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42 IS NOT JUST A NUMBER

42 IS NOT JUST A NUMBER The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero

by Doreen Rappaport | Read by JD Jackson, Doreen Rappaport

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Children

Much has been written on Jackie Robinson's groundbreaking career and legacy, but it's nice to see a well-done synopsis covering the highlights of his life for young people. Narrator JD Jackson carries the story as he conveys the importance of Robinson's life without overdramatization. It covers Robinson's growing up, time in the Army, and deliberate recruitment for the purpose... Read More

THE 91-STOREY TREEHOUSE

THE 91-STOREY TREEHOUSE Storey Treehouse, Book 7

by Andy Griffiths | Read by Stig Wemyss

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
Children

Stig Wemyss's spirited delivery and strong Australian accent add to the zaniness as Andy and Terry continue their misadventures in their ever-growing treehouse. It began at 13, and now has 91 storeys. In addition to babysitting for their publisher Mr. Big Nose's grandkids, they must decide whether to push the red button in the treehouse. Wemyss's Andy and Terry squabble like... Read More

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

by Andrea Beaty | Read by Bahni Turpin

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Bahni Turpin's spry voice and energetic tone add enthusiasm and a sense of movement to Beaty's phrasing. This audiobook tells a vivid story of a budding young scientist and her experiments. Turpin's voices for Ada and the other characters help to round out the world created in this brief but enjoyable listen. This is a picture book, and listeners may wish to seek out... Read More

AMINA'S VOICE

AMINA'S VOICE

by Hena Khan | Read by Soneela Nankani

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Soneela Nankani's youthful voice is a wonderful match for shy sixth-grader Amina, her Pakistani-American family, and her Korean-American best friend, Soojin. As Amina faces a new school year, Nankani recounts her struggles with new friendships, her lack of confidence to sing in a recital, her experience with being bullied, and her betrayal of her friends' trust.... Read More

THE APPRENTICE WITCH

THE APPRENTICE WITCH

by James Nicol | Read by Elizabeth Knowelden

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

This enchanting tale comes to life through the charming narration of Elizabeth Knowelden, who captures the voice of each character, human or magical. Arianwyn is disgraced after she has failed her witchcraft test. Her grandmother, a master witch, uses her influence to ensure that Arianwyn can continue her education as an apprentice in Lull, a remote village on the edge of the... Read More

AUGGIE & ME

AUGGIE & ME Three Wonder Stories

by R.J. Palacio | Read by Mike Chamberlain, Scott Merriman, Taylor Ann Krahn, R.J. Palacio

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Children

A different narrator performs each of three companion stories to Palacio's beloved book, WONDER. Mike Chamberlain gives the most affecting performance in the first story, lending depth and authenticity to Julian, a kid who turns out to be more than a bully. Narrator Scott Merriman becomes Christopher, a boy who is coping with anger in the wake of a move and his parents'... Read More

BIG & LITTLE QUESTIONS (ACCORDING TO WREN JO BYRD)

BIG & LITTLE QUESTIONS (ACCORDING TO WREN JO BYRD)

by Julie Bowe | Read by Emily Eiden

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Youthful-sounding Emily Eiden captures the bittersweet experience of preteen Wren Jo Byrd, who's grappling with the not-so-happily-ever-after ending of her parents' marriage and the growing friendship between her friend Amber and Marianna, the new girl in town. Wren's full of questions: Can two be a family? Which is harder, keeping a secret (in Wren's case, pretending her... Read More

BOOM SNOT TWITTY: THIS WAY THAT WAY

BOOM SNOT TWITTY: THIS WAY THAT WAY

by Doreen Cronin | Read by Tavia Gilbert

Live Oak Media | Unabridged
Children

Leave it to Tavia Gilbert to provide a narration that enriches this story of friendship, disagreement, and resolution. With three distinct voices for the three friends--a high-pitched bird; a gentle, growly voiced bear; and a low-pitched, slow-to-speak snail--Gilbert invites young listeners on a day's adventure. Boom prefers an outing to the beach with flippers and a tube;... Read More

BRONZE AND SUNFLOWER

BRONZE AND SUNFLOWER

by Cao Wenxuan, Helen Wang [Trans.] | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick | Unabridged
Children

