RoadTrip America

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Maximum Ride - School's Out Forever by James Patterson and Valentina De Angelis (Narrator)


ABRIDGED AUDIO BOOK ON 4 CDs
Maximum Ride #2

If the subtitle of this book weren't enough to ensure an enthusiastic young adult audience, the thrill-a-minute exploits of Max and her adopted brothers and sisters would. In the first Maximum Ride book, The Angel Experiment, Max and the Flock escaped the Erasers who were sent to kill them. Now the delightful band of 2-percent avian, 98-percent human children faces another treacherous predicament-going to school. Max, Iggy, Fang, Nudge, Gasman and Angel, ordinary children until they were subjected to horrific experimentation that turned them into mutants with the ability to fly, have escaped the scientists again and have begun their assigned task to save the world.

When Fang is injured and taken to a hospital, it is discovered that he's not an ordinary boy-he has wings. A compassionate FBI agent takes the Flock home, gives them the mothering they've never known and enrolls them in school. Although they've battled deadly foes, they find that coping with teachers, homework, bullies, peer pressure, dating and other school hazards can be just as challenging. Finding their parents, discovery of superhuman talents, inner voices, unexpected love and betrayal, all combine to produce a gripping tale.

Valentina De Angelis is believable as Max, giving her just the right tone of sarcasm, while capturing Max's innocent optimism. Patterson's writing is so effective that his description of the emotional highs and lows that the characters experience in this book evokes the sensation of swooping and soaring that a bird must feel as it explores the sky.

This audio book is a wonderful mix of the supernatural and the mundane, of terror and security, of comedy and tragedy. The characters are enchanting and likable, and the roller coaster storyline keeps the listener captivated from beginning to end. I recommend this audio book for the whole family's roadtrip pleasure.

Ruth Mormon
7/23/06

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