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by Elizabeth Wein | Read by Lauren Saunders, Maanuv Thiara

In alternating journal entries and letters, 16-year-old adopted siblings Emilia and Teo describe Ethiopia’s path to war with Italy in the 1930s and how it involved them in pilot training. Narrators Lauren Saunders and Maanuv Thiara detail the close friendship of Emilia and Teo in a story that also depicts Ethiopian race relations at that time. Listeners will need to give this high-flying adventure a long runway. Saunders’s voices for Em, Teo, and their mothers are too similar, and Thiara’s earnest reading draws the listener out of Wein’s rich descriptions of Ethiopian life. To their credit, both manage the Amharic vocabulary adroitly. In the chaos of war, both narrators use more subdued voicings, which better match the author’s dynamic shifts. C.A. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine