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by Michelle Obama | Read by Michelle Obama, Jim Adams, Charlie Brandts, Christeta Comerford, Sam Kass, Bill Yosses, and a Full Cast

Michelle Obama's familiar warm voice is the first one listeners hear in this family-friendly story of the White House kitchen garden. It's part history lesson, part tie-in to the First Lady's “Let's Move!” initiative, and it includes everything from behind-the-scenes anecdotes about life in the White House to instructions for starting a vegetable garden at home. Testimonials from contributors such as local farmer Jim Crawford and beekeeper Charlie Brandts are appealing and sincere, and hearing a fifth-grader read his essay about his day at the garden will make listeners' hearts grow three sizes. The abridgment mostly works—listeners won't know what they're missing—but it's a shame none of the photographs from the hardcover edition were included. The true value of AMERICAN GROWN, though, is the springboard it provides for conversations with kids about where our food comes from. J.M.D. 2013 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine