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Of scientists and samurai

These nonfiction audiobooks, recommended for middle-school listeners and up, highlight a variety of memorable moments and important figures throughout human history. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune is the bloody, heroic saga of an iconic twelfth-century samurai. Author Pamela S. Turner combines meticulous historical detail with conversational modernity and wry asides. Her narrative […]

What are we laughing at? Children’s literature and ADHD

It’s been a hard day. You know—the kind of day when you go to pick your kid up from day camp only to be besieged by teachers and staff who each deliver reports of your kid’s terrible, no-good behavior. It’s the usual complaints. Not listening. Not following directions. Not paying attention. Not obeying a teacher’s […]

Growin’ up is hard to do, audiobook version

The preteen years are full of new experiences and challenges. These four audiobooks — three novels, and one book of advice — all involve aspects of growing up and exploring one’s identity. For Archer Magill, main character of Richard Peck‘s 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book The Best Man, sixth grade is full of changes: […]

On “Radio Penderwick,” bedtime (audio)books, and more

Just like their print counterparts, audiobooks play many roles in the home. This week we looked at some different ways audiobooks accompany families — at bedtime during road trips, and really any time (or, Rachael Stein’s case, all the time). Here’s a roundup of our mini-celebration. At Family Reading on Monday, Kitty Flynn shared her […]

Audio bedtime stories…for grownups

In this week’s Family Reading post “Go to sleep, my little darling,” Kristy Pasquariello discusses how audiobooks help her young children settle down and prepare to sleep. I read her thoughts with interest: in addition to lots of daytime listening, I’ve been using audiobooks at bedtime for years, beginning long after childhood. Just like Kristy and […]

Go to sleep, my little darling

When my kids were babies, I went through such an excruciating period of sleep deprivation that I remain, to this day, traumatized. At the slightest sign of a sleep issue, I still snap to attention and do everything I can possibly think of to nip it in the bud. When they were babies and toddlers, […]

On Rachael Stein’s “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street” (from May 2013)

“We owe a permanent debt of gratitude to Jeanne Birdsall. Her words are the refiner’s fire that helped turn our leaden hearts to gold.” In her Books in the Home column, “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street,” from the May/June 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, librarian and mom Rachael Stein writes eloquently about how […]

Surviving Road Trips with Audiobooks

It began with Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. I was planning a four-hour road trip with my kids, and I was searching for something besides the fail-safe DVD to entertain them during the drive. Admittedly, as an author, I rail against relying too heavily on movies, TV, and gaming. Yes, they’re convenient, and keep lunacy on […]

Listening in on the past

These engaging audio productions of four excellent historical nonfiction titles give teens another entry point into the profound (and profoundly personal) tales of courage and determination they relate. Steve Sheinkin‘s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War uses Ellsberg as a focal point to tell the story of the Vietnam […]

Audio for teens

Who says teenagers never listen? The following YA audiobooks are so compelling that teens will be lost in the stories. The audiobook version of Challenger Deep, Neal Shusterman‘s novel about one young man’s battle with mental illness, reinforces both the disorienting confusion of the disease and the tenuous hopes for its treatment. Caden Bosch’s first-person […]