Emily Woo Zeller rises to the challenge of bringing Chinese author Wenxuan's novel to middle-grade listeners. The story is set in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. Sunflower, an orphaned girl from the Cadre School, is taken in by a poor yet loving family from the neighboring village. She develops a bond with the family's mute son, Bronze, as everyone--parents,... Read More

THE CRYSTAL RIBBON

THE CRYSTAL RIBBON

by Celeste Lim | Read by Nancy Wu

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Nancy Wu flawlessly presents this affecting coming-of-age story set in 1100s China. Li Jing is the dutiful daughter of a poor tea-growing family. Wu deftly captures Jing as her life changes dramatically when she's sold to a wealthy family and is forced to marry their 3-year-old son. Listeners will be entranced by ravishing descriptions of the countryside; the magical... Read More

THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART

THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART

by Stephanie Burgis | Read by Jill Frutkin

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Jill Frutkin establishes a childlike high-pitched voice for young Aventurine, a dragon who is struggling to find her place in the world and her true passion in life. When she's tricked into drinking a magical cup of hot chocolate that transforms her into a human, she finds that being a chocolatier may be the path she was looking for all along. The quiet nature of this... Read More

THE EMPEROR'S OSTRICH

THE EMPEROR'S OSTRICH

by Julie Berry | Read by Jayne Entwistle

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Jayne Entwistle is splendid as dairymaid Begonia, who is helpful to her mother. When their cow, Alfalfa, disappears, Begonia must find her. En route she encounters the delightfully talkative Key, a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and finder of things. Rich descriptions of the countryside and people they pass sparkle with Entwistle's delivery. Her best creation is Lumi, an... Read More

FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE

FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE

by Carole Boston Weatherford | Read by JD Jackson

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Children

History meets art in this musical and poetic account of a week in the life of an enslaved African in nineteenth-century New Orleans. Narrator JD Jackson's baritone is the perfect instrument to deliver the rhyming couplets that describe each weekday of plantation life. During the grueling days of Monday through Saturday, his narration is accompanied by the sounds of snorting... Read More

THE GIRL WITH THE GHOST MACHINE

THE GIRL WITH THE GHOST MACHINE

by Lauren DeStefano | Read by Brittany Pressley

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Brittany Pressley's earnest narration captures heartbreak and hope in this beautiful story about holding on and letting go. Her gentle tone high pitch capture the youthful sadness of 12-year-old Emmaline Beaumont, who has been facing numerous hardships since her mother's death two years ago. One obstacle to Emmaline's happiness is her distracted and disconnected father, who... Read More

GIRLS WHO CODE

GIRLS WHO CODE Learn to Code and Change the World

by Reshma Saujani | Read by Reshma Saujani

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

In 2012, Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code. Since then, the organization has reached 40,000 young women. The format of Saujani's book includes true stories of women's accomplishments in the field of informational technology as well as asides by a multicultural cast of presumably fictional American girls. Saujani's portrayals of various female characters could be stronger.... Read More

HAMSTER PRINCESS: GIANT TROUBLE

HAMSTER PRINCESS: GIANT TROUBLE Hamster Princess, Book 4

by Ursula Vernon | Read by Eva Kaminsky

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

When Hamster Princess Harriet Hamsterbone climbs up a magic beanstalk, she finds herself in a perilous predicament--yet again. Narrator Eva Kaminsky's scintillating storytelling is filled with high pitches and animated tones that quickly reveal Harriet's valiant and daredevil nature. Kaminsky's pacing ratchets up lighthearted tension as Harriet must resort to quick thinking and... Read More

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

by Adam Wallace | Read by Chris Patton

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Chris Patton's eager, youthful voice is ideal for portraying a boy who's elated at being chosen as the ninja master for his school play. Lively music throughout adds to the fun, particularly when a "fighting spirit" song matches the child's decision to confront the monster in his bedroom closet. A skilled presentation of words like "snap" and "trap" keeps the rhythm... Read More

