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Extended Audio Sample Zen and the Art of Faking It Audiobook, by Jordan Sonnenblick Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,890 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jordan Sonnenblick Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780739371541
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When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn't try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different. When he accidentally answers too many questions in World History on Zen (only because he just had Ancient Religions two schools ago) all heads turn and San has his answer: he's a Zen Master. And just when he thinks everyone (including the cute girl he can't stop thinking about) is on to him, everyone believes him . . . in a major Zen way. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/19/2014

    " I was reminded I hadn't read this book as I was compiling a list for a boy who is currently having a hard time finding things to read. It was the best thing I've read in a while. Adults writing for children, especially middle schoolers, often have a hard time sounding authentic. By far Sonneblick finest book I've read. Actually I'm puzzled why this book didn't win some Newbery award. It has all the requisite elements: the story is compelling, entertaining, and most importantly the character shows great self-awareness and growth. There were some great laugh out loud moments. This book is perfect for all middle schooler feeling on the fringe. (What teenager doesn't feel that way sometime?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth McLane | 2/6/2014

    " My third favorite Sonnenblick novel (That's my "half-full" description, since I've only read three!) His writing style is interesting - funny, sarcastic, full of pop culture references, and an accurate middle schooler's POV (He previously taught middle level English). He is very good at mixing humor with very serious, deep, heartbreaking situations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 2/4/2014

    " Quite enjoyable young adult fiction. Probably won't be my vote for the YRCA, but it is the top two or three. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiff | 2/2/2014

    " This was a funny and insightful read. I think both boys and girls ages 12 and up would really enjoy it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 1/31/2014

    " entertaing, but not amazing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deanna | 1/28/2014

    " I loved this book, I was actually giggling out loud! Excellent story, great for all pre-teen and young teens to read. I love the messages Mr. Sonneblick puts in his stories, usually be yourself. I would recommend this to any student/child 12 and up! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 1/27/2014

    " Light-hearted and fun. San Lee is moving to yet another new school and is ready to re-invent himself. Turns out the identity comes to him the easy way: everyone assumes he's a Zen master since he answers just a few too many questions in class (oh, and he's Chinese, so that helps too). In the process of attempting to live up to his identity, he develops a crush on a fellow classmate who genuinely believes in his Zen abilities. Naturally, as in so many other tales that involve the protagonist being someone other than themselves, the lie falls apart. Fortunately, learning all that stuff about Zen helps San to cope with all the trouble he has managed to inadvertently cause. Lots of great stuff about Zen in here, which might entice readers to find out more. Attempted this with my middle-school book group; for some reason, only the boys liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angelica | 1/20/2014

    " A very interesting but still quite typical story about a boy who has the chance to be someone new when he moves to a different school. If you're interested in easy reads and want to re-live a high school experience, read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mokamonkey | 1/18/2014

    " This was the first title I read by this author. I think it deserves more like 4.5 stars - I'll definitely read him again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 1/13/2014

    " Cute and funny with a likable main character. Longer review to come on the audiobook, since MY interpretation led to a major issue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 1/8/2014

    " A good realistic fiction read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 1/4/2014

    " Not my fave Sonnenblick book. Nevertheless, I could totally relate to San and his struggles to find himself - in a new school and without his Dad at home. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Walsh | 12/19/2013

    " This book was Terrific. It was't a page turner, but it was something a student, like me, could relate to. So i really enjoyed this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aidan | 11/23/2013

    " this is a book about a boy who moves around a lot and is still finding himself. When he moves to Nowheresville, Pennsylvania however, he changes. Read the book to find out what happens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ET | 11/15/2013

    " It made me feel refreshed. Jordan Sonnenblick it good at making visualizations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christian | 11/14/2013

    " This was a cute story. I mean, how can you help but love a boy who finally gets something good from moving every year? Granted, declaring yourself a zen guru can't help but end poorly. But it was a cute story. Nothing to jump up and down about, but cute nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mai Person | 10/17/2013

    " It was really cool and I think this is quite true for a lot of people in middle school. Pretending to be some one you're not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lowden | 8/31/2013

    " I thought "The Wednesday Wars" by Gary Schmidt was funny. But, this was like that book's big brother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 5/21/2013

    " Another Bookworms selection...this one was chosen because the group loved his other two books, with Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie being a fav. This one had the Sonnenblick flavor, but we didn't enjoy it as much as the others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 5/11/2013

    " I didn't love this one as much as his first two, but it was still good...and an excellent choice to offer to middle- school/early high-school guys. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hawa | 3/21/2013

    " THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A BOY THAT GET IN LOVE WITH A GIRL AND ALOT OF THINGS WILL HAPPEN IN THE BOOK "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi (yabibliophile) | 12/22/2012

    " I really loved his first two novels and was looking forward to reading this one. I thought it was just OK....but I really really loved the other two so that might make me a bit harder on this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jerianna | 12/17/2012

    " Well written, pretty interesting, light read. Andrew had it from the school library, so I read it. Probably a 4 star, but took the Lord's name in vain too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Talia | 5/12/2011

    " I read this in the library while I had extra time during school...never bothered to check it out of the library, just sat down and read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe | 4/6/2011

    " Not my favorite of Sonnenblick's books, but very cute. A little younger than what I usually read, but fine for a light, bouncy mood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisa | 3/4/2011

    " Jordan Sonnenblick delivers again with a great, teenaged story about zen, identity and love. plenty to think about and some great songs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 1/26/2011

    " Another middle school book that involed the basic story of an 'outcast/new kid' who suddenly find an amazing friend in a girl he would never has expected to like. A little unrealistic but I enjoyed all the information on Zen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 1/9/2011

    " This book was really good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 12/28/2010

    " I love Sonnenblick's writing style. This sounds like eighth grade to me. I followed San's adventures, just waiting to see what would happen next. This was a fun and enjoyable read. I would absolutely recommend it to young readers and adults alike. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 12/23/2010

    " I thought this was an excellent book. It moves along with likable characters. I liked the Thoreau and the Buddhism. Even the supporting cast of teachers and librarian add so much to the story. Honesty and identity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cory | 11/23/2010

    " 2.5 stars

    Yay, an Asian protagonist. He's an adopted Chinese boy. "

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About the Author
Author Jordan Sonnenblick

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Notes From the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking It. In addition to being a writer, he is a middle-school English teacher and would never penalize one of his students for bringing an imaginary friend to school.

About the Narrator

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy. His audiobook narration has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.