Friday, March 28, 2014

Skulduggery Pleasant audiobook

Skulduggery Pleasant audiobook
Written by Derek Landy, read by Rupert Degas

Landy, Derek. Skulduggery Pleasant. Read by Rupert Degas. HarperChildren’s Audio, 2007. MP3.  
ISBN10: 0061341045

Summary: When twelve year old Stephanie’s quirky Uncle Gordon dies a stranger shows up at the reading of the will. Stephanie discovers the man is an old friend of her uncle’s named Skulduggery Pleasant, who also happens to be a detective, a sorcerer, and a walking, talking skeleton. When he tells Stephanie that he believes Gordon was murdered, they set off to find answers- and Stephanie discovers she has more power in her than she realized. 

 Strengths/Weaknesses: While on the upper end of the middle grade reading range, Skulduggery Pleasant is a novel that some advanced 9-year-old readers would also enjoy. The author, Derek Landy, does an excellent job of mixing in humor and sarcasm right when things seem to be getting a little too scary. It is interesting also to note that while one of the main characters is a girl, the book is not promoted as a “girl book.” 
The narrator, Rupert Degas, does a wonderful job of adding drama and intrigue to the story. Even though he has a deep, gravelly voice, he changes it for each character when they speak and it lends itself well to the suspenseful nature of the story. The jazzy music and sound effects after each chapter help hold the suspense. They do seem a little long at times, especially when tension has built at the end of a chapter and the reader is eager to find out what happens next.

Uses: At the end of the story, there is an interview with the narrator as the Skulduggery Pleasant character where he answers questions that were submitted by fans. This could be extended into the classroom or library by having students or book club members write what questions they would ask, then have the others answer how they think Skulduggery would.
Another way to use this novel would be to host a kid friendly murder-mystery program after having read the book. 

Audience: Skulduggery Pleasant is a delightfully humorous mystery novel for kids ages 10-14. 

Read-Alikes: This book is great for fans of fantasy, magic, mystery, and adventure. Other books that like this include: Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Awards: Odyssey Award Honor Audiobook, 2008

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