Author Alex Gino narrates their newest middle-grade audiobook with cheerful vivacity. Sam and TJ are two nonbinary kids looking for a project subject who isn't a dead straight cisgender white man (DSCWM) when they stumble on the history of a mostly forgotten queer photographer. With help from their LGBTQIA+ community, they campaign to put Alice Austen on the map. Gino's voicing... Read More
Tenderness and depth ground the narration of this Stonewall Award-winning story about one girl's perspective-changing summer. Shortly after learning that her divorced dad is engaged, 13-year-old Dalia finds herself and her new friend, Rani, on a road trip to an amusement park with her prickly soon-to-be-stepsister, Alexa. Neither Dalia nor Alexa is eager to connect, but Dalia... Read More
The space-age AstroNuts--SmartHawk, LaserShark, StinkBug, and AlphaWolf--are on their final mission in this trilogy: to change the past course of human behavior to save Earth from environmental destruction. This is a full-cast adaptation complete with futuristic sound effects and an often repeated "ba-dum-tish" drum effect signaling corny jokes. The large cast of Chris Stinson,... Read More
A cheery musical introduction sets the tone for Kim Mai Guest's animated narration of two children's magical time with their aunt. X and Y's pie-baking session with their Aunt Z becomes a lesson in math, cooking techniques, and confidence-boosting words of encouragement. Guest's chirpy voice conveys the excitement and wonder that X and Y experience with baking and mathematical... Read More
Nene Nwoko's melodic Nigerian accent and rich timbre introduce a family whose only inheritance is their late father's wheelbarrow. Nonetheless, listeners accompany Ladi as he learns how to be an upright man like his dad. For several years he will study under "Old Tutor." Nwoko's Old Tutor warmly but firmly has Ladi decide what he wants most and assists him in learning how to... Read More
In this brief but powerful audio, narrator Joniece Abbott-Pratt recounts the history of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56, which was initially sparked by the arrest of young Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat. Abbott-Pratt takes the audio's repeated phrase "because Claudette" and turns it into spoken-word poetry with an insistent rhythm that builds from event... Read More
Narrator Dion Graham's dynamic style perfectly suits this exciting audio. Prince T'Challa of Wakanda is hoping for a normal vacation in America with Sheila and Zeke, the friends he made on a previous adventure. His plans are dashed almost immediately as a mysterious acrobat and disappearing locals reveal a plot to sow chaos in the world. Graham capably wrangles character... Read More
Narrator Marc Anthony Samuel fills this action-packed middle-grade audiobook with cinematic character voices. Full of Igbo history and myths, Cameron's favorite book follows his ancestors from West Africa to America. These stories, which delighted Cameron as a little boy, feel like the last link to his parents, who mysteriously disappeared several years ago. When it turns out... Read More
Narrator Bahni Turpin employs a Caribbean accent to take young listeners to St. Rita for this haunting combination of folklore and contemporary life. Young Kela is freshly mourning the loss of her mother when she finds a sea woman's comb in an exposed cave. Maybe that's why she can't help making a wish and why she fights so hard when things go wrong. If you're not familiar with... Read More
Kirby Heyborne delivers an enthralling performance of a battle for power in this fantasy. When kind Prince Alphonsus replaces Guntram as the Onyx Maiden statue's attendant, the local people respond admiringly. But the clock set in the Prince's chest suddenly begins to run counterclockwise. Clearly, his time is limited. Guntram spews anger and hate for the boy and vows... Read More
Narrator Cassandra Morris's youthful tone fits Annabelle, a sixth-grader who has grown up sheltered in a small town until she crushes on Bailey, a new, nonbinary student. Transgender author Kyle Lukoff develops rounded characters with authenticity, all accurately portrayed by Morris. She captures Annabelle's confusion and curiosity about gender terms and her own identity, and,... Read More
Music, sound effects, and poet Bao Phi's soothing voice transport the listener to a boy's early morning fishing trip with his father. The audible smiles in Phi's tone and the evocative way he says "slimy" bring joy to a story that also describes poverty and xenophobia. For the boy's family, fishing means food on the table, not sport, and his parents work all day, even on... Read More
Narrator Dara Rosenberg establishes a youthful voice for 11-year-old Zack, who has moved with his family to the secluded town of Vista Point a year after the death of his sister to start anew. While Zack's parents work on opening their bed-and-breakfast, Zack meets a new, mysterious friend named Ann, who has a likeness to his sister. Rosenberg captures Zack's joy as he explores... Read More
Emma Galvin narrates an audiobook featuring a neurodivergent teenager who is facing new challenges. Thirteen-year-old Ellen is anxiously looking forward to her class trip to Spain. The autisitc teen has the whole journey planned in her journal; however, when their teacher veers from the trip's schedule and Laurel, her closest friend, spends time with new friends, Ellen... Read More
In a warm voice filled with wonder, poet Kevin Young (BROWN) reads his ode to finding peace and belonging in nature. Young boy Emile falls in love with a field and chronicles its changing seasons as he spends time there--yellow flowers and bumblebees in spring, snow in winter. Snow, though, "meant Emile had to share the field with sleds and other loud kids who rode the face of... Read More
With warmth and sensitivity, Justin Chien presents this tender story about honoring oneself and one's heritage. A Chinese boy tells his Baba that he is saddened by a friend's drawing of him with eyes "as lines stretched across his face." Standing him in front of a mirror, the boy's Baba explains that his eyes "rise to the skies and speak to the stars." The boy realizes that his... Read More
Timothy Andrés Pabon and Gary Tiedemann adeptly narrate this story about middle-school angst and basketball. Issac and Marco have been neighbors and best friends since kindergarten. Marco is an A student whose parents' recent divorce has made him sad. He hopes that playing basketball will get his father's attention. Issac excels at sports but not academics. He hopes that better... Read More
The cozy joy of listening to a classic book beautifully rendered beside a crackling fireplace is delightfully re-created by narrator Gildart Jackson. His warm manner, perfect pacing, and comic timing make the most of Milne's gentle humor and wordplay. Jackson takes us to another time and place, where we can give our full attention to the pleasure of hearing stories that have... Read More
With her lovely voice and proper British accent, narrator Moira Quirk brings gravitas to the story of a poor, uneducated girl who became a trailblazing scientist. As a child in the early 1800s, Mary Anning loved to hunt for fossils along the beaches and cliffs of Lyme Regis, where she grew up in southwest England. Collecting was more than an enjoyable pastime; the sale of her... Read More
Courtney Patterson's clear and steady narration illuminates these accounts of girls and women solving problems in innovative and resourceful ways. The audiobook uses examples spanning hundreds of years and covers female founders of organizations that assist with social issues globally. In 1832, Elizabeth Stott opened consignment shops for women's financial empowerment. In... Read More
Simon Vance narrates the second title of this fantasy series. Conductors Kate and Tom board the Silver Arrow train once again, this time for an unsanctioned mission to find their Uncle Herbert and to save more animals being threatened by climate change. During their international journey, the duo cross paths with another train, the mysterious Golden Swift. Vance's proper... Read More
Brian Nishii narrates this uniquely thoughtful audiobook, translated from a 1937 Japanese classic. It is surprisingly relevant today. Fifteen-year-old Copper's experiences with school friends and bullies alternate with conversations with his beloved uncle, who also writes essays. As Uncle, Nishii speaks with the slow quiet of an elder accustomed to receiving respect. Uncle... Read More
Quyen Ngo narrates this poignant story of a girl's loving relationship with her Vietnamese grandparents. An's grandmother, Bà, suffers from progressive memory loss. To help disentangle her memories, An's grandfather, Ong, encourages Bà's memory by using photographs and other reminders of their many happy years together. Listeners follow An and Ong as they prepare a special... Read More
An ensemble of narrators performs the story of Oscar, Noah, and Riley, eighth graders who become fast friends when their paths cross in the small town of West Beacon, Pennsylvania. Narrator Ozzie Rodriquez establishes a deep, mature voice for Oscar, whose sister, Carmen, recently passed away. Narrator Michael Crouch creates a cheery voice for Noah, who tries to stay optimistic... Read More
Narrator Nile Bullock captures the goofy energy of this hilarious middle-grade audiobook. Bullock's lively voice conveys 12-year-old Eddie's charm as he tells listeners about his perfect plan for skipping out on chores over the summer: He'll wear everything he owns, so he doesn't have to do his laundry until the day AFTER the beach bash. His plan falls apart when his mom... Read More
