Some stories are ripe for the audiobook treatment. Case and point: The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. In this southern summer tale Owen Jester makes many a discovery–including a submarine and the best bullfrog in the county. As Owen and his buddies set out to take care of the frog, and get the sub in working order they must contend with Owen’s know it all neighbor Viola. The pressure is on as Owen, Travis, Stumpy and Viola set out to set sail in their submarine–without getting caught by the grown-ups.
Barbara O’Connor gives us a fantastic tale that happens to utterly ordinary people. Owen, Viola, Stumpy and Travis seem like children you or I could have grown up with. This is part of the magic of the book. These very real children have the amazing luck of discovering a submarine–mind you they have no clue how to operate it and it’s founds a decent jaunt from a body of water. To take advantage of the opportunity–they have to problem solve and learn to work together.
Beyond recommending this book, I also recommend the audio edition. Noah Galvin’s narration truly brings each of these rich characters to life. While the print edition is recommended for readers ages 9-12 I think the audio may appeal to slightly younger audiences as well. Happy listening.