February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Phyllis Levy Mandell

About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.

Best Audiobooks: 20 Must-Have Titles for Tweens and Teens

To compile our 2013 list of best audiobooks, we asked some audio-savvy school and public librarians for their recommendations. The following selections have been chosen for their outstanding text, narration, sound quality, and how well the audio enhances listeners’ appreciation of the written work.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Pick of the Day: P.S. Be Eleven | Audio

P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams-Garcia’s sequel to her Coretta Scott King award-winning One Crazy Summer, offers offering insight into the African-American experience of the 1960s as seen through a young girl’s eyes. Sisi Aisha Johnson’s narration of the audiobook is spot-on. Check out the starred review.

Pick of the Day: Turn Turn Turn | Audio

Turn Turn Turn, the first collaboration between Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell of “handmade music” yields five traditional and 10 original songs in bluegrass, folk, blues, and acoustic pop musical styles. Read the starred review of this outstanding CD.

Pick of the Day: Fantastico! | Audio

The Los Angeles kindie-pop group Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band are back with their most unique album to date, Fantastico!, performed all in Spanish. Read the starred review.

Pick of the Day: When the World Was New | Audio

Dean Jones has never sounded as fresh, funky, and fun as he does on his new CD, When the World Was New, his third solo recording, loosely centered on evolution and human nature. Read the starred review.

Pick of the Day: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass | Audio

A Latina teen is the target of bullying in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina. In the audiobook version, Roxanne Hernandez’s narration is spot-on. Check out the starred review.

Pick of the Day: Sugar | Audio

Through the voice of 10-year-old , an emancipated slave in post-Civil War Louisiana, Jewell Parker Rhodes’s novel introduces a dark and little-known period of American history. Bahni Turpin magically brings all the characters to life in the audiobook version.

Pick of the Day: Out of This Place | Audio

Three friends who want to leave high school and move on describe their anguish in Emma Cameron’s novel, Out of This Place, written in verse. Three narrators tell the story from alternating points of view in this audiobook version. Read this starred review

Take the Follett Challenge; Future of Libraries Center; Día Mini-Grants | News Bites

Enter the Follett Challenge for a chance to receive up to $60,000. The American Library Association received a grant to establish a Center for the Future of Libraries. Apply for a Día Family Book Club Mini-Grant.

Pick of the Day: Never Forget to Lie | DVD

Documentary filmmaker Marian Marzynski revisits his Polish roots to tell the story of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of those who were children during World War II in Never Forget to Lie. Read the starred review.

Pick of the Day: Pi in the Sky | Audio

Joss is bored with his simple job of delivering pies for the Supreme Overlord of the Universe (his dad). Soon, however, something goes badly wrong, and it’ds Joss’s responsibility to rebuild Earth in WendyMass’s Pi in the Sky

Pick of the Day: I Want My Hat Back | DVD

The brown bear’s hat is missing, and he almost gives up all hope of ever finding it in the DVD version of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

Bullying Prevention Resources; YA Lit Symposium | News Bites

Scenario Learning is offering free bullying prevention resources to every school in October and November. Nominations are open for the American Library Association’s Excellence in Library Programming Award until December 1. The Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium is now accepting program proposals through November 1. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee is looking for new members to participate in various capacities.

Pick of the Day: Permanent Record | Audio

Nick Podehl masterfully narrates the audio version of Leslie Stella’s Permanent Record, a realistic novel about the effects of bullying on an Iranian-American teenager in Chicago.

Pick of the Day: Defiant Requiem | DVD

Defiant Requiem is a powerful film that presents first-hand accounts by survivors who sang in the Thereseinstadt concentration camp and highlights the efforts of conductor Murry Sidlin to bring the Requiem back to Terezin six decades later with a full orchestra and his chorus. Check out the starred review of this moving DVD.

Pick of the Day: Divergent | Audio

Set in dystopian Chicago, Veronica Roth’s novel, Divergent, is read in a youthful voice by Emma Galvin. Be sure to check out the starred review of the audiobook.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; 2014 IRA Conference Program | News Bites

The annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is accepting original works in 28 categories. Terri Soutor, former vice president at Lerner Publishing Group, a sister company to Brain Hive and a key player in the formation of the company, has been named Brain Hive’s president. Storybots founders Gregg and Evan Spiridellis launch Educade, a portal of free, ready to use lesson plans paired with learning tools. The International Reading Association has announced some of the renowned authors speaking at its 59th Annual Conference in May. Krup has announced a teacher’s lounge makeover contest.

YALSA Summer Reading Grants; LOC’s Twitter Feed for Educators | News Bites

YALSA and Dollar General Literacy Foundation are offering two $1,000 grants for Summer Reading programs: one for employing a teen intern and another for purchasing resources. The Library of Congress has launched a new Twitter feed for K–12 educators which can be found @TeachingLC. ALSC members are encouraged to send suggestions for the 2013 Theodor Geisel Award to the committee chair, Penny Peck. Capstone Interactive ebooks are now compatible with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

LEGO Essay Contest; Celebrate Picture Book Month | News Bites

November is Picture Book Month. Five winners and five finalists of the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards were announced September 17. Apply for the Stony Brook Southampton (NY) MFA in Children’s Literature Fellows program. Kids in grades 2–5 can enter the LEGO Essay Contest.

Poetry Writing Contest for Kids; Eric Carle’s ‘Friends’ Exhibit | News Bites

Publisher Kane Miller is cosponsoring a nonfiction writing contest for budding poets. Educators can enter the “Pin It to Win It” MathMovesU sweepstakes via Pinterest. From September 17, 2013 through March 24, 2014, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is featuring the artwork from Carle’s new picture book, Friends. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced the finalists for its seven major children’s book awards.