Talking Book Topics

January-February 1998
Books for Children--Fiction

Books listed in this issue of Talking Book Topics were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including animals, geography, nature, mystery, sports, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection. Cassette books, labeled with the code RC, play at 15/16 ips. To order books, contact your cooperating library.

A Bear for All Seasons RC 42936
by Diane Marcial Fuchs
read by Gary Telles
1 cassette
Just as Bear is settling in for his long winter nap, his friend Fox knocks on the door. Fox is upset with winter and tries to convince Bear that it shouldn't be his favorite season. For grades K-3. 1995.

Touch Wood: A Girlhood in Occupied France RC 42958
by Renee Roth-Hano
read by Margaret Strom
2 cassettes
The author recreates her girlhood experiences as a Jewish child in France during World War II. Written as a diary, her story takes her from the summer of 1940 when the Nazi invasion forces her family to flee, through a prolonged separation in which she and her sisters live in a home run by Catholic nuns, through the confusion of the Allied invasion, to her family's reunion in Paris. For grades 6-9. 1988.

Katy No-Pocket RC 42963
by Emmy Payne
read by Mary Kane
1 cassette
Katy is a kangaroo without a pocket. She tries to carry her son, Freddy, the way other types of animals carry their young, but nothing works. So Katy and Freddy head for the city to buy a pocket. For grades K-3. 1944.

Hope RC 43059
by LouAnn Gaeddert
read by Carole Jordan Stewart
1 cassette
In 1851, Hope and John Douglas, ages thirteen and nine, are taken in by the Shakers following the death of their mother, as their father is in California mining gold. Life is very different, but Hope realizes they are being treated kindly, and they must be thankful. But she still longs to hear from her father. For grades 3-6. 1995.

The Ch'i-lin Purse: A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories RC 43070
retold by Linda Fang
read by Janis Gray
1 cassette
Retellings of nine stories and folktales whose sources include classic Chinese operas, novels, and legends. In "The Ho-shih Jade," two kings undergo a battle of wits to obtain a famous piece of jade. The physician in "The Miracle Doctor" seeks help from a monk for treating the one disease he cannot cure. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Millions of Cats RC 43117
by Wanda Gág
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Because his wife is lonely, an old man goes out to search for a kitten. Unable to choose, he returns with millions and billions and trillions of cats. For grades K-3. 1928.

Who's in Rabbit's House? RC 43125
by Verna Aardema
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette (Reissue)
A humorous African folk tale about poor rabbit, whose house is invaded by a mysterious creature with a "big, bad voice." For grades K-3. 1969.

Wan Hu Is in the Stars RC 43157
by Jennifer Armstrong
read by Bob Askey
1 cassette
In ancient China, Wan Hu is a very distracted poet. While his mind is in the stars, he forgets to wear one shoe or to open his umbrella. People laugh at his foolish attempts to reach the heavens until the night he surprises everyone. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Selfish Giant RC 43158
by Oscar Wilde
read by Bob Askey
1 cassette
Children stop on their way home from school to play in the Giant's lovely garden, for the Giant is not at home. But when he returns, he forbids them to play there. They are so sad that Spring refuses to come into the garden, until one day a special visitor appears. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe RC 43165
by Penelope Lively
read by Erik Sandvold
1 cassette (Reissue)
A series of odd mishaps reveals that James Harrison has unwillingly become an apprentice to the ghost of a seventeenth-century sorcerer. For grades 4-7. 1973.

The Cottage at Bantry Bay RC 43184
by Hilda van Stockum
read by Gabriella Cavallero
1 cassette (Reissue)
The O'Sullivan family lives in a little cottage in Ireland where the children--Michael, Brigid, and the twins, Francie and Liam--enjoy hearing their father's stories, rescuing a dog from gypsies, and digging up buried treasure. Prequel to Francie on the Run (RC 43185). For grades 4-6. 1938.

Nothing but Trouble RC 43214
by Betty Ren Wright
read by Ilona Dulaski
1 cassette
Vannie's parents are going to California to look for jobs, and she has been left with Aunt Bert for the summer. But Aunt Bert is cranky and doesn't like Vannie's yappy little dog, Muffy. As Aunt Bert and Vannie adjust to being together, prowlers begin playing pranks on Aunt Bert and Muffy disappears. For grades 2-4. 1995.

The Morning Chair RC 43247
by Barbara M. Joosse
read by Jack Fox
1 cassette
Bram is a little Dutch boy who lives with his parents in a seaside village. In 1950 Bram's family gets immigration papers to move to America. Bram's mother had told him about America while they sat in their morning chair and sipped tea. Now both chair and family have a new home. For grades K-3. 1995.

Oddly Enough: Stories RC 43249
by Bruce Coville
read by Jack Fox
1 cassette
Nine horror tales that variously involve an angel, unicorns, ghosts, and werewolves. In "The Box," an angel entrusts a mysterious box to a boy, who treasures it throughout his life without ever opening it. For grades 5-9. 1994.

When Pigs Fly RC 43252
by June Rae Wood
read by Janis Gray
2 cassettes
Buddy feels good about her class assignment to tend an egg for two weeks--she has had nurturing experience with her sister, who has Down's syndrome. Buddy is sad when her parents move to a run-down farm, but she makes new friends whose problems make Buddy appreciate her own blessings. For grades 5-8. 1995.

The Bracelet RC 43257
by Yoshiko Uchida
read by Janis Gray
1 cassette
In 1942 Emi and her family are being sent to a prison camp just because they are Japanese Americans. Emi's best friend, Laurie, gives Emi a bracelet to wear in camp so she'll always remember her. But on the first day at camp, Emi loses the bracelet. Now Emi wonders how she'll be able to remember her friend. For grades K-3. 1976.

Weather Eye RC 43259
by Lesley Howarth
read by Kerry Cundiff
1 cassette
It is 1999 and the weather is out of control. After experiencing a near-death revelation, thirteen-year-old Telly loses all fear and logs onto the Weather Eye computer network to lead her fellow teens in calming the elements through meditation. Both Telly and the weather are transformed. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Sniper RC 43260
by Theodore Taylor
read by Brian Conn
1 cassette
Left in charge of his parents' wild-animal preserve while they travel in Africa, fifteen-year-old Ben Jepson is determined to prove to his parents that he is capable of the job. But when the chief animal handler is critically injured and a sniper begins to pick off the wild cats, Ben's responsibilities and troubles nearly overwhelm him. For grades 5-7. 1989.

My Mama Had a Dancing Heart RC 43268
by Libba Moore Gray
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
A ballet dancer remembers her mother's love of dancing. They would go outside and dance whenever it was a "tip-tapping song-singing finger-snapping kind of a day." For grades K-3. 1995.

Gluskabe and the Four Wishes RC 43269
retold by Joseph Bruchac
read by Brian Conn
1 cassette
An Abenaki Indian tale of three foolish men and one wise man, each of whom seeks a wish from Gluskabe, helper of the Great Spirit. Their wishes are fulfilled in unexpected ways, thus conveying a moral lesson to the reader. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1995.

My Brother the Ghost RC 43270
by Suzanne Weyn
read by John Polk
1 cassette
When Sara and Michael Buckner move with their parents into their grandmother's house, they've already heard rumors that it is haunted. The first day there they encounter a ghost who begins trying to take Michael's place. Because their parents won't believe them, Sara and Michael must stop the ghost themselves. For grades 3-6. 1994.

Cabin 102 RC 43304
by Sherry Garland
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
Twelve-year-old Dusty is afraid of water, and that presents quite a problem when his stepmother wins a Caribbean cruise. In fact Dusty has never told anyone of his fears. But the situation changes when he discovers a ghost in cabin 102. For grades 5-8. 1995.

A Sound of Chariots RC 43357
by Mollie Hunter
read by Patricia Kilgarriff
2 cassettes (Reissue)
Nine-year-old Bridie McShane is one of five children in her Scottish family, and her father's favorite. But when her father dies, Bridie agonizes over the finality of death and is overwhelmed with grief. Her teacher, Mrs. Mackie, however, recognizes Bridie's gift for writing and challenges her to develop her talent. For grades 6-9. 1972.

My First Love RC 43383
by Callie West
read by Ilona Dulaski
1 cassette
Junior Amy Wyse works hard to maintain good grades and her place on the swim team in hopes of getting a college scholarship. In fact she has had little time for boys. But when Chris Shepherd asks Amy out, she forgets her goals and gets carried away with dating. Suddenly Amy's grades begin to drop, and she loses her status as a top-notch swimmer. For grades 6-9. 1995.

Coast to Coast with Alice RC 43386
by Patricia Rusch Hyatt
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
A fictional journal sixteen-year-old Minna might have written during a two-month auto trip in 1909. Auto enthusiast Alice Ramsey, twenty-one, is asked by the Maxwell car company to be the first woman to drive across the United States. Minna and Alice's two sisters-in-law come along. For grades 3-6. 1995.

What My Sister Remembered RC 43389
by Marilyn Sachs
read by Michele Schaeffer
1 cassette
Eight years ago, Molly and her older sister Beth were in an accident that killed their parents. Molly was adopted by her aunt and uncle, while Beth was adopted by the nurse who cared for her in the hospital. Now Beth and her mother are visiting, and both girls are resentful. For grades 5-8. 1992.

