Reviews for Hokey Pokey : Library Edition

AudioFile Reviews 2013 February
Hokey Pokey is a land for kids from birth through early adolescence. It's a world of the imagination in which bikes are supreme and the railroad tracks never see trains--until one day Jack hears a far-off whistle. Maxwell Glick and Tara Sands work well in their team narration. They both manage effective character differentiation, but it's an especially tough job for Glick, who carries both the narrative and all the male voices, which predominate in the story. His narration would be improved by having a voice in his repertoire for the occasional adult. But this is to quibble as his voices for children--from toddlers to teens--are convincing. The many transitions from one young character's dialogue to another's work well. M.C. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 5-7--In the land of Hokey Pokey, kids reign supreme. There are no adults, only older kids to guide the younger ones through their days of play and exploration. Jack, an older boy, has become a legend, roaming Hokey Pokey on his wild bike, Scramjet. When Scramjet is stolen by his rival, wild girl Jubilee, Jack's life suddenly seems meaningless. As the day winds on, Jack finds that it is not only the absence of his beloved bike that has left him feeling off center. He soon realizes that only he can hear the train's call in the distanceā€¦a train that seems to be coming on what had always been empty tracks. While Spinelli's coming-of-age tale (Knopf, 2013) builds a marvelous metaphor for leaving childhood, the book is more enjoyable in print format. Narrators Maxwell Glick and Tara Sands both do an admirable job, but Spinelli's almost stream-of-consciousness writing style is slightly confusing to experience only audibly. The print version also contains a map of Hokey Pokey which grounds readers as they enter this dreamlike world.--Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA

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