cover image A Promising Life: Coming of Age with America

A Promising Life: Coming of Age with America

Emily Arnold McCully, read by MacLeod Andrews. Scholastic Audiobooks, unabridged, 9 CDs, 9 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-338-15969-1

Masterful actor Andrews succeeds in capturing the multiple voices and accents presented in McCully’s ambitious imagining of the life of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea and French-Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau. Using scant records and journal entries, the author charts Jean-Baptiste’s early life under the wing of explorer William Clark, as well as his experiences in school and with traders, merchants, and Duke Paul Wilhelm—and, eventually, his adventures in Europe. Listeners will be intrigued by the many references to the philosophical and political influences and the factors that drive this young man to “learn everything” in order to fulfill his destiny. Andrews’s skill is evident throughout; he dramatizes anticipation, anxieties, wit, sarcasm, and anger in the dialogue of both male and female characters. Aided by Andrews’s talent, this audiobook is both educational and entertaining. A[em]ges 12–up. A Scholastic/Levine hardcover. (July) [/em]