Narrator Suzy Jackson is an exceptional match for this high-stakes, battle-driven space opera—the first installment in a new YA series from author Brandon Sanderson. Suzy inhabits the brave, strong, fierce female protagonist in SKYWARD, and while she was recording, Suzy was captivated by the layers of world-building in Sanderson’s high-octane futuristic narrative of hope, sacrifice, and courage.
“The adventure of it was so exciting that I would come home every night after recording and tell my two young boys what had happened.”—Narrator Suzy Jackson
We adults who love YA titles used to be hesitant to reveal our passion, lest other adults recoil in literary-fiction-horror. But no longer. Bahni Turpin’s amazing performance of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, a YA fantasy by Tomi Adeyemi, took the top prize — Best Audiobook — at the 2019 Audie Awards. AudioFile had already given Turpin an Earphones Award for her riveting rendition of the fierce tale about three teenagers who must return magic to an African kingdom from which it has been stolen. Do not miss Turpin’s singing of Yoruba incantations. Read more…
2019 marks the centennial of Congress approving the 19th Amendment, which gave many women the right to vote—a change that was brought about by a brave group of activists. The audiobooks in this list celebrate female activists—from more than 100 years ago all the way up to today. These inspirational true stories show ALL young listeners the importance of, and the power that comes from, speaking up for the rights of all people.
BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET
by Lesa Cline-Ransome, read by SiSi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, Bahni Turpin
Live Oak Media, Ages 4-6
Four African-American women narrate in turn to describe Harriet Tubman’s voice rising in protest as a suffragist, as General Tubman, as a Union spy, and as an enslaved child when her father taught her to read the stars. Sounds of horse-drawn carriages, marching soldiers, spirituals, and rushing rivers help listeners imagine the many roles that Tubman played over her lifetime. Read more…
My most recent listen—HATE NOTES by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, read by Sebastian York and Lynn Barrington—proposes the millennial’s version of a bucket list. Rather than making a to-do list motivated by terminal illness, the main characters accomplish adventures that simply make their lives richer and more fulfilling. Their list expresses gratitude and bravery as well as a good measure of silliness. Looking at other recent titles, I notice that they comprise a sort of audio bucket list. I’ve never lived in a small town with a large family circle, but thanks to the arch sweetness of Diana Luke in K.M. Jackson’s AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME, I can experience that—and so can you! Read more…
In MOTHER COUNTRY, Kathleen Gati narrates the story of Nadia, a Ukrainian woman who is struggling to make her way in the U.S. and to bring her daughter to this country. Her quest is punctuated by flashbacks—deftly negotiated by Gati—that detail what brought Nadia herself to New York.
“The lengths she goes to to express her love for her daughter . . . I think you’ll love this book.”—Narrator Kathleen Gati