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Culture Children's Books
After 12-year-old Jayson’s mother dies, he manages to survive on his own for a while. But when he steals sneakers for the upcoming basketball season, authorities send him to live with a foster family. Jayson (who is white) must adjust to living with a black family on the rich side of town. He also has to overcome his anger if he’s to earn his teammates’ respect and lead them to the state finals. Lupica’s narrative moves quickly, with enough description to create memorable characters in an uplifting tale that shows the rewards of perseverance. Boys and sports lovers take note.
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will find this fourth and last volume a satisfying conclusion. In this sci-fi version of Snow White, Princess Winter is the beautiful, mentally fragile stepdaughter of evil Queen Levana, who of course jealously threatens Winter’s life. Others are also in danger, with war potentially consuming the earth. A rebellion intervenes, with Winter joining it alongside Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, characters from previous novels in the series. Cautions for younger listeners: fantasy violence and teenage romance. This audiobook is a significant investment of time—23 hours.
In this final book of The MindWar Trilogy, Rick Dial again faces Kurodar, creator of a virtual Realm that threatens American security. Entering the Realm through the MindWar project, Rick previously took on Kurodar’s minions. Now, he must destroy the Realm itself before Kurodar turns his horrific dream world into reality. Action-packed scenes keep listeners engaged while Rick displays spiritual truths. Although the story doesn’t mention Jesus, it does reference the Bible, and Rick realizes he must trust a power greater than himself. Fantasy violence and zombielike creatures make this story suitable for mature teens only.
The Story of God’s Love for You
Critically acclaimed author Sally Lloyd-Jones here adapts her best-selling The Jesus Storybook Bible for teens. In the audiobook version, narrator David Suchet’s rich tones embody a wide range of voices. Insightful vignettes with characters like Adam and Eve and King David cover the scope of the Bible, highlighting the story of God’s redemption of His people from sin. Chapters include poetic, contemporary language to help teens see the big picture. The content is similar to that of Storybook Bible, and the repackaging will likely make the well-loved stories even more appealing to teen and adult readers.
As Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hits theaters this February, Christian families may appreciate a kinder, more authentic take on the classic tale by Jane Austen. An excellent choice toward that end is Audible’s recent version read by Rosamund Pike, who played Jane Bennet in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. Pike offers delightful voicings of the numerous female characters, each distinguished through inflection and rhythm, and narrates in a feminine yet authoritative voice with a delightful British accent. As listeners follow the budding romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Pike’s narration fully captures the scope of Austen’s writing: zombie-free listening at its best. —E.W.