AudioFile Recommends

by Jerry Stanley | Read by Fred Sullivan

Fred Sullivan’s rich voice strikes the perfect balance of intimacy and authority as the mass migration to California during the Dust Bowl era gets renewed attention in this short audio. Stanley contrasts the poverty and despair of the migrants, many from Oklahoma, with the progress migrant children made at the innovative Weedpatch School, near Bakersfield. The story describes the school’s development and the useful skills children learned, including plumbing and animal husbandry. Sullivan’s natural style in delivering instructive quotations adds immediacy. While his pacing is perfect for engaging listeners of any age, the repeated use of an expletive in primary source quotations makes this performance more appropriate for teen listeners. Sullivan’s stellar performance complements Stanley’s captivating vignettes. C.A. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine