February 26, 2017

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Unbecoming by Jenny Downham | SLJ Audio Review

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DOWNHAM, Jenny. Unbecoming. Preloaded digital audio player. 14:14 hrs. Mar. 2016. Scholastic. $30. ISBN 9780545945905.

Gr 9 Up−Although Mary, Caroline, and Katie are three very different generations in the same family, suddenly living under the same roof forces them to confront a complicated past that has kept them estranged for decades. Mary is the grandmother, newly widowed, fighting the dementia that is clouding and tangling memories. Caroline is her angry daughter, unforgiving of the long estrangement and unwilling to […]

Love, Loss, and Saving Yourself | Audio In Advance April 2017 | Young Adult

Loyalties tested, new worlds explored.

Pandas, Spies, and Planes| Audio in Advance April 2017 | Middle Grade

Some stories must be heard to be loved. A roundup of middle grade titles coming to audio in April.

Stories, a Princess, and a Lighting Fixture | Audio in Advance April 2017 | Early Grades

Disney movie tie-in titles and a classic family of bears always entertain.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin | SLJ Audio Review

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LIN, Grace. When the Sea Turned to Silver. 6 CDs. 7:37 hrs. Hachette Audio. Oct. 2016. $24. ISBN 9781478912538. digital download.

Gr 4-6– In this companion novel to When the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, the Black Tortoise of Winter’s chilly grip hasn’t stopped villagers from trekking up the mountain to hear tales from Amah the Storyteller. Upon their arrival, Pinmei, Amah’s granddaughter, hides in the shadows and listens. Life abruptly unravels when the […]

Moo by Sharon Creech | SLJ Audio Review

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CREECH, Sharon. Moo. 2 CDs. 2:32 hrs. HarperCollins. Nov. 2016. $19.99. ISBN 9781470853624. 1 MP3-CD; digital download.

Gr 4-6 –Twelve-year-old Reena’s outburst during a family conversation about parental careers, geography, and the future “ten years from now” catapults the family from a city of monuments, subways, and museums and lands them in rural Maine. Her expectations of her new home include lobsters, blueberries, beaches, and mountains, but what she and her seven-year-old brother Luke get most familiar with is […]

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz | SLJ Audio Review

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GIDWITZ, Adam. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. 8 CDs. 10:14 hrs. Listening Library. Sept. 2016. $40. ISBN 9780735287389. digital download.

Gr 5-8 –The year is 1242; the setting: a roadside inn on the outskirts of a small French town. Travelers from all corners of France share what they know about the country’s most notorious outlaws: a group of three children and their dog. Jeanne is a peasant girl able to see the […]

Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac | SLJ Audio Review

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BRUCHAC, Joseph. Talking Leaves. 4 CDs. 4:35 hrs. Listening Library. Aug. 2016. $35. ISBN 9780451485717. digital download.

Gr 4-7 –Many of the people in 13-year-old Uwohali’s Cherokee village are whispering about his father, Sequoyah. Sequoyah has just returned from a six-year stay in Arkansas, and he spends all his time writing strange symbols on paper and scratching marks in the dirt. People whisper that Sequoyah must be crazy, and they fear his strange marks are a form of witchcraft. […]

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio | SLJ Audio Review

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DIPUCCHIO, Kelly. Grace for President. 1 CD w tr book. 25 min. Weston Woods. Oct. 2016. $29.95. ISBN 9781338090239.

PreS-Gr 3 –The 2016 presidential race—featuring the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party—gives Kelly DiPucchio’s picture book, originally published in 2008, even greater relevance. Grace is an elementary school student who is appalled to learn that there has never been a female American president. Her interest in becoming the first leads to a school election with Grace […]

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | SLJ Audio Review

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STEVENSON, Noelle. Nimona. 2:17 hrs. HarperAudio. Oct. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9780062562807. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –Imagine a future where technology meets medieval studies mashed with a bit of supernatural and government conspiracy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is determined to expose the despicable activities of the Institute of Law Enforcement, which is led by his former best friend, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin. Such a large undertaking requires not just any sidekick. Enter Nimona, a quick-witted, hilarious teen shape-shifter who has a […]

