Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: Floors

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: Floors
Author: Patrick Carman
Narrator: Jesse Bernstein
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Format: MP3 Digital File
Duration: 6 hours and 13 minutes
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Source: Library
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Intended Reading Group: Middle Grade
Content Screening: Nothing of note
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HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love quirky adventures!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel.

The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future!

Narrator Review:
Jesse Bernstein's voice has a quality all its own in this audio book! He brings each character to life in wonderful ways, and always makes it easy for the listener to tell who is speaking. Best of all, he speaks in a clear and well enunciated fashion. Those of you who have younger listeners will greatly appreciate this. Older listeners might need some time to get used to it.

Audio Book Rating: 4/5 - Worth a listen!

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Book Review:
What a fun and wacky read! Not since my days of Roald Dahl have I fallen this in love with a story line. The Whippet Hotel is a place built out of the imagination of a very interesting man. Merganzer Whippet, the hotel's designer, was told that he would one day invent wacky things! If this hotel is any indication, that's completely right. From a room with edible furniture, to one that is built just like a pinball machine (that you can PLAY!) this is a hotel that I would be happy to stay in! I think middle grade readers will fall in love.

When Merganzer Whippet goes missing, it's up to Leo to solve the mystery of the hotel. There's something to be said about a young, brave protagonist. Leo is smart, kind, and adorable the entire way through the book. I loved how Patrick Carman built his relationship with his father, and with the other characters in the story. It's easy to fall into step with Leo as he sets of on a zany adventure through the hotel. You'll find yourself cheering him on, and wondering what fascinating thing he is going to find next!

If that's not enough, the other characters in Floors will definitely sate your need for silliness. Each one has their own unique personality (and in the audio book their own voice). They mean well, but each one has a pretty interesting set of quirks. After all, doesn't an amazing hotel need equally amazing people to inhabit it? It's so much fun to read about their daily lives, and see how they fit into the overall mystery. Kudos to Patrick Carman for writing such a wonderfully vivid cast of characters.

I see this as the type of book that is going to fly off your library shelves. Or, if you have a young reader at home, one that they'll beg you to read over and over. There is so much to love in Floors! Silly, fun, and just downright wholesome. This is the type of stuff that Middle Grade stories are made out of. Definitely recommended!


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