Children’s Audiobooks to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

9 Picks for Young and Middle-Grade Listeners

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

Audiobooks are a great way to expose kids to a diverse range of people, experiences, and settings. Listening can expand their understanding of the multicultural world they live in, help them develop empathy for others, and present authentic stories that reflect and validate their own and their friends’ voices. These are some of my all-time favorite audiobooks with Latinx characters and/or narrators to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month.

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

FRIDA KAHLO AND HER ANIMALITOS
by Monica Brown, read by Adriana Sananes
Dreamscape, Ages 6+

Lively animal sounds and the soothing voice of Adriana Sananes make this a joyful listen for kids, highlighting the influential Mexican painter’s spirit, curiosity, and imagination. Pair this audiobook with images of Kahlo’s paintings so kids can see the actual animalitos that Frida loved. 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.

5 Audiobooks for the New School Year

Get a fresh start with these audiobooks

5 Audiobooks for the New School Year

I love novels that feature schools; public school, boarding school, parochial school, or college—I read them all. Because fall fills me with fond memories of a new school year and all the promises of a fresh start, I’m often drawn to these kinds of stories in September.

I especially like novels in which the school itself (or a particular classroom) is a prominent aspect of the story, and the audiobooks featured in today’s Take 5 meet that criterion. Each one is tightly linked to a specific school or teacher and transported me back to my school days. Well, maybe not my school days, but you know what I mean.

Sharpen your pencils and shine your apples; it’s time to head off to class and make new friends. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Old-Fashioned Adventure Is Listening Pleasure

Behind the Mic with Narrator Peter Noble

Peter Noble

In this Behind the Mic video, narrator Peter Noble reminds us of the pleasure of old-fashioned adventure stories. He introduces us to British author Katherine Rundell and THE EXPLORER, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story of four children stranded in the Amazon jungle.

“Rundell’s writing is chunky and beautiful and elegant and a pleasure to narrate.”—Narrator Peter Noble

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9 Audiobooks for a New School Year

Calm the first-day fears with these audiobooks

Chu's First Day of School

Whether you’re headed to Kindergarten or middle school, starting a new school year can be scary no matter how old you are. This collection of audiobooks about heartwarming school friendships can help calm first-day fears and show your child that there can be a bright side to a new start, too.

Chu's First Day of School
Wemberly Worried
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.

Inspire Your Child to Explore the Natural World

6 Audiobooks to Get Your Kids Outside and Investigating Nature

6 Audiobooks to Get Your Kids Outside

6 Audiobooks to Get Your Kids Outside

Audiobooks about magic and mystery are wonderful for kids’ imaginations, but the real world is just as exciting. From oceans to animals to vegetable gardens, our planet features some fascinating places to explore. These audiobooks will empower young listeners to discover and ask questions about the natural world around them.

Shark Lady

SHARK LADY: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist
by Jess Keating, Read by Jordan Killam. Ages 4-6
As a woman, Eugenie Clark had to prove that she was smart enough to be a scientist and brave enough to research sharks. Underwater sound effects make listeners feel as though they’re diving through the water with Clark as she makes new discoveries in her field. Additional factual details about sharks will fascinate budding marine scientists. 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.

5 Family Listening Favorites

Audiobooks for Your Summer Family Vacations and Staycations

Audiobooks for Summer Family Time

School’s out for summer, and the kids are ready for fun. Road trips or plane rides, two weeks at the beach house, or three months of staycation; whatever your plans are, they’ll all go better with a family audiobook or two.

This month’s Take 5 roundup is your family listening lifesaver. These audiobooks will make the travel go faster and will brighten up a rainy, indoor afternoon. They might even keep your young listeners happy when you send them out to weed the garden or organize the garage. We can always hope, right?

As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to limit my recommendations to just five good stories, so I picked titles based on several criteria. First, all of the audiobooks featured here are under 4.5 hours, which means they can be listened to in a single car ride or while doing a family activity, like working on a jigsaw puzzle. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Robbie Daymond on The Burning Maze

Calling All Percy Jackson Fans—It’s Another Series Not to Miss

Robbie Daymond

Gather all the Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson fans as AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Robbie Daymond, who shares his insights on Riordan’s latest, THE BURNING MAZE. The Trials of Apollo series is perfect for listening to on your summer family road trips, and Robbie narrates all three audiobooks!

“Rick Riordan books exist in this amazingly well-crafted, rich, beautiful universe.”—Narrator Robbie Daymond

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Second Star to the Left and Straight On ‘Til . . . a Steampunk Twist on Peter Pan: Everland

Behind the Mic with Fiona Hardingham and Steve West

This week we have a special double feature—narrators Fiona Hardingham and Steve West take us Behind the Mic with EVERLAND — the narrator duo alternate chapters between the points of view of Gwen and Hook. Described as a steampunk homage to PETER PAN, this is an audiobook you don’t want to miss.

“It is an unexpected story. It’s very dark and twisted.”—Narrator Fiona Hardingham

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Life Goes on Until it Doesn’t—Love and Second Chances

Behind the Mic with Khristine Hvam

Khristine Hvam

This visit Behind the Mic brings us a chat with Khristine Hvam, co-narrator of EXTRAORDINARY MEANS. Author Robyn Schneider sets a stage in a not-so-distant future, when a virulent strain of tuberculosis is sweeping the U.S. In a dual narration, Khristine and James Fouhey tell the story of two teens who are battling the epidemic.

“We sometimes forget what strength and power teenagers really have.”—Narrator Khristine Hvam

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Sneha Mathan on When Dimple Met Rishi

Tease: Behind the Mic on a summer teen romance

Sneha Mathan by Howard Petrella

Every year, audiobook lovers rejoice in AudioFile’s Sync Audiobooks for Teens summer listening program. It’s free audio, thoughtfully curated, and there are always SO many good titles that I start to have audio anxiety (Audio anxiety (noun): The state of panic and fear that arises when an audiophile realizes there are more audiobooks that one yearns to listen to than there are hours in a day/week/year/lifetime/geologic time scale.) This summer, I foresee an especially bad case of audio anxiety coming on.

“Sandhya Menon’s writing is cinematic and makes for a fun read.”—Narrator Sneha Mathan

OF COURSE, what makes Sync even better, at least for the week of May 24-30 specifically, is that we have a ROMANCE to discover. Now, newsflash. Many people who claim not to like romance Actually. Like. Romance. (Ahem, Sarah Maas. Ahem, THE HUNGER GAMES. Ahem, Rainbow Rowell.) So, no matter your usual genre preferences, you’ll want to check out WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI. When a romance is all about dialogue, you know it’s perfect audiobook material. And narrators Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam ensure that listeners are as in love with the story as the characters are with each other. Listen in as Sneha talks about the audiobook with our Behind the Mic video above!

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Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!