Monday, February 11, 2019

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon. Unabridged downloadable e-audiobook, ~5 hours. Read by Sullivan Jones. Listening Library, August, 2018. 9780525643524. (Review of e-audiobook borrowed from public library. Own hc edition.) 

Have you ever met a new friend who is fun and exciting and a bit older? Middle Grade Monday features The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon. Ten-year-old Caleb and eleven-year-old Bobby Gene are looking forward to summer but live in the most boring town ever with the most over-protective father ever. Bobby Gene is fine with this; but Caleb wants adventure and finds it when sixteen-year-old foster child Styx Malone moves in nearby. He oozes cool and seems to like Caleb. He likes Caleb so much he's even willing to let the boys in a what he calls "The Great Escalator Trade." What could go wrong?

Magoon is such a versatile author. From gritty realism to reimagined Robin Hood, she excels at developing characters we find interesting and come to care about. Readers will relate to the brothers' dilemmas after hooting about the fact that they traded their baby sister for a sack of fire works. This is a story that invites you in to sit awhile. Before you know it, you never want to leave. And can't, because first you just want to find out what hijinks is going to happen next. Then, once the real action starts, there's no way to close the book until you've read till the end.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, you won't soon forget Caleb, Bobby Gene and Styx. New to me narrator, Sullivan Jones nails the performance with unique voices and perfect pacing. Read with your eyes. Read with your ears. Make time to read The Season of Styx Malone.

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