A full cast of skilled narrators brings this engaging graphic novel to life on audio. Sheena Kamal portrays Maggie, a shy RPG-loving girl entering sixth grade. Listeners hear her anxiety about the new year--and a mysterious monster outside her school. Narrator Almarie Guerra guides listeners through the story, smoothly describing the visual cues for listeners. A lively cast,... Read More
There is magical madness on Cattywampus Street, and narrator Tara Sands delivers every quirky, creepy, silly, and surprising moment with exuberance equal to the task. Each chapter is a short story highlighting one of the 11 unique kids who live in this unusual neighborhood in "the middle of Nowheresville." To mention a few, there is a ghost story in the toy store with Ursula,... Read More
Glasgow-born Katy Townsend delivers a powerful narration of this story told from the point of view of an autistic girl. When 11-year-old Addie and her sister, Keedie, learn that women were wrongfully accused of being witches and killed in their village years ago, they suspect that the women were probably neurodivergent--like them. They appeal to the village council to set up a... Read More
Sura Siu captivates as she narrates this breathtaking seafaring adventure. Sai is a bright-voiced, bold 12-year-old girl who is hoping to carve a new course for her life and leave her past behind. She's thrilled when her assistantship to the bristly, demanding mapmaker Paiyoon yields an opportunity to join an expedition charting the Southern seas for the Mangkon kingdom. Sai... Read More
Narrator Elizabeth Wiley commendably introduces a WWII-era Virginia family that is coping with the little-known phenomenon of U-boats bombing watercraft on the U.S. coast. Listeners meet 12-year-old Louisa June Wallace, who is brokenhearted after her family's tugboat is attacked, an act that kills her brother, Butler. Wiley ebulliently paints country life; family book... Read More
Narrator Yu-Li Alice Shen brings multiple facets to her portrayal of 11-year-old Maizy Chen. Her tone captures the adjustments of a middle schooler from Los Angeles who is spending the summer in Minnesota at her grandparents' home and restaurant. Shen expresses Maizy's curiosity about an illustrious 1886 ancestor, along with her determination to discover who has stolen the bear... Read More
Kevin R. Free narrates a thought-provoking story that takes place in 1950s Spokane, Washington. Melvin Robinson feels like a dud compared to his talented, popular siblings. Melvin has a lot to say about the murder of Emmett Till and the racism he sees in Spokane, but his embarrassing stutter keeps his words locked inside. Free expertly captures the essence of Melvin's struggle... Read More
Emily Rankin, who narrated WOLF HOLLOW, also performs the sequel to Annabelle's first-person story. A year after the events of the first book, Annabelle is still dealing with her grief and the difficulties of life during WWII. Then she is struck by lightning, and her heart is restarted by a mysterious stranger. Rankin's matter-of-fact delivery gives listeners room to feel the... Read More
Sensitivity and verve characterize Justin Chien's narration of this heartfelt story. Ten-year-old Knox is the middle child in a biracial family. Impulsive and tenderhearted, he has the hardest time leaving his father in Hong Kong when he flies with his mom and siblings to San Francisco to avoid the pandemic. Sadly, COVID-19 and anti-Asian prejudice follow them. Chien's... Read More
Narrator JD Jackson takes listeners to an unidentified Nordic region in Paulsen's last survival story. When a strange illness kills everyone in his fishing village, 12-year-old Leif follows Old Carl's advice to head north. There, he uses his wits to build a new life. At the book's opening, a dulcimer intro sets a tone of gravitas as Jackson recites the origin tale of the... Read More
In the companion audiobook to AMAL UNBOUND, Omar is the only boy in his Pakistani village who is selected for a scholarship to Ghalib Academy for Boys. His new life at the exclusive boarding school is not quite what he expected, as scholarship recipients are treated like second-rate citizens and do menial work. When Omar finds out he cannot return because of low grades, he... Read More
Amanda Alcántara's vivacious narration embodies the sarcastic voice of 12-year-old Pilar Ramirez in an audiobook that blends the poetry of images and the music of language. Growing up in a rapidly gentrifying Chicago, Pilar has heard stories of the horrors of Dominican dictator Trujillo and myths of the fictional boogeyman called El Cuco. Listening to her mother's and abuela's... Read More
Narrator Martie Miles inhabits this adventure of 10-year-old Roosevelt Banks; his dog, Millard Fillmore; and his family and friends. Listeners meet Roosevelt, whose plans for the "summer of Dad" end with a baby on the way and an attic renovation. Miles enthusiastically delivers the high pitch of Roosevelt's voice when he gets nervous and portrays his loyal buddies, sweet little... Read More
