CURRENTLY RECORDING: The American Dream by Russell A. Baker

Posted January 13, 2020 by Jess C. in Audiobooks / 2 Comments

The American Dream

Last week, I talked about one of the first books I narrated, The Rose Diary. This week, I thought it’d be fun to talk about what I’m currently recording.

The American Dream is Book 1 in The O’Connor Chronicles series written by Russell A. Baker. It’s a middle-grade time travel novel about faith, family, friendship and American history. Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

My name is Kaitlyn O’Connor and the story I’m about to tell you is unbelievable, but I know it’s true, because it’s my story.

I’m just a kid who goes to school, and lives in a small town called Ottersprings, Minnesota. I also love history. Maybe you do too, but most people think history is boring! Well this story shows exactly how not boring it is!

It all started on a rainy weekend. The kind where bored kids look for something exciting to do. My dad always says, if you look hard enough you can always find an adventure; well we found adventure and much more.

My friend Sam and I, along with my younger sister Kirsten discovered our next door neighbor, Mr. Bacon, was a lot more than just a 7th grade history teacher, when we stumbled into his secret workshop where he had invented a time traveling device. That’s right, I said TIME TRAVEL!

Mr. Bacon was happy to have us join him on his time jumping field trips and it was all fun and games until the past caught up to him like a violent tsunami that swept us all up in its wake.

Our teacher had a ruthless enemy from another era who would do anything to get his hands on the time device. When this nemesis broke into the secret workshop and stole the golden prototype time device, he also kidnapped my sister and used it to jump back in time!

Together, Mr. Bacon, Sam, and I were determined to follow them in order to rescue Kirsten in another century, and save the future of our beloved America.

Recording The American Dream is the most fun I’ve had narrating audiobooks so far! Don’t get me wrong, I love this job but not every book has me excited to step into my studio and get inside its world, the character’s heads, etc. As a book blogger, I probably know more than most about how every book has its niche and that even when you read the jacket and think “this is going to be awesome!”… there are lots of times when it’s just not. With blogging, I can DNF a book if it’s not something I love. Not so easy when a book becomes your job and you’re stuck inside it day in and day out. (Just realized I’m starting to ramble and this topic would be better suited to a whole other post… Moving on!)

So, back to talking about my time in the studio narrating The American Dream. Some of my favorite books to work on are told from the first-person point of view. American Dream does this, but different chapters are told by different characters. So I get to be the courageous yet reserved Kaitlyn (who’s the main character), but I also get to be her bouncy, adventurous younger sister, Kirsten.

There are some great characters throughout the story, like Kaitlyn’s best friend, Sam, and their teacher, Mr. Bacon, and I’m enjoying performing all their parts but………. I’m not sure if he counts as a “person” but probably my favorite voice to act during production on The American Dream has been Mr. Bacon’s robot, Buster.

I’m a HUGE R.A. Salvatore fan. SO much so, that my husband and I are naming our daughter after one of his characters. Kaitlyn and Sam’s history teacher is also a Salvatore junkie. And, in the words of Mr. Bacon, when he created Buster, he “tried to pull from a couple of my favorite characters and embed those characteristics into the AI. Clearly, I may have gone a bit too far.”

The result? I get to channel my inner Bruenor Battlehammer to voice Buster the robot!! I cannot tell you how much fun (and at times funny) that is!! Seriously, it’ll be worth getting and giving this book a listen just for my dwarven accent people!

The story itself is written for middle-grade, but I’m still enjoying it even though I’ve already read through it multiple times (and am basically living it any time my kids will let me work right now). I really can’t wait to share this story with more people. Stay tuned to find out when it’ll be available on audio, narrated by yours truly!

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