cover image American Ace

American Ace

Marilyn Nelson, read by the author. Listening Library, , unabridged, 2 CDs, 1.5 hr., $20 ISBN 978-0-14-752575-8

Sixteen-year-old Connor Bianchini’s father inherited a letter from his deceased Italian-American mother revealing a startling truth: Connor’s grandfather was actually a WWII pilot named Ace. Connor’s investigation of his unknown relative leads to another revelation—Ace was African-American and probably one of the Tuskegee Airmen. This sets Connor on a quest to find out his true lineage, a journey that brings up some answers not everyone is ready to hear. Though the premise of the book is fascinating, the production fails to do it justice. Nelson chooses to narrate this audiobook and should not have. Her voice in itself could be suitable for narration, as it has a nice lilting and languid delivery, but in narrating a tale through the eyes of a male adolescent, she does not capture his tone or voice well, which means Connor can often come across as whining. Her narrative pace does not work well with Connor. She pauses and drags out the narration unnecessarily, and she never manages to capture character voices well either. Ages 12–up. A Dial hardcover. (Jan.)