Will in Scarlet

By Matthew Cody. 6 CDs. 7:39 hrs. Prod. By Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2013 ISBN 9780804123334. $40.
Gr 6–8—Cody's novel (Knopf, 2013) is a vivid reimagining of the Robin Hood legend. Most notably, Will Scarlet is not a grown man but a teen from a privileged background. Also new is a clever teenage girl who goes by Much the Miller's Son because she's passing herself off as a boy. Will's manor house is taken over when his uncle is murdered by the cold-blooded Guy of Gisborne. Will's mother escapes to France, and Will is taken hostage by the merry men. Persuaded to invade the manor for treasure, the merry men are unaware Will is bent on revenge. The attempted heist leads to a series of adventures and capers with a wonderful cast of characters including Milo the stable boy and Crooked, the leader of a rival gang of outlaws. Maxwell Caulfield fully voices the characters, doing a fine job with Will's French-accented mother and a toothless member of the merry men. As a bonus, Caulfield's conversational style helps smooth over some places where the author repeats or overemphasizes points to ensure the audience is following the plot. Though traditionalists may take issue with the retelling-Will Scarlet gets the credit for giving to the poor-overall this is a good adventure story with a colorful cast.—C.A. Fehmel, St. Louis County Library, MO

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