Joe is desperate to find someone who can do the reading for him so he can finish the required position paper before the end of the school year. <319>
This is a sort of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID book with lots of short chapters and illustrations along the way. I love Charlie Joe's rules to avoid reading (there are 25 of them). Bonus material for the audio include the song about why books are wonderful played by Charlie Joe's teacher in a (vain) attempt to motivate readers, an excerpt from the book Charlie Jo is assiduously avoiding, and an author interview.