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    Rosamund Pike StudioCanal

Children's Books

Children's Books

Recent audiobooks for teens 

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.

Winter

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.

Game Over

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.

Spotlight

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.

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  • Photo by Bill D. Johnson

    Danika Cooley Photo by Bill D. Johnson

Children's Books

Children's Books

Graphic novels for ages 6-14

Nothing exciting ever happens to D.J., until he discovers a child in a crater. The kid, who calls himself Hilo, has superpowers and can process information in seconds but doesn’t remember his origin. Hilo finds charm in everything about Earth until he meets a monster from another world who seems to know everything about him. In the ensuing fracas, D.J. discovers unexpected reserves of courage and ingenuity. The story illustrates valuable themes of human worth and potential, but it’s mostly for fun: Outstanding! as Hilo would say. (Ages 6-10)

Fable Comics

More than two dozen contemporary cartoonists update centuries-old fables that, while timeless in their depiction of humanity’s foibles, have often lost their punch because of inaccessible language and illustrations. Purists may groan at the treatment Aesop and his contemporaries receive, but children will delight in the humor, action, and variety of cartoon styles. Some treatments are more effective and clever than others, but the variety of artistic interpretations offers something for everyone. Each fable has an implicit or explicit moral. Parents may wish to preview the contents since the tone is sometimes disrespectful or sarcastic. (Ages 8-12)

Escape from the Lizzarks: Nnewts 

Herk would be perfectly happy in his peaceful village and loving family, except for his puny back legs. The crippled little salamander spends most of his time in the family pond baby-sitting his sibling spawn, until the day evil lizzarks invade the village. Herk appears to be the only one to escape, embarking on a perilous journey through underground streams. He turns out to be a newt of destiny with one surviving family member, but further revelations will have to wait until the next volume. TenNapel layers Christian themes with nonstop action, scary creatures, and occasional belly laughs. (Ages 8-12)

Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

Mirka, the rare Orthodox Jewish heroine in the graphic novel universe, is feisty, argumentative, and impulsive—but she always puts her adventures on hold for Sabbath observance. This book, Mirka’s third outing, emphasizes her prickly relationship with her stepmother, Fruma. While baby-sitting her stepsister, Mirka disobeys Fruma’s warnings and encounters a magic fish with the power to grant wishes—and the malevolent creature, nursing a grudge, plunges the girls into a mess that only Fruma can untangle. The complex plot requires attention and plumbs some psychological depth, but flashes of humor and heart brighten the mood. (Ages 10-14)

Spotlight

When lightning strikes the elm tree where young Martin Luther seeks shelter during a violent storm, he cries out to God, vowing to leave law school for the monastery. This is one of many attempts by a restless Luther to placate what he sees as an angry and implacable God. When Lightning Struck! by Danika Cooley (Fortress Press, 2015) tells Luther’s story from birth to death and from his quest to earn salvation to his revelation of grace.

Cooley, relying heavily on Luther’s own words and carefully annotating them, pieces together the “thunderstorms” in Luther’s life and the European world after his 95 theses trigger the Reformation. The latter half of the book looks closely at ensuing theological disputes, Luther’s writings, and his controversial choices and vices. Cooley gives young adult readers a thoughtful picture of how God used a flawed man to change the course of history. —Mary Jackson

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  • Photo by Bill D. Johnson

    Danika Cooley Photo by Bill D. Johnson

Children's Books

Children's Books

Graphic novels for ages 6-14

Nothing exciting ever happens to D.J., until he discovers a child in a crater. The kid, who calls himself Hilo, has superpowers and can process information in seconds but doesn’t remember his origin. Hilo finds charm in everything about Earth until he meets a monster from another world who seems to know everything about him. In the ensuing fracas, D.J. discovers unexpected reserves of courage and ingenuity. The story illustrates valuable themes of human worth and potential, but it’s mostly for fun: Outstanding! as Hilo would say. (Ages 6-10)

Fable Comics

More than two dozen contemporary cartoonists update centuries-old fables that, while timeless in their depiction of humanity’s foibles, have often lost their punch because of inaccessible language and illustrations. Purists may groan at the treatment Aesop and his contemporaries receive, but children will delight in the humor, action, and variety of cartoon styles. Some treatments are more effective and clever than others, but the variety of artistic interpretations offers something for everyone. Each fable has an implicit or explicit moral. Parents may wish to preview the contents since the tone is sometimes disrespectful or sarcastic. (Ages 8-12)

Escape from the Lizzarks: Nnewts 

Herk would be perfectly happy in his peaceful village and loving family, except for his puny back legs. The crippled little salamander spends most of his time in the family pond baby-sitting his sibling spawn, until the day evil lizzarks invade the village. Herk appears to be the only one to escape, embarking on a perilous journey through underground streams. He turns out to be a newt of destiny with one surviving family member, but further revelations will have to wait until the next volume. TenNapel layers Christian themes with nonstop action, scary creatures, and occasional belly laughs. (Ages 8-12)

Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish

Mirka, the rare Orthodox Jewish heroine in the graphic novel universe, is feisty, argumentative, and impulsive—but she always puts her adventures on hold for Sabbath observance. This book, Mirka’s third outing, emphasizes her prickly relationship with her stepmother, Fruma. While baby-sitting her stepsister, Mirka disobeys Fruma’s warnings and encounters a magic fish with the power to grant wishes—and the malevolent creature, nursing a grudge, plunges the girls into a mess that only Fruma can untangle. The complex plot requires attention and plumbs some psychological depth, but flashes of humor and heart brighten the mood. (Ages 10-14)

Spotlight

When lightning strikes the elm tree where young Martin Luther seeks shelter during a violent storm, he cries out to God, vowing to leave law school for the monastery. This is one of many attempts by a restless Luther to placate what he sees as an angry and implacable God. When Lightning Struck! by Danika Cooley (Fortress Press, 2015) tells Luther’s story from birth to death and from his quest to earn salvation to his revelation of grace.

Cooley, relying heavily on Luther’s own words and carefully annotating them, pieces together the “thunderstorms” in Luther’s life and the European world after his 95 theses trigger the Reformation. The latter half of the book looks closely at ensuing theological disputes, Luther’s writings, and his controversial choices and vices. Cooley gives young adult readers a thoughtful picture of how God used a flawed man to change the course of history. —Mary Jackson

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