Stalking Jack the ­Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | SLJ Audio Review

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MANISCALCO, Kerri. Stalking Jack the ­Ripper. 8 CDs. 9:30 hrs. Hachette Audio. Sept. 2016. $30. ISBN 9781478967422. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –This audiobook has everything: a true-life tale that has intrigued readers for 100-plus years, a young woman who balks at the constraints put upon women during the Victorian era, a marvelous yet somewhat gruesome mystery, and a narrator who brings you down into Spitalfields as Jack the Ripper earns his name. Audrey Rose has suffered the loss […]

Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb | SLJ Audio Review

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BASCOMB, Neal. Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. 5 CDs. 6:13 hrs. Recorded Books. Apr. 2016. $34.99. ISBN 9780545944021. digital download.

Gr 8 Up –This richly detailed nonfiction account of Norwegians who spied for the British and organized resistance against the Nazis unfolds like a spy thriller. Bascomb includes a good deal of science regarding the heavy water and uranium needed to create the atom bomb. Though the narrative is a bit difficult to follow in the […]

Yellow by Megan Jacobson | SLJ Audio Review

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JACOBSON, Megan. Yellow. 1 MP3-CD. 7:06 hrs. Brilliance. Jul. 2016. $9.99. ISBN 9781522642121.

Gr 9 Up –Fourteen-year-old Kirra Barley’s life is spiraling out of control. She’s bullied by girls at school who claim to be her friends, her father has left home to live with another woman, and her mother’s drinking is worse than it has ever been. Unhappy and alone, Kirra answers a ringing pay phone at the beach in her coastal Australian town, and the ghost of […]

Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah | SLJ Audio Review

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SHEVAH, Emma. Dara Palmer’s Major Drama. 5 CDs. 6 hrs. Recorded Books. Jul. 2016. $51.75. ISBN 9781501921575. digital download.

Gr 3-6 –Dara knows she was meant to be a star. She watches TV all the time to study for roles, practices facial expressions in the mirror, and daydreams constantly about her future in Hollywood. When her middle school prepares to put on The Sound of Music, Dara knows she’ll be Maria. Instead, she is in the chorus. As an […]

Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman | SLJ Audio Review

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CUSHMAN, Karen. Grayling’s Song. 4 CDs. 5 hrs. Recorded Books. Jul. 2016. $46.75. ISBN 9781501916922. digital download.

Gr 3-6– Cushman delivers an intriguing cast of characters in a fantastical tale set in a medieval world. A dark cloud is turning Grayling’s demanding hedgewitch mother and other “wise folk” into trees. Though Grayling is shy and unsure, after she assembles her mother’s potions and learns her songs, the teen sets out to find her mother’s stolen grimoire (book of magic). […]

Tales2Go as an audio collection (and a literacy solution)

I LOVE audiobooks!  They make it possible for me to always be reading. But for kiddos, access to audiobooks represents far more than a simple, hands-free convenience. Audiobooks allow children to build vocabulary, to attack sophisticated text and ideas beyond their current reading levels, Audiobooks can introduce children to new vocabulary, improve reading comprehension and fluency, […]

Sizing Up: Rich picks for kids “reading” above grade level | Listen In

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A teacher is reading aloud in a third grade classroom, and the students are captivated. All but two of them, that is. Blake and Adelaide are lost in their own thoughts as they fidget, doodle on scraps of paper, and stare at the ceiling. The selection is a perfect third grade read-aloud, so why are these two children not engaged? Because one size never fits all. That goes for clothing, and it certainly goes for books. Blake and […]

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Audiobooks and the Summer Reading Push | Tech Tidbits

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Audiobooks are just what teens need to combat the summer slide. Teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares the top free resources to offer over the break.

Fantasy Series Starters | Listen In

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Multi-volume tales, both classic and modern, to engage listeners

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Study: Ebooks, Audiobooks, Digital Textbooks Used in 80 Percent of Schools

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OverDrive and ASCD have partnered on a survey about digital content use in schools. Of the 80 percent of respondents who report using digital content in their schools or districts, four out of 10 are using it as part of their curriculum.