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

Earphones Award Winner

by Anne Sibley O'Brien | Read by Jackie Chung

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

Mia, who was adopted from Korea, discovers forbidden photos while visiting North Korea with her father and brother. When police seize their father, the siblings attempt to escape, carrying proof of government atrocities. Narrator Jackie Chung's delivery of the precise, stilted English of the government guides suggests Mia's sense of being an outsider. However, Chung truly sets... Read More

LEMONS

LEMONS

by Melissa Savage | Read by Tara Sands

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Tara Sands's authentic emotions and energy capture the listener as she portrays the uncommon characters in this poignant story. Lemonade Liberty Witt is a spirited 10-year-old who embodies the motto: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade." When Lem's mother passes away, her only option is to move to Willow Creek-- the Bigfoot Capital of the World-- to live with her... Read More

LET'S DO A THING!

LET'S DO A THING! Victor Shmud, Total Expert, Book 1

Earphones Award Winner

by Jim Benton | Read by Johnny Heller

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

Johnny Heller gives an out-of-this-world performance as the imaginative and intrepid Victor Shmud. Jim Benton, author of the Franny K. Stein and Dear Dumb Diary series, brings more outrageous fun with his new child protagonist, whom Heller entertainingly portrays with vivid animation. Heller combines childlike innocence and silliness with a debonair sophistication to convey... Read More

THE LOSERS CLUB

THE LOSERS CLUB

by Andrew Clements | Read by Chris Gebauer

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Chris Gebauer transforms himself into Alec, an avid reader who is trying to navigate the uneasy waters of school, friends, and other aspects of being a kid. Beginning the school year as a loner, Alec establishes the "Losers Club" in order to find some solace while enjoying reading. As others show interest in his club, he steps out of his comfort zone and starts to form... Read More

MATYLDA, BRIGHT AND TENDER

MATYLDA, BRIGHT AND TENDER

by Holly M. McGhee | Read by Jenna Lamia

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Jenna Lamia sensitively portrays grief-stricken Sussy, who loses her best friend, Guy, in a bicycle accident that occurred while he was saving her from an attacking dog. She pours her guilt, despair, and anger into caring for their shared pet gecko, Matylda. Everything reminds Sussy of that day, causing her to relive her pain. Lamia pulls listeners through her... Read More

MY BRIGADISTA YEAR

MY BRIGADISTA YEAR

by Katherine Paterson | Read by Frankie Corzo

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Children

In 1961, Castro successfully deployed hundreds of thousands of young people to bring literacy to all Cubans within one year. This fictionalized account features Lora, a 13-year-old "brigadista" from Havana who is assigned to teach, live, and work with an illiterate mountain family of farmers. Frankie Corzo's narration is spot-on. Her accented English is warm and clear, and her... Read More

ORPHAN ISLAND

ORPHAN ISLAND

Earphones Award Winner

by Laurel Snyder | Read by Kim Mai Guest

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Children

Kim Mai Guest captivates listeners with her narration of Snyder's wondrous story about "nine on an island, orphans all." Jinny has become the new elder, who is responsible for teaching and protecting the island's newest inhabitant, Ess. Guest incorporates a different tone and pace for each of the story's nine (later 10) consistently portrayed characters, adjusting her voice to... Read More

OTHERWISE KNOWN AS POSSUM

OTHERWISE KNOWN AS POSSUM

by Maria D. Laso | Read by Haven Burton

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Haven Burton transports listeners to Depression-era Appalachia, infusing LizBetty "Possum" Porter's story with Southern charm. After losing her Momma and her baby brother, Possum calls a halt on any more change until her Daddy succumbs to pressure and sends her to formal school. Burton's voice softens when Possum ponders all the sadness in her heart and becomes imbued... Read More

PATINA

PATINA Track, Book 2

Earphones Award Winner

by Jason Reynolds | Read by Heather Alicia Simms

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Heather Alicia Simms animates the complex character of Patina (Patty), the heroine of Jason Reynolds's second Track book. Simms depicts the overwhelmed feelings of a girl who has suffered much in her young life. Now that her beloved father has died, she must live with her aunt and uncle, helping to care for her younger sister while her diabetic mother recovers from an... Read More

