Heartwarming Audiobooks about Friendship and Family
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…
AudioFile is delighted to feature Maggie Stiefvater’s ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS as part of our free summer audiobook program SYNC Audiobooks for Teens. In 1962, a disc jockey fleeing fame and a teenage hitchhiker with a hole in his heart arrive in Bicho Raro, a tiny desert town where a family of Mexican-American saints offers miracles to those who need them. Narrator Thom Rivera shares what he loves about the world that Stiefvater created.
“In Bicho Raro, miracles are never what you’d expect.”—Narrator Thom Rivera
AudioFile 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 opened SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens’s 10th season this week! The lineup of teen titles this year seems like the best ever, including everything from Shakespeare’s OTHELLO to BECOMING KAREEM by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The diversity of titles clearly reflects the interests of teen listeners. This is confirmed by our many colleagues in the school media and library fields who help promote the program and get the word out to their teens. Read more…
As the step-parent of an autistic boy, I understand firsthand the challenges—and joys—of living with someone on the autism spectrum, and I often worry that neurotypical people will not recognize his kind heart and amazing mind. These audiobooks show autism from many different perspectives and offer opportunities for families to listen together and learn about understanding and accepting the neurodiversity of all people.Read more…
A story of young men discovering their true selves
In Bill Konigsberg’s latest novel for teens, THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS, Max and Jordan meet by chance when Jordan and his mom are trying, and failing, to get their family food truck business going again. But Max needs a job, so he and Jordan spend their summer vacation working to to make the business a success—in hotter-than-hot Arizona. In the video below, Anthony Rey Perez, who performs from Max’s point of view, shares why this story of identity and authenticity appealed to him.
“What drew me to this story were the layers of in between. I love how the character I read, and all of the characters, aren’t the stereotypical idea of social normative, whether it be based on their culture or sexual identity.”—Narrator Anthony Rey Perez
Say hello to today’s Take 5 guest, Cherise Boothe, who is one of the queens of collaborative audiobooks. Her voice always gives spark to multicast productions, and I’m impressed with her ability to portray characters of all ages and from different parts of the world.
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.
In her speech accepting the 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, author Eloise Greenfield said, “Childrenneed to know, and to see in books, the truth — the beauty, intelligence, courage, and ingenuity of African and African American people.” 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, given annually to African American authors and illustrators who demonstrate an appreciation of or affirm African American culture and universal human values. Many of this year’s Coretta Scott King Award winners and honorees are also excellent audiobooks.Read more…
For more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. Read more…
Where I live in New Jersey, kids go to sleep on winter nights hoping to wake up to a SNOW DAY— a snowy world of no school. Whether you love the snow, hate it, or live in a climate that never sees it, I have picked a bunch of cozy winter listens for your kids to snuggle down with this month and embrace the joys of winter.
BEAR SNORES ON
by Karma Wilson, read by Karma Wilson
Weston Woods Studios, Ages 4-6
As Bear hibernates through the winter, Mouse and an ever increasing group of friends take advantage of the comforts in Bear’s cave by cooking a feast under his sleeping nose. This reading by the author allows young listeners to appreciate the rhyme and beat of the story, and to soak in the humor of the midwinter merriment.Read more…