cover image Kids of Appetite

Kids of Appetite

David Arnold, read by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Michael Crouch, and Phoebe Strole. Listening Library, , unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $50 ISBN 978-0-7352-8747-1

When grieving teenager Vic flees his home to disperse his father’s ashes, he finds solace with a motley crew of semihomeless teens led by Baz, a Congolese refugee who is being accused of a New Jersey murder, and falls in love with Mad, an intrepid bookworm. Stage actor Strole captures Mad’s biting wit, and Crouch nails Vic’s wistful optimism. (Crouch also gamely tries his best with a sequence that likely worked well in print but is almost unbearably awkward for the listener, in which Vic recites his mantra one hundred times in rapid succession. Points to Crouch for his attempts to vary the delivery.) Where the audiobook falls short is in failing to utilize the talents of Anderson, an experienced audiobook performer who is woefully overlooked here as Baz, mostly serving as a scene-setter at the start of each chapter while Strole and Crouch coarsely attempt to read Baz’s dialogue in their respective sections of the story. A Viking hardcover. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)