7 Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Heartwarming Audiobooks about Friendship and Family

Seven Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Seven Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Many readers and listeners loved Meg Medina’s MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS. The audiobook, read by Frankie Corzo, was one of AudioFile’s Best of 2018, and the book won the 2019 Newbery Medal. There is lots to love about the confident, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suárez, and I was cheering for her as she navigated difficult changes in her close-knit extended family and school life. Curious listeners can watch our video to hear Frankie Corzo’s own insights into what it meant for her to narrate this story.

If you’re looking for more heartwarming audiobooks about friendship and family for ages 8 and up, here are a few of my favorite recommendations. 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.

YA Romance Audiobook Summer Roundup

5 audiobooks for every teen (and the young at heart)

YA Romance Summer Roundup

YA Romance Summer Roundup

I’ve heard it said that, no matter your age, young adult books have something to offer you—whether you are yourself a young adult, you recommend audiobooks to teens, or you’re just a fan of YA audio. If you’re a teen, you may be listening for confirmation of your own experiences, or to step into someone else’s life for a moment. You’re also seeing how other people your age handle life problems and questions about growing up. After all, how many of us wish we had clever repartee—modeled after our favorite book characters—at the ready? For older listeners, we’re looking back and remembering, fondly or fearfully, our younger selves and measuring our pasts against the person we are now. After all, as Prudie says in The Jane Austen Book Club movie, “High school’s never over.”

I’ve collected five truly remarkable new young adult audiobooks. All romances—yay! And, whether your young adult reading experience began with Judy Blume’s FOREVER, Nancy Garden’s ANNIE ON MY MIND, John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, or Sarah Maas’s COURT OF THORN AND ROSESyou’ll love reconnecting with the genre through these stellar audiobooks.  Read more…

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!

Transforming a Graphic Novel Into an Audiobook

In the studio with the producers of ILLEGAL

Illegal Audiobook Cast Recording

IllegalAudioFile spoke with Dreamscape Media publisher Tammy Faxel and Deyan Audio’s Khai Dattoli and Bryan Lincoln about adapting and producing Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin’s graphic novel ILLEGAL for audio.

AudioFile: What was it about ILLEGAL that made you interested in adapting it as an audiobook? Why is it an important title for young listeners?

Tammy Faxel: It was a powerful and moving graphic novel that uniquely told the difficult story faced by so many immigrants. This is such a huge issue in the world right, now and I felt an audiobook would help children understand the real plight that so many are facing every day–that an audiobook of this amazing novel would reach children in a way that would make the issue more relatable and real-life through the multi-voice narration. Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

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.

Opening Doors Beyond the Binary

In Our Time

The 57 Bus

In my work with library staff working to improve their reference interviewing skills, I regularly need to provide coaching to those who persistently (and inadvertently) shut down clients by offering them either/or options instead of open-ended questions. This binary view of possibilities is endemic in our culture as well: The person before us can identify themselves as this or that, black or white, straight or gay, right or wrong. In fact, identities match spectra, rather than simply opposite points, and allowing ourselves the opportunity to become aware of realities that go beyond what we already imagine as likely, or even possible, enlarges our own world as well as admitting more variety into it.

The 57 BusAn increasing number of authors address this concern, and many of these books are coming to audio format with successful performances. To be successful in this regard, narrators must be sensitive to the fact that humanity is much broader than a binary, and win listeners to greater possibilities through careful interpretation in their performances.

Among recent audiobooks that demonstrate such wider realities, Robin Miles’s reading of journalist Dashka Slater’s THE 57 BUS: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives is a fine example. There are surface-level elements in this account that clearly spotlight neither/nor, such as the crime victim’s identity as genderqueer. There are more subtle aspects, too, including the true reason behind the perpetrator becoming presumptively identified with a hate crime when, in fact, hate did not inform his motivation. Miles, for her part, does not add a fictional layer to Slater’s carefully balanced reporting by presuming character voices. Instead, she allows each and all sides to be heard unweighted, leaving the listener to consider all the mitigating points along the spectrum of gender identity, class, and racial histories. Read more…

Francisca Goldsmith
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.