This middle-grade geared story had some great potential, and I could clearly see and identify with the 4 brothers, their dislike of the step-mother, the always-manipulated youngest child. And bringing in a Nanny for the summer to keep the peace and perhaps get the boys to work together with less infighting was a clever twist. And the Nanny was the perfect mix of motherly love and attention with the clever insets of lesson learning and adjusting their behavior. In the written form, with a few minor adjustments, I could see this being a story that many 8 – 12 year olds could enjoy. But it was not free of issues, all of which lead into some of my pet peeves.
Just because you are writing or producing a product for a child – does NOT mean that you can be less than exact or correct in your fact-checking,and you cannot, under any circumstances pander or ‘talk down’ to the kids. BOTH no-no’s were in this audiobook version- much to my dismay.
Factually: the CIA is not operational in the United States – by charter. Therefore, a father who is a CIA agent on a drugs stakeout is incorrect. Secondly, and more important to the overall story is the character of Sergeant Plecher. Female drill sergeants were NOT used in the army until late 1971: few would have been IN the Vietnam theatre. Yet she uses and refers to being a vet of that era. Neither fact felt right – and in fact weren’t. Authors owe their readers, no matter the age, the assurance that homework and research have been done.
My third and largest issue with this audiobook was the narration from David W. Deitz. Overreaching and overly effusive, the stretches for “female tone” were achingly discordant and hard to listen to, while the overall tone of the story felt like a Ren and Stimpy cartoon – voicing emphasis replaced and overwhelmed the story action or emotional moments that could have presented an easier listen. However, I am not 8 – 12 years old, nor am I a boy who might appreciate that slapstick feel, but it did not work for me.
Stars: Overall: 2 Narration: 2 Story: 3
Title: The Peacekeeper
Author: Jacqueline Druga
Genre: Children's Literature
Narrator: David W. Deitz
Published by: Self-Produced
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 3 Hours: 13 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance
Raising four boys alone is not an easy task. Widower, Joe Slagel tries, he really does. He works hard, provides a stable home with lots of love and just the right amount of discipline. But Joe Slagel also provides his sons with something else, disposable stepmothers. He never intends for them to be disposable, however, the mischievous doings of his four children make it impossible for him to keep a wife, and them a stepmother, for very long.
Boy will be boys. But when the final straw is snapped and the fifth stepmother packs up and leaves without notice, Joe realizes it is time to bring in a professional.
Tough, strong, tender, not afraid to run a tight ship, and equipped with the ability to not easily be frightened. Those were the qualifications Joe sought. In comes Sergeant Ethel Pletcher. Not only does she tower over the boys in size, but her huge heart takes over the house and their lives, as well. Sgt. Pletcher proves that the Slagel boys aren't really all that bad, they just need someone that understands them, and at times, a peacekeeper.
As story for ages 9 through adult to enjoy.
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.