Beware the Ravens, Aunt Morbelia RC 43423
by Joan Carris
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
In this sequel to Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls, Todd and his friend Jeff accompany Aunt Morbelia to her spooky family estate in England. While the three try to decipher Morbelia's cousin's strange journal, they realize they are being stalked. For grades 4-7. 1995.

My Ol' Man RC 43453
by Patricia Polacco
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
During a summer spent in Michigan with their dad and their grandma, Patricia and her brother, Richard, eagerly await their father's wonderful stories. Then their yarn-spinning Da loses his job, and they find a special rock that brings them magic. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Great Dad Disaster RC 43454
by Betsy Haynes
read by Jill Ferris
1 cassette
In this sequel to The Great Mom Swap (RC 29160), eighth-graders Scotti Wheeler and Lorna Markham are asked out by the boys of their dreams. Lorna's parents are happy for her, but Scotti's father is not at all pleased! For grades 6-9. 1994.

Dakota Spring RC 43465
by D. Anne Love
read by Catherine Byers
1 cassette
Caroline and Jess have lost their mother, and now their father has been seriously injured building a barn. Both children struggle to get along with their prim and proper grandmother, who has reluctantly come to their farm in the Dakota prairie to take care of the family. For grades 2-4. 1995.

Utterly Yours, Booker Jones RC 43487
by Betsy Duffey
read by Rick Rohan
1 cassette
Booker Jones, twelve, is a writer. He has already sent two books to a publisher, and he is working on his third one: Space Cows. However, Booker is experiencing writer's block, which started when Pop moved into Booker's room and Booker began living under the dining room table. And to make things worse, he now has to write a speech for a school rally. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Pilgrim's Progress: A Retelling RC 43496
retold by Gary D. Schmidt
read by Gordon Gould
1 cassette
The tale, written by John Bunyan in 1675, recounts Christian's journey, the adventures he has on his pilgrimage, and the ups and downs he experiences in his quest for spiritual grace. Rewritten in contemporary language. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 1994.

Schoolhouse Mystery RC 43506
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
The Aldens are planning their summer vacation when Benny's friend Max comments that the Aldens always have an adventure on their trips. But Max doesn't think the Aldens will find anything exciting in the tiny fishing village his father visits on the northern coast. But of course the Aldens do. For grades 3-6. 1965.

The Deserted Library Mystery RC 43507
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
Grandfather Alden wants the old Rock Falls library to become a landmark instead of being leveled. So the Alden children head to the village to clean the building. When they enter the library, they discover that they are not alone. For grades 4-7. 1991.

The Woodshed Mystery RC 43508
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
School is almost over, and the Aldens are thinking about their summer plans. Then Aunt Jane calls saying she wants to move back East and asking Grandfather Alden to buy her a farm. Fortunately the farm Grandfather and Aunt Jane grew up on is for sale. But a mystery surrounds it, and no one seems to stay there for very long. For grades 3-6. 1962.

Mystery in the Sand RC 43510
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
While their aunt and uncle travel to Africa, the four Alden children get to stay in the couple's mobile home on the beach. After befriending an elderly man with a metal detector, Benny finds a locket in the sand. It seems to belong to someone in the large mysterious house in town, but the reclusive woman living there won't speak with the children. For grades 3-6. 1971.

Mystery behind the Wall RC 43511
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
Benny is bored only one week into his summer vacation. Grandfather Alden's housekeeper, Mrs. McGregor, comes up with a wonderful plan to invite a Canadian boy, Rory, to visit for the summer. While devising a way to pass messages between their rooms, the boys discover a clue to a long-missing coin collection. For grades 3-6. 1973.

Mystery Ranch RC 43512
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
read by Michael Pinney
1 cassette
Grandfather Alden has a sister who hasn't spoken to him in years. Now she wants his grandchildren to come visit her ranch. The four Alden children have such a good effect on their grumpy great-aunt that she decides to give them her ranch. But first there is a mystery to solve. For grades 3-6. 1958.

The View from Saturday RC 43549
by E.L. Konigsburg
read by Brian Conn
1 cassette
Mrs. Olinski is hard-pressed to explain how she selected the four students who will represent the sixth grade in the Academic Bowl. But her choice of the four calling themselves "The Souls" was excellent. As the students prepare and compete, each reveals a reason for being part of the team. For grades 4-6. Newbery Award. 1996.

