Banned Books Week: Our Right to Hear From Drag Queens

Have you checked out a Drag Queen Story Hour?

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queen Story HourThe final week of September brings an annual call from a coalition of intellectual freedom advocates, including the American Library Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, to note the fragility of readers’ rights in many communities in the United States. Banned Books Week celebrates resistance through insistence on free expression as fundamental to a free society. In addition to the annual list of challenges made to specific titles around the country, this year’s celebration calls attention to an increasingly popular and much challenged children’s program held in both public libraries and bookstores: Drag Queen Story Hour. Intended to provide both entertainment—as drag performances do—and exposure to diversity, children’s departments that host Drag Queen Story Hour programs report their popularity (while also providing support for storyteller training and smooth program operation). Naysayers, on the other hand, bypass the potential for intellectual freedom and the experiences of inclusiveness without, typically, learning about what, why, and how children respond to either drag queens or story times in a group setting.

Audiobooks for both youth and adults offer ways for those who are curious to get a handle on what exactly drag queen entertainment involves. Needless to say, these audiobooks also offer anyone familiar with gender nonconformity and unthreatened by it some great listening—they’re both fun and insightful. 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.

Hugo Awards Give N.K. Jemisin a Trifecta

Robin’s Roundup August 24

The Stone Sky
N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin

The 2018 Hugo Awards were this week in San Jose, California. The Hugo is a fan-vote award for science fiction and fantasy, and one of the most prestigious in the genres. Let’s look at what audiobook listeners have in store for great fantasy & sci-fi listening.

N.K. Jemisin once again took top Hugo honors, winning Best Novel for THE STONE SKY—she’s won three years in a row (the first author ever to do so!) for each title in The Broken Earth Trilogy. All three audiobooks are brilliantly read by Golden Voice narrator Robin Miles. Reviewer Emily Connelly called out this exceptional audiobook early on—her review says, “Listen and be transported to a meticulously built world that serves as a dire warning about the dangers of prejudice and power.”  Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Nine audiobooks for Earth Day

Taking care of our planet

The Seabird's Cry

Today, on Earth Day, I’ll be taking my kids out to pick up trash around the neighborhood — something I remember doing with my friends and family growing up in rural Vermont. Every year, after the snow melted and all the accumulated garbage started appearing along with the crocuses, we would have our “green-up day” and go along the roads and in the woods picking up the trash we found. In my memories, we could trade in our full bags for donuts at the general store, which was a pretty magical experience.

The Seabird's CryIn the spirit of Earth Day, I’ve found some conservation-themed audiobooks that celebrate protecting the magic of the earth — and the ocean — for everyone from four-year-olds to your David Attenborough-loving mom.

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for seabirds, so THE SEABIRDS CRY: The Lives and Loves of the Planet’s Great Ocean Voyagers seems like the perfect way to learn more about the often overlooked but essential creatures who live their lives on top of the ocean. This audiobook shares the natural history of ten species of seabirds, and how humans have impacted them. Read more…

Emily Connelly
A former wildlife biologist, avid reader, and parent to two book-loving kids, Emily is excited to be jumping into the world of literature, and happy to be working with AudioFile’s wonderful team of reviewers. She works behind the scenes to help keep AudioFile's blog running and is currently working towards a MLIS.