The Madman Of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Madman Of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis | Audiobook ReviewThe Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis
Narrator: Kirby Heybourne, J.D. Jackson
Length: 8 Hours 59 Minutes
Published by Scholastic Inc. on September 30th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Social Issues, Friendship, Historical, Canada, Post-Confederation (1867-)
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780545633765

Bestselling Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a powerful companion to his multiple award-winning ELIJAH OF BUXTON. Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real? In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too. *"Humor and tragedy are often intertwined, and readers will find themselves sobbing and chuckling, sometimes in the same scene. Though this story stands alone, it will be even more satisfying for those who have read Elijah of Buxton." KIRKUS, starred review *"Woven throughout this profoundly moving yet also at times very funny novel are themes of family, friendship, community, compassion, and, fittingly, the power of words"- THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, starred review

Why Did I Listen To The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis?

The Madman Of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis is the type of audiobook and read that I tend to be a huge fan of. I love middle grade books about history, and especially when those books have a multicultural component. Further, this audiobook has one of my favorite narrators – Kirby Heybourne – at the helm, and so I just knew that I had to read it. Also? I have never read a Christopher Paul Curtis book before and with his prominence in the children’s literature genre, that is just plain tragic.

What’s The Story Here in The Madman of Piney Woods?

The Madman of Piney Woods is about two main characters – Benji and Red. Benji is an African American boy and Red is an Irish boy. On the surface, both Benji and Red could not be more different – in fact they do not even live in the same town. Yet, the two meet at this spelling competition, at least that’s what I remember, because their best friends are in it. Bored, they ditch the competition and go swimming in this watering hole in the woods. Speaking of which, there’s a presence they can feel in the woods watching them. Anyways, over time, the two develop a friendship that actually faces a few tests and such – ending with a major climax in the plot involving the actual title character, the Madman who lives in Piney Woods.

How Did I Like The Characters?

Okay, so it’s been a few months since I last listened to The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis. So, okay, what I remembered is that I did like both characters. Then again, I usually tend to like the characters that I read about, so, that is not too far out of the ordinary. I liked that they formed a friendship with each other and learned different things through that friendship. Also, that they were accepting of one another.

How’s The Narration Of The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis?

I quite enjoyed the narration of Kirby Heybourne. I mean, I knew that I would, I’ve listened to dozens of books narrated by Heybourne. He does a great job with making the story his own, if you know what I mean. As for the other narrator, JD. Jackson, I thought he was perfect for the chapters featuring Benji. Jackson has a voice that is smooth and easy to listen to. In all, these narrators did a great job working in concert on The Madman Of Piney Woods.

Who Should Listen To This Audiobook of The Madman Of Piney Woods?

  • People who enjoy books about unlikely friendships
  • Historical fiction fans
  • Readers who have yet to try books by Christopher Paul Curtis but really want to

Sum It Up With A GIF:

The Fox And The Hound GIF

Friendships all over the place.

Other Reviews Of The Madman Of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis:

Crazy QuiltEdi – “I like that this is a book actually written for young people

Story Time Secrets – beautifully told and beautifully written

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Personally, I prefer to read than to listen. But this one sounds good. I might grab it later after I’m done with my website.
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