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What I Call Life

by Jill Wolfson

This title is now available on MP3-CD from Brilliance Audio for only $14.99. (Please go to Brilliance or to order - we no longer sell directly.)

When Cal Lavender’s mother has an “unfortunate episode” at the library, Cal is taken to a group care home run by a strange old woman called “The Knitting Lady.” Cal is clear that this is not her real life, just a temporary detour. But even detours can take you where you need to be. A charming, funny, and insightful first novel.

What I Call Life

Product Details:
Availability:  In Stock – Ready for Shipping
Editions:   sku     isbn-13     isbn-10     count  
  CD Economy     n/a     978-1-5012-3650-1     n/a     Five CDs  
Approximate Running Time:  5 hours

Librarians: click here for a printable product information page

Listen to samples from this audiobook:
Sample 1An introduction to Cal Lavender. (5:08, about 5.9)
Sample 2The children's reactions to death run the gamut. (2:06, about 2.4)

"The unusual mix of personalities at the Pumpkin House makes this an extraordinarily interesting story. Through her storytelling, the Knitting Lady helps the girls come to accept themselves, despite their problems. The Full Cast Family provides a splendid performance. Vaudeville style piano music punctuates the beginning and end of chapters. A good addition to middle school and public library collections"
    — School Library Journal
"Full Cast Audio does an extraordinary job of bringing Jill Wolfson's debut novel to life."
    — AudioFile 2005
"With richly drawn characters that are all dealing with their own levels of denial and life-changing realities, listeners will become emotionally invested themselves. The full cast of actors adds dimensions to the telling that make this marvelous audio one that should not be missed. Each vocal performance is intimate, real, and passionate making it feel very much like a life being lived right along with the characters. The emotion, tension, sadness, and ultimate hopefulness are all flawlessly conveyed. Cal Lavender’s life will never be the same and neither will the lives of listeners. Highly recommended for school and public libraries and for family road trips."
    — KLIATT
"Listeners accustomed to adult readers imitating youngsters will be pleasantly surprised to hear a youngster (Grace Kelly) reading the narrator role and that of 11-year-old protagonist Cal Lavender....Cal is moved to a group home, after her unstable mother causes an incident in the library. Here she meets four other girls and a kind, elderly caretaker known as the Knitting Lady. The Knitting Lady speaks with a slight stammer, which reader Caroline Fitzgerald subtly injects into her exquisite performance. Initially, her slightly craggy voice is a little off-putting, but it slowly grows on you and soon you will agree that no one else could play the Knitting Lady with such authenticity."
Booklist Editor's Choice
    — Booklist November 15, 2006   Starred Review
Praise for the print version of What I Call Life:
"A grand-slam homerun, Wolfson’s first novel depicts wonderfully kooky characters with fast pacing and witty dialogue that realistically portray the emotional growth in severely damaged children, keeping readers laughing and crying throughout. "
5Q, 5P
    — VOYA
"Wolfson paints her characters with delightful authenticity. Her debut novel is a treasure of quiet good humor and skillful storytelling that conveys subtle messages about kindness, compassion, and the gift of family regardless of its configuration"
    — Booklist   Starred Review

Meet the Cast:

Cynthia BishopNurse F.
Bruce CovilleOfficer Quiggly
Jo D'AloisioWhitney
Caroline FitzgeraldKnitting Lady
Grace GatesAmber
Moe HarringtonMrs. S.
Grace KellyCal
Marissa McLeanFloppy Haired Girl
Emily MeidenbauerFern
William MeidenbauerBus Driver
Ellen PaparoneMonica
Mike StevensLife Guard
Directed by:Victoria King
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