Emory Elliott is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside.
Gr 7 Up-Mark Twain's classic and much assigned novel of boyhood and interracial issues in the Antebellum South is skillfully read Dick Hill. While both Twain and Hill work to keep accents differentiating race, class, and locality clear and consistent, Hill doesn't always manage to adhere to the pitches he creates for individual characters who share gender and age. However, his pacing nicely suits the story and demonstrates its richness for young readers who are often put off by the spelling and locutions Twain employed to provide an accurate record of the time and place. The visual aspect of this package, however, may have difficulty finding a broad audience. Each page of text, illustrated with the Edward Kemble drawings that appeared in the book's original published form, appear onscreen as they are voiced. This leads to a static quality unlikely to engage today's visually sophisticated youth, while reducing the details of Kemble's work by placing it beyond the field of intimacy an individual holding the book can enjoy. Also, because this novel continues to receive criticism for its use of the "N" word, seeing and hearing it simultaneously may cause a some problems. Collection planning for the inclusion of this type of "visual" audiobook is suggested.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia, Canada Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.