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Gendered reading and audiobooks

My daughter became a bookworm this year, reading middle grade novels by Carl Hiaasen, Kate Beasley, Robert Beatty, and Erin Entrada Kelly. She read before bed, and while eating breakfast and brushing her teeth. When she finished a book, she’d pass it along to me, and we’d discuss it. I felt excited about this new […]

Review of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter audiobook

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez; read by Kyla Garcia High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 8 CDs    9.7 hrs.    978-1-5247-8224-5    $60.00 When her older sister, Olga, dies, Julia discovers Olga was not the “perfect Mexican daughter” everybody thought she was. Julia, who longs to be a writer and leave […]

Review of Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot audiobook

Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling; read by Christina Moore Middle School, High School    Recorded Books    Rev. 3/18 6 CDs    7.25 hrs.    978-1-5019-7193-8    $20.99 Narrator Moore has a deep, resonant alto with a no-nonsense quality that perfectly embodies the resolve of America’s first feminists. When quoting Susan […]

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: […]