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Extended Audio Sample Personal Effects Audiobook, by E. M. Kokie Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (429 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. M. Kokie Narrator: Nick Podehl Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781469206820
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Seventeen-year-old Matt Foster thought that if he could only get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. He wasn’t expecting T.J.’s personal effects to raise even more questions about his life.

Now, even if it means pushing his dad over the edge…

even if it means losing his best friend…

even if it means getting expelled from school…

Matt will do whatever it takes to find out the truth about his brother’s past.

With compassion, humor, and a compelling narrative voice, E. M. Kokie explores grief and self-discovery in this powerful first novel.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • A 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBT Children's/Young Adult
  • Selected for the Fall 2012 Kids' Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/20/2014

    " Matt goes on an adventure of self- and familial-discovery after his older, and much revered, brother TJ becomes another casualty of the recent Iraqi War. Matt must learn to address his anger and confusion stemming from his family's dysfunction, teen drama at school, and TJ's hidden life. Pros: appealing and relevant to the male teenage audience; emotion-driven; Cons: the ending is resolved a bit too quickly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 2/12/2014

    " One of those books that grabs your attention from the beginning! Lots of twists and always has you thinking. A rough and gritty novel about a teenage boy who has lost his brother, but exactly how well did he know his brother (perhaps not as well as you might think.) A book I would highly recommend. Unfortunately it's not going to be in our JR/SR High School because of the harsh language. Which is the only controversial thing about it, but for the most part, I thought the curse words were a necessity to get the correct view of the character. Go read!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MrsB | 8/30/2013

    " Kari's choice for May 2013 This is an extremely well-written and suspenseful book about a boy struggling with the grief of his brother's death. When the army sends T.J.'s personal effects home, Matt finds letters that take him on a trip to find out that he never really knew his brother like he thought he did. I will say the language is rough, but it is totally within the characterization of a 17 year old with an extremely difficult father and who is in serious pain. This book looks at many issues about what it means to be a man, but I can't say that it was an enjoyable read because the protagonist is just in such agonizing pain throughout the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 8/19/2013

    " Matt is grieving over his brother, T.J.'s, death. T.J. lost his life serving in Iraq. It would be nice if Matt could talk to his dad about their loss. It would be nice if Matt could read all of those condolence letters sent by friends and strangers. It would be nice if Matt could openly look through T.J.'s personal effects delivered by the Army. But Matt can't do any of those things. Dad refuses to talk and refuses to acknowledge the letters (shoved in a closet) or the trunks (locked in T.J.'s room). Dad's whole presence exudes violence and threats and Matt is afraid of him. When Matt finally gets up the nerve to sneak into T.J.'s room and break open the trunk, he finds evidence of a T.J. he never knew. This evidence sends Matt on a literal and figurative journey of discovery. And that discovery is a shock - both to T.J. and the reader. This story is beautifully told by first-time novelist, E.M. Kokie. I wanted this to be a war story; it's not. It's a story of love, fear, and family, with a tiny touch of romance. This book isn't going to fly off the shelves, but it will appeal to many. Probably for the more mature teen (Matt talks like a teenage boy who has been mistreated by his dad his whole life). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 7/29/2013

    " 3 of 25 on YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney Botteron | 7/29/2013

    " This book was very very good. I felt like Matt was my bestfriend and i kept wanting to him right from wrong i wanted to fix everything for him i ultimatly just wanted him to be happy. At first the book was very slow and almost unintresting about 150 pages in i got why it was excellent. The charachters started changing and so many unsuspected events happened. It got to the point where i couldnt wait to read the book i couldnt wait to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 7/27/2013

    " I loved this book. A surprising twist which was handled brilliantly. Happy ending. Everything a book should be. No boring parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy Blackler | 7/25/2013

    " A beautifully moving story of a broken family, an angry young man, and a journey that holds unexpected consequences. I cannot wait to share this book with the Readers in Room 6. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trish Doller | 7/4/2013

    " Still thinking of exactly what I want to say, but moving is probably where I'll start. Very moving. And real. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 6/7/2013

    " This book was amazing. I am surprised I didn't read it faster. Personal Effects will probably go down as one of my favorite books of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina H. | 5/25/2013

    " This is a powerful novel that slowly unveils the truths behind a family who is struggling. Everything - from the setting, seemingly small events - lends itself to building a solid (not sappy) emotional story for every character. Good writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 VampyreGodess | 3/7/2013

    " The book was interesting I thought the guy would find out his brother hade a bunch of kids with a family he didn't know about "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 3/4/2013

    " Make sure when you pick up this book that you have the time to read it all in one sitting. It's definitely an emotional page turner. Matt's reaction to the truth was not what I expected, but I think was very realistic for someone in his situation. "

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About the Author

E. M. Kokie is an attorney, but has long had a strong interest in literature for teens. Personal Effects is her first novel. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

About the Narrator

Nick Podehl is a professional voice actor. He has narrated numerous audiobooks, many of which have won prestigious awards, including fourteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He currently lives and works around Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife.