Tag Archives: talking animals

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

I decided to read this book to the kids. I remember enjoying it significantly when it first came out. This is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Published: 1996

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 399 pages

Setting: it felt like England and northern countries, including Svalbard, 1800s, but it wasn’t really Continue reading


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Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

This is the second book in the Immortals series, that started with Wild Magic. Miss Adventure downloaded the audiobook and played it for me on the way to gymnastics practices. I ended up finishing it on my own.

Published: 1994

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 182 pages

Setting: the province of Dunlath within Tortall, soon after the events of Wild Magic Continue reading

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The Twits by Roald Dahl

This is one of the BBC’s The Big Read books that we happened to have lying around the house. I must have seen it in at a thrift store or something and picked it up because Dahl always makes for a good read aloud. I thought it would be a good start to our year as a read aloud.

Published: 1980

Genre: middle grade fiction (there are talking animals, but they only talk to each other and it doesn’t really feel like fantasy)

Length: 76 pages with lots of illustrations

Setting: England, it felt like the 1940s, but certainly not even the 1980s. Continue reading

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The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon

Published: 1960

Genre: middle grade talking animal fiction

Length: 176 pages

Setting: Times Square, NYC, late 1950s (present day for when the book was written)

Interest: I’ve heard it was a good read aloud, so it was our bedtime story for a while. Continue reading

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Watership Down by Richard Adams

Published: 1972

Genre: fiction

Length: 474 pages

Setting: the Downs of England, recent past

Interest: Mr. Curiosity said he wanted to read more literature during the coming year. I gave him a couple of choices of middle school appropriate classics and he chose to read this book. I decided I should probably read the book as well so we could talk about it together. Continue reading


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Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Published: 2011

Genre: middle grade talking animal realistic fantasy

Length: 560 pages, nearly 16 hours of audio

Setting: near Portland, Oregon, present day

Interest: I’ve seen the book recommended a couple of places as a good book. I was looking for an audiobook to listen to for a 14-hour round trip to Philadelphia (yet another gymnastics meet) and this was the right length. Continue reading

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Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Published: 1952

Genre: middle grade fiction

Length: 184 pages

Setting: a farm, 1950s

Interest: It’s a classic, so it’s been on my radar to read to the kids. I was prompted to read it when I did because Grandmama was going to take Miss Adventure to a play based on the book and I wanted her to know the story going into the play. Continue reading

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