I love reading. I especially love to read while I am driving, cooking, cleaning, exercising, or doing anything other than sitting down and holding a book in front of my face. Audiobooks have helped me to keep current with newly published books since becoming a librarian.
Plus audiobooks are fun! And I'm not the only person who feels this way because audiobooks are the fastest-growing sector of the publishing industry, nearly tripling in revenue over the past five years.
Audiobook performances and production has also greatly improved and are recognized by the American Library Association with The Odyssey Award, which is an annual award are given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is picked by a passionate group of librarians who spend their days and nights consuming audiobooks. You can read all about the process, as well as get some awesome recommendations, on the Mock Odyssey Award blog: Ears on the Odyssey.
Even if you think you aren't an "audiobook person" I recommend giving one of the titles below a try this Summer. And don't forget to track all the time you are listening to audiobooks during our Summer Learning program! It counts as reading!
Free Audiobooks for Teens!
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high-interest titles, based on weekly themes from April 30, 2020, to July 29, 2020. SYNC introduces a variety of audiobook experiences for teens to demonstrate that reading can be completed by listening. SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the Sora app. Titles change every Thursday at 4:00 AM PST when the program is running and you can sign-up to get notifications when the FREE audiobook downloads are available by text message, email newsletter, or by visiting www.audiobooksync.com.
Hey, Kiddo Jarrett Krosoczka
In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.
Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.
Let Me Hear A Rhyme Tiffany D. Jackson
Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.
Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.
Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Heroine Mandy McGinnis
When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.
The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.
With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.
But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.
The Fountains of Silence Ruta Sepetys
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
Kent State Deborah Wiles
May 4, 1970.
Kent State University.
As protestors roil the campus, National Guardsmen are called in. In the chaos of what happens next, shots are fired and four students are killed. To this day, there is still argument of what happened and why.
Told in multiple voices from a number of vantage points -- protestor, Guardsman, townie, student.