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.

7 Stories of Kindness in the Neighborhood

Thank you, Mr. Rogers

Ollie

I wish Ollie, my family’s handmade marionette, could have met Mr. Rogers. That was my first thought as I settled happily into LeVar Burton’s Earphones Award-winning performance of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, the biography of Rogers by Maxwell King, published on Tuesday. Ollie, carved and clothed by my grandparents, was once part of their traveling marionette theater. But after years of entertaining children up and down the west coast with classic fairy tales, all the marionettes except Ollie were lost in a fire. I know that Mr. Rogers could have helped Ollie and the people who loved — and still love — him to cope with the loss. By the way, that’s me with my parents and Ollie in the picture. 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.

3 Mystery Listens for Kids, Tweens & Teens

Not Just for Grown-Ups

Dare You To Lie

As it’s the end of August and “Back to School” fever has taken over, I thought I would focus on Middle Grade and Young Adult offerings in the mystery/crime/horror category.

Greetings from Witness Protection!Strong female characters welcome! Jake Burt’s GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION! features 13-year-old Nicki Demere—she’s feisty, smart, and self-reliant. She’s also a pickpocket (having been trained by her grandmother) and a kleptomaniac. Nicki is living in an orphanage and going in and out of foster care when she’s recruited by the U.S. Marshals Service to help protect a family going into Witness Protection. Narrator Tara Sands strikes the right balance with Nicki’s voice, tone, and attitude. She is joined by a group of narrators who complete the cast of villains and other adults. This was a fun and engaging listen, even for a geezer like me. Read more…

Ellen Quint
A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Staff Picks for Back to School

Audiobooks for Summer into Fall

People Like Us

The last weeks of summer are slipping by, and even though we aren’t all tied to the academic calendar, there’s something about the last days of August that makes us think about getting ready to go back to school. We have audiobooks for listeners who are looking for mysterious schools, a helpful guide for young writers, and two more to appeal to listeners at this time of year.

THE SECRET HISTORY and PEOPLE LIKE US

The Secret History
People Like Us

Every year when the new school year begins, and I start hearing the early morning preseason practices on the fields by our house, I remember the excellent creepiness of THE SECRET HISTORY. 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.

New Audiobooks Offer Plenty of Contrast

Robin’s Roundup August 10

The Middleman

Contrasts—dark or light-hearted, subtle or intense, Russia or North Carolina. Going through our new reviews this week, I am struck by the variety of titles and how the audiobooks are often in stark contrast. Of course, books are written on a vast variety of subjects and with radically different points of view, and this gives a grand range of options for listening and reading.

The Middleman
East of Innocence

In newly reviewed thrillers, I’ll contrast the cerebral and politically charged THE MIDDLEMAN by Olen Steinhauer with EAST OF INNOCENCE by David Thorne. Narrator Rupert Degas portrays a cast of hard-bitten characters with stunning emotional dimension in the latter. In the former, Ari Fliakos deftly takes listeners through “a snarl of idealism, cynicism, paranoia, and lies.” 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.

7 Great Summer Listens

Grab Your Sunscreen and Your Earphones

7 Great Summer Listens

7 Great Summer Listens

As far as I’m concerned, summer vacation-reading is about finding a comfortable spot and succumbing to guilt-free total immersion. I prefer a hammock, beach chair, or quiet back stoop. I’m agnostic about genre, but it’s got to leave me fully satiated and sighing with satisfaction. With three more weeks of August listening left, I want to recommend five of the summer’s best new titles and two classics guaranteed to carry you away, even if it’s just to a rickety lounger in the backyard. Don’t forget the sunscreen. 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.

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.