POSTED

POSTED

by John David Anderson | Read by Patrick Lawlor

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Children

Patrick Lawlor narrates this thoughtful story about friendship, identity, and the power of words. Frost, Deedee, Bench, and Wolf are an island unto themselves at Branton Middle School. That is, until Rose shows up. Adopting a reflective yet reluctant tone, Lawlor captures Frost's inner turmoil as he recaps the two fateful weeks that forced him to confront what it means to be a... Read More

REFUGEE

REFUGEE

by Alan Gratz | Read by Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen

Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged
Children

Three narrators read the first-person narratives of three teens who are fleeing their homelands. Michael Goldstrom expresses the anxieties of Josef, who flees Germany in 1938 aboard a ship bound for Cuba. His father has been imprisoned, and Joseph wonders if the family will fall victim to Nazi sailors. Assaf Cohen conveys the maturity, caution, and protectiveness of Mahmoud as... Read More

SAMMY KEYES AND THE SHOWDOWN IN SIN CITY

SAMMY KEYES AND THE SHOWDOWN IN SIN CITY

by Wendelin Van Draanen | Read by Tara Sands

Live Oak Media | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Tara Sands establishes a girlishly pitched dramatic voice for young detective Sammy Keyes, who follows her mother and her mother's boyfriend to "Sin City" to try to keep them from eloping. Along the way, Sammy runs into an entire cast of characters, including her best friend, Marissa, and her worried mother; her soon-to-be stepsister (and arch nemesis), Heather; her... Read More

THE SANDS OF SHARK ISLAND

THE SANDS OF SHARK ISLAND School Ship Tobermory, Book 2

by Alexander McCall Smith | Read by Nicholas Guy Smith

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Nicholas Guy Smith is an unobtrusive narrator. He lets the second adventure of the School Ship TOBERMORY unfold on its own. This time the boat is bound for the Caribbean, where 12-year-old twins Ben and Fee MacTavish, along with their school- and shipmates, befriend a local boy, experience modern-day pirates, and come to appreciate more fully the bonds of family and friendship.... Read More

TALES FROM EARTHSEA

TALES FROM EARTHSEA

by Ursula K. Le Guin | Read by Jenny Sterlin

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Jenny Sterlin narrates this collection of five short stories from iconic fantasy author Le Guin at an unhurried steady pace. Sterlin is an engaged storyteller who takes in stride the various characters ranging in age and social status. In "Dragonfly," which is about a girl intent on studying magic at a school that has been restricted to young men, Sterlin demonstrates this... Read More

A TEENY TINY HALLOWEEN

A TEENY TINY HALLOWEEN

Earphones Award Winner

by Lauren L. Wohl | Read by Elisabeth Rodgers

Live Oak Media | Unabridged
Children

Listeners will settle in for a Halloween-focused teeny tiny woman story that is not too frightening while being a whole lot of fun. Narrator Elisabeth Rodgers quietly yet firmly emphasizes the words "teeny tiny," and her descriptions of the howling of the wind and the darkness of the house have a scary edge to them. With each repetition, Rodgers builds suspense through her... Read More

TUMBLE & BLUE

TUMBLE & BLUE

by Cassie Beasley | Read by Kirby Heyborne

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Kirby Heyborne delivers authentic Southern accents in this story about what happens when 12-year-old Blue Montgomery's father leaves him at his grandmother's house in rural Georgia for the summer. Heyborne portrays Blue as believably as he portrays Granny Eve, and he enlivens every other character in the story, too, even the magical alligator that lives in the middle... Read More

THE UNBREAKABLE CODE

THE UNBREAKABLE CODE Book Scavenger, Book 2

by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman | Read by Jessica Almasy

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

The second story in the popular Book Scavenger series finds preteens Emily and James trying to break a famous historical code. As they race around San Francisco finding encrypted messages, a mysterious arsonist is somehow connected--and may be their teacher. Narrator Jessica Almasy's portrayals bring the characters to life through well-crafted vocal variations. Emily's and... Read More