Pippi Longstocking's After-Christmas Party RC 43564
by Astrid Lindgren
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
First published in Sweden in 1950, this story continues the adventures of young Pippi Longstocking, who lives in a house called Villa Villekulla with her monkey and her horse. When she posts an invitation to an after-Christmas party, all of the town children are ecstatic. For grades K-3. 1995.

Across the Wide Dark Sea: The Mayflower Journey RC 43568
by Jean Van Leeuwen
read by Bruce Huntey
1 cassette
A fictionalized account of a young boy's trip to America with his family on the Mayflower in 1620. Once there, the settlers begin making a new life for themselves. For grades K-3. 1995.

Gulf RC 43584
by Robert Westall
read by James DeLotel
1 cassette
Young Tom and Andy are brothers in an ordinary English family. During the Gulf War in 1991, Tom notices that Andy is behaving in bizarre ways--scratching imagined lice on his body and speaking in Arabic. It turns out that Andy psychically identifies with a doomed Iraqi boy who is fighting in the war. Violence. For grades 5-8. 1992.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff RC 43600
by P.C. Asbjornsen and J.E. Moe
read by John Horton
1 cassette (Reissue)
A Norwegian folk tale about three goats who must pass over a bridge inhabited by a mean troll. For grades K-3. 1957.

The Old Man and His Door RC 43604
by Gary Soto
read by Ed Blake
1 cassette
An old Mexican man has a habit of not listening too closely to his wife. One day she tells him to bring a puerco (which means "pig") to the picnic. He thinks she said a puerto, which means "door." As he carries the door to the picnic, he has a lot of adventures. For grades K-3. 1996.

Grandpa's Song RC 43610
by Tony Johnston
read by Ed Blake
1 cassette
Grandpa is big and happy and loves to sing in a very loud voice. He makes up the best song in the world, which is about him singing. When Grandpa begins to forget things, his grandchildren help him remember his songs. For preschool-grade 2. 1991.

Fireflies, Peach Pies, and Lullabies RC 43613
by Virginia Kroll
read by Catherine Byers
1 cassette
Francie's great-grandmother can't remember how to do things anymore, and Francie is afraid people will remember Great-Granny Annabel only as an empty shell of a person. But at Great-Granny Annabel's funeral, Francie finds a way to help everyone remember something special. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

Tchaikovsky Discovers America RC 43617
by Esther Kalman
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette
Jenny Petroff, who shares her birthday with Tchaikovsky, turns eleven on May 7, 1891. One of her presents is to attend a concert conducted by Tchaikovsky at the new Music Hall in New York City. Another is money from an uncle in Chicago. Jenny uses the money to buy a diary in which she records memories of her time with Tchaikovsky during his visit to America. For grades 2-4. 1994.

Moving Days RC 43619
by Marc Harshman
read by Christopher Hurt
1 cassette
As a boy's family prepares to move out of the only house he's known, he becomes sad about what he is leaving behind. For grades 2-4. 1994.

The Case of the Absent Author RC 43620
by E.W. Hildick
read by L.J. Ganser
1 cassette
Bill Smith, aka Bill Legrand the author, is missing. His agent, Sheldon Byrne, has asked the McGurk Organization to investigate. McGurk and his officers appeared in Legrand's last book, and it seems Legrand left clues to his whereabouts that he knew McGurk could figure out. For grades 3-6. 1995.

The Witness RC 43622
by Robert Westall
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette
A cat considered to be a goddess in Egypt is stolen and taken to Judea, where she escapes. Cold and pregnant, the cat finds refuge in a stable. There she meets Joseph and Mary, who is about to give birth to Jesus. For grades K-3. 1986.

Night Rabbits RC 43625
by Monica Wellington
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette
The day is ending, but two little rabbits are still awake. They hop through the garden and into the cornfield and the orchard. And along the way they meet a raccoon, an owl, and a fox. Then the thunder and crashing of the rain send them home to snuggle and cuddle. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

The Secret Oceans RC 43637
by Betty Ballantine
read by John Stratton
1 cassette
An international team of scientists boards a high-tech submersible on an expedition to communicate with whales. The team encounters the cetasapiens, a previously unknown type of super-dolphin, from whom they learn much about the creatures of the deep and the fragile ecology of the oceans. For grades 5-8. 1994.

The Shark Callers RC 43641
by Eric Campbell
read by John Stratton
1 cassette
Two boys' lives converge at sea against the backdrop of a volcano eruption and tidal wave near New Guinea. As young Andy Thompson heads his dinghy toward shore from his family's damaged boat, the native boy Kaleku is on his first voyage as a shark caller. Both boys face the daunting hazards of sea and of sharks. For grades 6-9. 1994.


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