Laura Amy Schlitz delivers this Horn Book Fanfare and Cybils Award-winning best-seller that whisks 11-year-old Maud Flynn from a cold New England orphanage and into the stately mansion of three wealthy spinsters. After the Hawthorne sisters adopt her in 1909, they tell her she's their secret child. She must remain indoors at all times and must never stand in front of windows. Since these old ladies treat her so well, Maud doesn't mind their restrictions. But she does wonder what could possibly require such secrecy.
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by Peter Elwell
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
by Laura Amy Schlitz
"As listeners, we're rooting for orphan and troublemaker 11-year-old Maud Flynn from the moment we meet her singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" while locked in an outhouse. A seemingly perfect situation arises for Maud when spinster sisters adopt her, but things take an unsettling turn when they reveal that she is to be their "secret" child. Alma Cuervo delivers Schlitz's text with perfection. Cuervo's reading sets the stage for this gothic mystery, which takes place at the turn of the 1900s. Both tone and pacing lend a tenor of discomfort that ensure the listener feels just as uneasy as Maud does as she attempts to discover the secrets of the Hawthorne sisters. This production is well read, with clear and consistent vocal characterizations. J.K.R. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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