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.
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…
4 audiobooks to gain an understanding of current events
From time to time, we’ll be publishing blog posts about listening that can advance our understanding of current events. In this initial post in that vein, we’re talking about how the much-discussed topic of contemporary immigrants and immigration in the U.S. has been shaped by a history of national and popular beliefs about what it means to be an immigrant here and how immigration makes or breaks a culture some native-born Americans find comfortable.
Frankie Corzo reads Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s examination of cultural lives that straddle borders set by U.S. governments. As a Tejano, Griest discovers her own life has been impacted by the demarcation between Texas and Mexico that has cut between generations-long movements by family members. She also finds similarity in the experience of Mohawks whose home ranges were cut asunder by the border between Canada and the U.S. In Corzo’s performance of ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands, listeners are given the opportunity to hear appropriately accented quotations from Griest’s informants and family members. Read more…
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.
Seasonal—spooky—listening from Joe Hill, and essays on feminism by Rebecca Solnit
Topical essays, historical portraits, and short story collections can all give listeners a useful introduction to an author, but also showcase the variety offered with the audio version. Author Joe Hill’s collection of four novellas, STRANGE WEATHER, is a great example.
Four top narrators—Wil Wheaton, Dennis Boutsikaris, Kate Mulgrew, and Stephen Lang—each take on one of Hill’s stories. One can binge the whole collection or dole out the listening one dark scenario at a time. AudioFile is hosting a conversation between Joe Hill and narrator Dennis Boutsikaris as part of our podcast series, The Download. Keep an eye out for more on this program. Read more…