THE UNCORKER OF OCEAN BOTTLES

THE UNCORKER OF OCEAN BOTTLES

by Michelle Cuevas | Read by Scott Sowers

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Scott Sowers's measured pace is tantalizing and demands close listening. Haven't we all hoped to find a message in a bottle washed up on shore? The "Uncorker" featured in this story seems to do it all the time. And then he sets about delivering that message to its rightful owner--whether he or she is nearby or so far away that the Uncorker's "compass [becomes] rusty."... Read More

THE UNEXPECTED LIFE OF OLIVER CROMWELL PITTS

THE UNEXPECTED LIFE OF OLIVER CROMWELL PITTS Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate

by | Read by James Langton

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Narrator James Langton smoothly transitions from young to old and male to female characters, and his delivery of dialogue ranges believably from refined to coarse. These traits amplify the historical authenticity of this Dickensian adventure by the award-winning author Avi. From the moment 12-year-old Oliver Cromwell Pitts is awakened by a raging storm, his life careens from... Read More

THE WAR I FINALLY WON

THE WAR I FINALLY WON

Earphones Award Winner

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley | Read by Jayne Entwistle

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

Jayne Entwistle narrated Bradley's earlier book, THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Her narration of the sequel cements the books' connection. Entwistle recognizes the characters' complexities, particularly Ada's. Ada, the heroine, has survived living with a clubfoot and her Mam's cruelty--now comes her healing. Entwistle gives a layered portrayal of Ada's strength and distrust,... Read More

WHO LET THE GODS OUT?

WHO LET THE GODS OUT?

by Maz Evans | Read by Maz Evans

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Children

Maz Evans takes on the narration of her audiobook with verve. The adventure intertwines the present day with ancient times. As the story unfolds, 12-year-old Elliott Hooper is struggling to care for his mother and to hold on to the family farm. His life becomes even more complicated with the arrival of a Greek goddess who is delivering ambrosia to a prisoner of the gods who is... Read More

WISHTREE

WISHTREE

Earphones Award Winner

by Katherine Applegate | Read by Nancy Linari

Listening Library | Unabridged
Children

It's easy to suspend disbelief with Nancy Linari's animated reading of this story. She quickly engages listeners with the authoritative viewpoint of Red, an oak tree who knows the habits of the many animals she shelters. Linari is equally successful in voicing the tenderness Red has for the humans who hang wishes from her branches. Linari marks Red's concern when Muslims move... Read More

THE WIZARDS OF ONCE

THE WIZARDS OF ONCE

Earphones Award Winner

by Cressida Cowell | Read by David Tennant

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Children

David Tennant's atmospheric narration reflects this dark and twisted tale. It's the story of Xar, son of the King of Wizards, who cannot even cast a spell. Also of Wish, a daughter of the queen of a warrior tribe that does not want magic in the land. But Wish has a magical object. Tennant creates a distinct voice for each of the characters. His reading of the witty dialogue and... Read More

THE WONDERLING

THE WONDERLING

Earphones Award Winner

by Mira Bartók | Read by Simon Vance

Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick | Unabridged
Children

Whatever your age, the adventures of part-human, part-animal Number 39 and Trinket in Mira Bartók's steampunk otherworld are captivating. Add Simon Vance's enthusiastic narration, and this is an audiobook to be cherished. The plot, which is unique while paying homage to DAVID COPPERFIELD, WIND IN THE WILLOWS, and other classics, sets our "groundlings," mild-mannered part-badger... Read More

WRITING RADAR

WRITING RADAR Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories

by Jack Gantos | Read by Jack Gantos

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Children

With conspiratorial enthusiasm, author Jack Gantos assures kids that they can write great stories--the secret is being a good listener, tuning in to all the interesting stuff happening in the world around you, and writing it down in a journal. Kids will find in Gantos a funny, inspiring, supportive, and confiding teacher. Gantos's passion and excitement are infectious as he... Read More

YORK

YORK The Shadow Cipher, Book 1

by Laura Ruby | Read by Adam Verner

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Children

Narrator Adam Verner's spirited delivery is faultless for this combination of alternate history and love story set in New York City. In the late 1700s, the Morningstarr twins built ultra-modern buildings for the time. Before mysteriously disappearing, they left clues to finding a treasure hidden in their buildings. Verner ratchets up the excitement as contemporary twins Tess... Read More

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