Narrator Wendy Tremont King chronicles the life of Louisa May Alcott, with all its trials, successes, and failures. Her family struggled to make ends meet throughout her childhood. As a result, she was determined to make a living herself one day. She finally succeeds with her most famous work, LITTLE WOMEN. Alcott's first book often reflects her own life, especially when it... Read More
Barbara Rosenblat, Michael Crouch, Georgia Lee Schultz, John Jarvis, and a full cast deliver an enchanting interpretation of Burnett's beloved children's story. After the death of her parents, spoiled, abrasive Mary is sent to live with her Uncle Archibald at Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire. With animated comments and apt characterizations, the cast of narrators describe how... Read More
Narrator Franchesca Agramonte's upbeat rhythm gives a fairy-tale feel to a story of family, duty, and following your heart. Solimar's quinceañera will soon make her a fully fledged princess of the 12 kingdoms of Mexico, but will it give her the power to lead her people? When she visits the monarch butterflies in the forest, she is made the protector of the ones that struggle on... Read More
Janina Edwards is a terrific choice to narrate this inspirational audiobook for young enthusiasts of design and construction. Evocative music sets the tone as Edwards introduces the hardworking teams of people who transform the ideas and plans of the architect, engineer, artist, scientist, park designer, book author, and illustrator into concrete reality. Buzzing saws and other... Read More
Narrator Christopher Gebauer establishes a youthful voice for Austin, who once again is the new kid in class after he and his mom move to town. Constantly worried that they may pack up and move again at any moment, Austin struggles, as usual, to settle in. He tries to lie low on his first day of school and keep to himself, but his new teacher, Ms. G., encourages him to... Read More
With even pacing and crystal-clear diction, narrator Rosa Howard embodies the charisma and conviction of one woman who stepped up to do what she could during the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56. When Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, Georgia Gilmore joined her community in boycotting the city buses. Georgia then used her talents... Read More
Narrator Ramon de Ocampo gets interpersonal relationships just right when describing the upheavals that erupt when 12 seventh graders from Fawn Creek (aka Yawn Creek), Louisiana, meet the newly arrived, mysterious Orchid Mason. Orchid, born in New York City and recently hailing from Paris, regales them with stories from all over the world until her true identity is revealed. De... Read More
John Cho narrates his middle-grade novel set amid the 1992 Los Angeles riots. News footage of the riots prompts sixth-grader Jordan to make a precarious trek through Koreatown and the outskirts of the riots. Determined to help his father protect the family's South Central store, he encounters perilous misadventures along the way. Cho has a pleasing voice and steady cadence,... Read More
A.A. Milne's stories and poems have enchanted the young, and not so young, for nearly a century. In this delightful audiobook narrator Alison Larkin performs two of his most beloved children's classics. A tone of lighthearted charm and an adventurous spirit add sparkle to Larkin's perfectly paced narration of WINNIE-THE-POOH. From her endearingly melancholy Eeyore to a Pooh... Read More
Author Muon Thi Van narrates this moving story inspired by her own Vietnamese family's perilous journey as refugees. Muon's simple words, delivered in a quiet, solemn voice, are powerfully enhanced by Victo Ngai's evocative illustrations in the companion picture book. Each double-page spread depicts an emotionally charged scene and a wish for something essential: "The path... Read More
Bilingual narrator Marisa Blake's voice is full of warmth; it pairs perfectly with this beautiful story of familial love. It is Rocio's birthday. She is in a new home in a new country. Now living in the U.S., she misses her old home in Mexico with her abuela and extended family. Rocio misses the grocery store that Abuela owns. She misses the colorful homemade piñatas, chiles,... Read More
Neo Cihi narrates this action-packed middle-grade audiobook with dramatic emphasis. Zachary Ying is swept into a supernatural quest across China when he's possessed by the spirit of a 2,000-year-old Chinese emperor through his high-tech gaming device. He joins fellow 12-year-olds Simon and Melissa, also possessed by emperor spirits, to help save China--and his mom, whose own... Read More
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