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December 30, 2005 Edition

Trickster’s Queen, by Tamora Pierce, read by Trini Alvarado

Delightfully devious Aly is at it again in this sequel to “Trickster’s Choice.” Maidservant to Lady Dovasary of the Copper Isles, Aly is part of the plot to do away with the light-skinned king who rules over the darker-skinned Copper Islanders, and put Lady Dovasary’s sister in his place. Aly’s keen intelligence is blunted a little by an uncertain relationship that takes her attention away from the task at hand – will it cost her the goal?

Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen, performed by Andy Paris and Carine Montbertrand

Ever since second grade, when Juli first saw Bryce’s big blue eyes and caught a whiff of watermelon shampoo from his hair, she’s been smitten. But Bryce, put off by her messy house and flock of chickens, has been running the other way. Now they are in 8th grade and Bryce is beginning to see things in a different light: could it be that Juli’s actually cool? And for her part, Juli is wondering how she could have nurtured affection for anyone so shallow for so long. (cd)

Sabriel, by Garth Nix, read by Tim Curry

Dark and grim, this sequel to “Abhorsen” puts Sabriel to the test as she leaves boarding school to take on her father’s mantle and put an undead magician to rest. At 18, she’s had lots of training in necromancy, but has always been under her father’s watchful eye. Now he is missing and she teams up with Mogget (an elemental spirit trapped in cat shape) and the mage Touchstone to find him and put the world right. (cd)

How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff, read by Kim Mai Guest

Fifteen, anorexic, and self-mutilating, Daisy leaves New York (and her father and pregnant step-mother) to live with relatives she’s never met before, hoping for a happier life. At first, it is: she falls in love with the English countryside and her cousin Edmond, and they all have a blast while her aunt is away in Norway. But when England is invaded, her aunt’s absence means they have no adult protection, and the cousins are separated. Determined to keep Edmond’s sister alive and well, Daisy becomes resourceful and caring. Years later, when the occupiers are finally driven off, she is not at all the girl she used to be. (cd)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares, read by Angela Goethals

One perfect pair of thrift-store jeans; four teenage girls. A recipe for disaster? Not at all, as these four best friends make a pact to share the pants that seem so magical. Lena wears them in Greece, and finds new love. Bridget takes them to soccer camp and gets in over her head. Tibby wears them to make a film and a new friend. And Carmen finds herself in desperate straits, wearing them to play a new role as wicked stepdaughter to her father’s new fiancé. (cd)

The Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer, performed by Gerard Doyle

Adventurous listeners will revel in the trials of Jack and his little sister Lucy, which begin when Jack is befriended by the Bard of his village and taught a little music and a little magic. When the Beserkers descend upon their village, Jack and the Bard raise a fog to confuse them – everyone escapes except Jack and Lucy. Sent to the court of Ivar the Boneless (who is happy to have a bard, even if Jack is really just an apprentice), Jack makes a big mistake and ends up on a long and perilous journey to find out how to undo it. If he succeeds, all is well. If he fails, he’ll never see Lucy again.(cd)

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