The voices in my head

10 Sep

Many years ago, I checked in with my class after having a substitute. Their verdict was that she did a good job, but didn’t  read voices they way I did during the read aloud. I thought that was odd because I didn’t think I made up voices for characters while I read.  Now that I’ve listened to hundreds of audiobooks, I think I know what the students meant. In my humble opinion, the best readers don’t always make a voice for a character, but they do alter slightly the way they read in another’s voice. It’s much more subtle than making up  a voice.

I reflected on this as I began reading The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt. It just screams READ ME ALOUD!

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I sooooo want to read this one because the voices are so compelling. It is a magical tale, where raccoon Scouts listen for information from the radio of an abandoned De Soto. There is a legendary Swamp monster. There are bad guys, too: a sounder of feral hogs and 2 greedy people out to convert the swamp into an amusement park. There is the story of a boy who has lost his beloved grandfather. And they are all connected by Bayou Tourterelle.

It reminded me a little of Carl Hiaasen’s novels because it combines humor and environmental awareness, and it felt a little bit like The One and Only Ivan  in the way animals are portrayed. A definite Newbery contender.

3 Responses to “The voices in my head”

  1. Professor VJ Duke September 10, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    A swamp monster is fantastic! Is there really one in the novel?

    • Adrienne September 10, 2013 at 5:57 am #

      Absolutely! He is the Sugar Man. He loves to eat sugar cane and has a pet rattlesnake named Gertrude.

      Here is how he is described:

      “He was taller than his cousin Sasquatch. Taller than Barmanou. Way taller than the Yeti.His legs and arms were like the new cedar trees that were taking root all around, tough and sinuous. His hands were as wide and big as palmetto ferns. His hair looked just like the Spanish moss hung on the north side of the cypress trees and the rest of him was covered in rough black fur, like the fur of the ursus americanus luteolus, UAL, also known as Louisiana black bear, that had taken up residence in the area. “

      • Professor VJ Duke September 10, 2013 at 7:26 am #

        What a neat description. Kind of makes you want to meet him, doesn’t it?

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