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The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

9 CDs. library/retail ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781611200126. $39.99; Playaway digital. F
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Few scenarios are as unsettling as that of a child in harm's way. This powerful debut by Braunstein (www.sarahbraunstein.com), recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, concerns the harrowing fate of three young people—Leonora, who is kidnapped; Paul, who runs away from an abusive home; and Judith, who seeks adventure—and their struggles are mesmerizingly difficult to behold. These intersecting stories of children in acute circumstances are spun like word art, holding listeners spellbound, unnerved, confused, and helpless. Narrator Xe Sands (www.xesands.com) gives an unemotional, staccato delivery, joining forces with the author to keep listeners intrigued and disquieted. Highly recommended for those who relish unpredictable, complex literature cut from a unique mold. ["Braunstein paints gorgeous portraits of a wide variety of characters," read the review of the Norton hc, LJ 12/10; the Norton pb will publish in April 2012.—Ed.]—Judith Robinson, Dept. of Lib. & Information Studies, Univ. at Buffalo

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