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Jim Dale’s soporific magic

I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan, but I never dreamed how much a part of my life Harry would become. When my first son was born, I was in labor for a week and struggling to stay calm. My mom is a psychologist and also does hypnosis (legitimate hypnosis — not making people […]

Crossing bridges, turning pages

Mothering my seven children often inspires my writing, but I’ve made it a policy to avoid writing publicly about specific struggles I have with them. Growing up is hard enough, and I worry that real openness could amount to betrayal or worse. All to say: I have a story to tell about one of my […]

Summer listening

These recent speculative fiction favorites are now available as audiobooks — just in time for summer, when teens may be seeking escapist vacation listening or entertainment on that epic road trip with friends. In Kristin Cashore’s Jane, Unlimited, recently bereaved Jane is unexpectedly invited to spend the weekend at a mysterious island mansion — and […]

Listening to friends and family

These audiobooks, recommended for middle-grade and middle-school listeners, tell a variety of stories about contemporary kids and families in engaging and entertaining ways. Twelve-year-old Malú, star of Celia C. Pérez‘s The First Rule of Punk, is into punk rock and making zines. When her mother gets a teaching job in Chicago, Malú must reluctantly leave […]

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, […]