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12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

We had a choice of 12 Angry Men or a kids’ book to listen to on the 3-hour drive home. Who won?

So much character going on that even the kids loved it.

So much character going on that even the kids loved it.

You’d think, studious writer and reader that I am, that I would spend delicate and slow-moving time in choosing what books I’m going to read next or what we’re going to listen to in the car on a drive. But it’s often literally a question of what can I download from Overdrive (the library app that I love) the fastest and looks least bad. Same story last week when it was between something about pirates for kids and an easy favorite, but I thought it would just be for the adults, 12 Angry Men.

I played the kid one about the pirates for a bit, but I lost track of the story and the kids went back to reading their Donald Ducks. Hmm. After getting gas, I switched it 12 Angry Men mostly because I was curious which version of the story it was. I’ve seen the Henry Fonda movie version and maybe another version, too, can’t remember.

But this was recorded on stage and unless it was a fake audience audio track, it was live. We listened a while and then I hit pause to talk to my wife and that’s always a good test to see whether or not the kids are listening. “Hey! Could you turn it back on?” I got from the back seat. Aha, test works, they are listening. Didn’t get that reaction when I turned the pirate story off.

So what is it? It’s excellent dialogue, characters, and a build up of the story. The characters, remember this was a stage play, were all different and easy to identify with. Some loud mouths, others soft spoken, all cooped up in the same room with the same goal. The kids got so into it that we listened to the entire play all the way home.

The kids asked questions about why some people said what they did, what all of the arguing was about, why people thought the way they did, etc. It was as fun to hear their questions as it was to hear the story.

It’s probably not terribly age appropriate, but it was an excellent afternoon of character and story and drama.

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