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Summary

Libby Dodge is in a place she's never been before: prison.

Frightened, lonely, surrounded by a wild crew of tough, hard-minded women, Libby finds unexpected support in big, bluff Ma McCreary. When the prison's chaplain hears the two women belting out vaudeville songs in the prison laundry, Libby finds that her extraordinary voice may be the key to a new life.

But before she can truly be free, she must face the life she left behind, which was another kind of prison altogether.

Inspired by a real event, this dazzling novel celebrates the healing power of music, and the resilience of the human spirit. It is brought to vibrant life in this recording by a full cast of talented actresses who burst into song whenever necessary.

We guarantee you've never heard anything like it!

©2003 Kathleen Karr (P)2004 Full Cast Audio

Critic reviews

"The book boasts a unique setting inhabited by a colorful cast of characters that is not often seen in children's literature." ( School Library Journal)

What listeners say about Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lindsey
  • 05-06-05

Terrific book, terrific production

Great voices, great characters to voice, not too complex or deep for the kids to follow, nice twist at the end that I didn't guess, but was very satisfying.
Heaps to talk about with children if they pick up on things- relative guilt of a baby-killer versus an abortionist for instance, but nothing to give them the real horrors.
This is what historical fiction for children should be- everyone's silent while it's playing, and everyone's talking about it as soon as it stops.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Just this guy
  • 26-05-05

My girls loved it

This was a fun ?Full Cast? book I found by accident and after listening to a sample wanted to hear more. The voicing is good, the plot melodramatically funny (in a Gilbert and Sullivan style) and the audio quality is excellent.
Listen to the sample, don?t fear the singing (only a few snippets here and there, this is not a musical), and enjoy it with your kids, or without.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jeanette
  • 13-04-20

I have listened to this multiple times over the past several years

This audiobook is a splendid blend of music and words. The acting is above average for an audio play. The story holds my attention even though I know what is happening next.

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  • Barbara
  • 12-02-19

Just Plain Enjoyment

This little gem of a recorded book is unique in my experience. I usually don’t enjoy full cast presentations, but in this case the performance was irresistible. This is the story about a girl trapped in a melodramatically awful life who is nurtured and “set free” by an unlikely and complicated group of diverse women and, of course, by drama and music. Fans of Gilbert and Sullivan and orphan novels will be singing “hallelujah” along with Libby and this performance of the novel.

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  • mathmac
  • 21-04-13

Very enjoyable!

If you could sum up Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free in three words, what would they be?

Wonderful production.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free?

Don't have a particular one. Perhaps the historical notes on the prison system.

Which character – as performed by Carmen Viviano-Crafts and the Full Cast Family – was your favorite?

Most of them were great.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

We enjoyed the production and also the historical notes afterwards.