The Children of Green Knowe
L. M. Boston, , read by Simon Vance. . Listen & Live Audio, $27.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59316-060-9
British actor Vance's full-bodied and inviting performance infuses this good-natured fantasy with the kind of charm likely to hook Harry Potter and Narnia fans. Young Toseland (Tolly for short) isn't sure what to expect when he is sent to spend a holiday with his Great-grandmother Oldknow in her huge castle of a house in England. He arrives in the middle of a flood, and feels as if he is climbing aboard Noah's Ark, which sets the stage for this unusual adventure. Soon Granny is telling Tolly about Toby and the other children (and animals) who sometimes come to the house, "when they want to." Listeners and Tolly learn that Toby and his full-of-energy siblings Linnet and Alexander are ghosts; they died during the Great Plague. Magic, mystery and fun will bring listeners along for an entertaining ride, even if they may not always be sure where the ghosts begin and real-life leaves off. Vance's characterizations of comforting Granny and inquisitive, excitable Tolly are engaging throughout. Five subsequent titles—all inspired by the author's restoration of an English manor house in 1930s Cambridge—are also available on audio. Ages 9-up.
Reviewed on: 01/16/2006