11 Kids’ Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

I am celebrating Women’s History Month this year with a bunch of new audiobooks celebrating female trailblazers. These are women who bravely spoke truth to power, who didn’t listen to their critics — internal or external — and who dared to achieve what seemed impossible. Listen and be inspiried by these women who blazed trails for themselves, for other women, and for all of us. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

In Conversation with Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Jason Reynolds Interview

Jason Reynolds Interview

AudioFile’s Josephine Reed spoke with author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds about STAMPED, a remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING for young people which Reynolds also narrates. Highly recommended as a work for young readers, the audiobook is accessible to anyone interested in learning about how racism and antiracism developed in America. In all of his work, Reynolds is known for writing and speaking directly to young listeners, meeting them where they are, and helping young Black readers see themselves reflected in books they are excited to read. 

In this bonus episode of the Behind the Mic podcast, Reynolds speaks about the importance of writing for younger readers and how he came to work on STAMPED. Hear the full conversation below.

“What we were trying to do is ensure that the conversation around antiracism permeates every single sector of our country, not just scholars and academics and people who are thinking about race, but our children.“—Author Jason Reynolds

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Author Nic Stone and Narrator Dion Graham on the impact of DEAR MARTIN

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Author Nic Stone and narrator Dion Graham make a powerful team. Stone’s newest audiobook CLEAN GETAWAY came out this winter, and it’s another Earphones Award winner narrated by Dion Graham. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to revisit our conversation with the author and narrator duo. Host Jo Reed spoke with both Stone and Graham when their audiobook DEAR MARTIN first released. Stone’s moving young adult audiobook allows listeners to reflect on the trauma and impacts of racial profiling as her characters ask the questions we would in their situations. Listen to their conversation below.

“The best way to reach young people through literature is to reflect actual young people who mess up, who do good, who do bad, who have good things that they are a part of, who maybe have some things that they shouldn’t be a part of.”—Author Nic Stone

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Audiobook to Screen: Listen Before You See These 2020 Book-Based Movies for Kids and Teens

Book-based movies for kids

Book-based movies for kids

With movies and series based on classic children’s and young adult books like Little Women, His Dark Materials, Looking for Alaska, and Green Eggs and Ham currently in theaters and on streaming services, there are plenty of book-based movies for kids and teens, but even more are coming in 2020. Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, so I like to listen before watching to see how the movie compares with the pictures I form in my head while listening to the audiobook.  Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

Narrator Allyson Johnson on Mildred D. Taylor’s Unforgettable Series

Allyson Johnson narrator video

In the video below, Allyson Johnson talks about the delights and challenges of narrating a long-running historical fiction series. With ALL THE DAYS PAST, ALL THE DAYS TO COME, the Logan family saga that began with ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY comes to an end, and Allyson puts the story into historical context for listeners. Author Mildred D. Taylor was honored with the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement this year, a well-deserved honor. Hear more about the audiobook from Allyson herself.

“It’s a beautifully evocative story.”—Narrator Allyson Johnson

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In the Studio with Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Odyssey Award Winner HEY, KIDDO

In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
Author and narrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka (top) and Jeanne Birdsall

I was thrilled to talk with author Jarrett J. Krosoczka about the process of adapting his acclaimed graphic memoir, HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction, into a full-cast audiobook. And I was even more excited when earlier this week HEY, KIDDO won the American Library Association’s 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults. There are so many things to love about this audiobook, but for me the most remarkable aspect was the casting. Krosoczka tapped members of his own family to narrate the true story, and the result is unforgettable. Below, read my Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits on Audio

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits

This time of year puts me in a nostalgic mood to spend time with furry creatures that star in the sort of books that are loved by both adults and children. Rabbits, for instance. When the British publisher Rex Collings agreed to publish Richard Adams’s WATERSHIP DOWN, he wrote a colleague, “I’ve just taken on a novel about rabbits, one of them with extra-sensory perception. Do you think I’m mad?” Farsighted is a better description. The 1972 classic about a band of anthropomorphized rabbits on a quest for a new home has been republished and adapted repeatedly since publication, most recently in a terrific audiobook read by Peter Capaldi. That male rabbits get starring roles despite the matriarchal nature of real rabbit society is mostly forgivable because the story’s drama is enhanced by Capaldi’s rich voice and insightful pacing. The Scottish-born actor also starred as the twelfth Doctor in BBC’s epic Doctor Who series, which turns out to have been excellent preparation for creating an abundance of character voices for the brave group. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

2019 Best Children & Teen Audiobooks

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

Of all the audiobooks I have listened to this year (almost 100!), the ones on AudioFile’s 2019 Best Audiobooks list definitely rise to the top. In the Children’s and YA categories, there is something for every listener from age 4 through adult. They are all beautifully written, and the performances make each story a joy to listen to. To echo Elizabeth Acevedo in her interview with AudioFile, these audiobooks make me feel “like these are my homies talking to me in my ear and telling me these amazing tales.” Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

Kids’ Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

Kids' Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

Kids' Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

All Native American children deserve stories that respect who they are and who their ancestors were. While they still represent only a small minority of titles published, these recent audiobooks for children present authentic portrayals of American Indians. To honor their #ownvoices for Native American Heritage Month, this list features audiobooks written and/or narrated by Native Americans. For more recommendations of children’s books about Indigenous peoples, Dr. Debbie Reese’s blog is an excellent resource. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

Author Mackenzi Lee and Narrator Christian Coulson on The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky

Mackenzi Lee and Christian Coulson

Anyone who loved Percy and Monty in Mackenzi Lee’s YA novel THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE will want to hear THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO GETTING LUCKY, a sweet, brief novella sequel. We were lucky enough to catch Lee and narrator Christian Coulson together in New York while Coulson was recording the audiobook—watch the video to see them having a lot of fun while talking about the inspiration behind the novella and the importance of audiobooks.

“Audiobooks are what made me a reader, and what made me love books.”—Author Mackenzi Lee

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