Tag Archive | determination

Scary times – who will be brave? (audiobook recommendations)

Frightening or challenging? You decide with these professionally produced audiobooks respinning fairy tales as our AudioSYNC summer winds down.

You have until Wednesday 19 July 2023 to download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Not your everyday experiences…

CD cover of The Lantern's Ember, 
by Colleen Houck | Read by Piper Goodeve. Published by HighBridge Audio

The Lantern’s Ember (free Sora download 7/13 – 7/19/23)
by Colleen Houck | Read by Piper Goodeve
Published by HighBridge Audio

Guarding the Otherworld’s entrance for centuries, Jack is startled when young witch Ember slips through its gates.

Doesn’t she realize its true dangers? Dare he leave his post to save her? How could he not?!

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/229597/the-lanterns-ember-by-colleen-houck-read-by-piper-goodeve/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Red Hood, by Elana K. Arnold | Read by January LaVoy.
Published by Harper Audio

Red Hood (free Sora download 7/13-7/19/23)
by Elana K. Arnold | Read by January LaVoy
Published by Harper Audio

For 16-year-old Bisou, one transcendent evening encompasses her first period, first encounter with the pleasures of sex, memories of her mother’s bloody death, and a stalker whose wolf-form hides a terrible classmate.

Red Riding Hood retold with emphasis on feminine instincts in the face of male toxicity.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/173189/red-hood-by-elana-k-arnold-read-by-january-lavoy/

What edge-of-your-seat tale would you recommend?
**kmm

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Oracle’s prophecy, a WOLFISH connection – danger! by Christiane M. Andrews (MG book review)

book cover of Wolfish, by Christiane M. Andrews. Published by Little Brown | recommended on BooksYALove.com

In their cave of mists, Oracle and Apprentice tell the future, but young Alba won’t repeat the waters’ most dismal words to rob poor peasants of a little hope.

Alas, Alba does speak truth to one boy, eleventh in the royal succession and suddenly the new king, about his joyless reign being cut short by his sibling and a beast.

Later visions show her that the king’s mother soon after birthed twins who were swiftly taken from the palace, yet all are told that her child was stillborn … where were the king’s siblings taken?

In the mountains, little Rae helps her adoptive parents watch their sheep, growing strong on their love and sunshine and Mop’s songs.

In the forest, a wolf-child learns to hunt and revel in the scents around him, as furred and swift-running as his litter-mates.

At the cave entrance, a young priest guarding them at night reluctantly teaches Alba how to write, and she records her vision of the twins for the priests’ library.

One day, Rae sings the song she senses in hillside breezes and sees a wolf, whose attack is stopped – by another wolf! The defending wolf allows Rae to tend his wounds, and somehow they truly see one another…

Alba’s writing is discovered, and she is banished. Now what? Now where?

To her first market day in the town, Rae and her parents go, not knowing that the king ordered all children of the twins’ age – and hers – captured!

Can Alba and Rae and the wolf escape the king’s anger and make their own futures come true?

A lyrical tale of the magic of songs and of being known, seen, loved.

Would you want to know your future?
**kmm

Book info: Wolfish / Christiane M. Andrews. Little Brown, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Lives lived loud and clear – historical fiction to read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

Our AudioSYNC offerings this week take us into different times and different places with well-crafted historical fiction audiobooks that begin with murder!

You have until Wednesday 12 July 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Now tell me… what did they do next?

CD cover of The Boy in the Red Dress, by Kristin Lambert | Read by Sophie Amoss. Published by Listening Library

The Boy in the Red Dress (free Sora download 7/6-7/12/23)
by Kristin Lambert | Read by Sophie Amoss
Published by Listening Library

Murder on New Year’s Eve! In 1929 New Orleans, the Cloak & Dagger speakeasy and LBGTQIA haven features Marion in drag – who is now suspected of murder.

His best friend Millie (teenage niece of the club owner) is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/179183/the-boy-in-the-red-dress-by-kristin-lambert-read-by-sophie-amoss/

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CD cover of This Rebel Heart, by Katherine Locke. Read by Kathleen Gati, Steven Jay Cohen. Published by Listening Library

This Rebel Heart (free Sora download 7/6-7/12/23)
by Katherine Locke | Read by Kathleen Gati, Steven Jay Cohen
Published by Listening Library

After her parents are murdered in 1956, young Hungarian woman Czilla is eager to leave the country and its repressive regime.

She finds allies in a man seeking his missing lover, an angel of death, and others primed to revolt for freedom.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/213314/this-rebel-heart-by-katherine-locke-read-by-kathleen-gati-steven-jay-cohen/

Best historical fiction book you ever read?
**kmm

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Can she OUTRUN THE MOON & fate through education or luck? by Stacey Lee (YA book review)

book cover of Outrun the Moon, by Stacey Lee. Published by Penguin | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Mercy wants better for her little brother than backbreaking laundry work, but she needs more education than their poor middle school can offer so she can start a business.

The teen negotiates her way into a semester scholarship at St. Clare’s School for Girls, the best in 1906 San Francisco, determined to brave anti-Chinese prejudice on the way to her dreams.

In return, Mercy promises snobby Elodie’s father a meeting with the Benevolent Association to apply for permission to sell his very fine chocolates in Chinatown…

Oh, how she longs to help her boyfriend Tom find his way into the sky instead of becoming an herbalist doctor like his father!

What if the headmistress decides Mercy isn’t worthy to be at St. Clare’s?
What if the Benevolent Association won’t consider their request?
What does her mother see when she foretells their futures?

Earthquake! The St. Clare’s girls escape to Golden Gate Park and, with Mercy’s practical skills, try to help others fleeing collapsed buildings and fires.

Her family! Their families! What now?

Outstanding historical fiction from the author of The Downstairs Girl (recommended here).

Are you prepared for a natural disaster?
**kmm

Book info: Outrun the Moon / Stacey Lee. Penguin, hardcover 2016, paperback 2017. [author Facebook] [publisher site] Personal collection; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Lady Liberty is A LIGHT FOR ALL! by Margarita Engle & Raul Colon (Picturebook recommendation)

book cover of Light For All, by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Light, hope, freedom!

The Statue of Liberty‘s welcoming presence weaves throughout this uplifting and reflective picturebook.

Children’s hopes, dreams, and memories of their birth-lands fill these pages showing the many reasons that people come to the United States.

The text also acknowledges the Native Americans who lived here first and the Africans forcibly brought here in slavery, as well as recent immigrants’ struggles to be accepted by those whose families also arrived as immigrants in past generations.

By the author of many novels in verse that carry forward the voices of non-dominant cultures, several recommended on BooksYALove here.

The illustrator uses varied color palettes to portray disaster and turmoil, community and reunion, friendship and hope.

Also available in Spanish : Luz Para Todos.

Have you visited the Statue of Liberty?
**kmm

Book info: Light For All / Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021. [author site] [illustrator interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Let’s hear it for inventors! (audiobook recommendations)

How clever! This week, AudioSYNC brings us stories of extremely sharp folks and their amazingly inventive minds.

You have until Wednesday 5 July 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Did you miss earlier weeks’ free audiobooks? Check with your local public library or favorite independent bookstore.

Get ready to read with your ears!

CD cover of Bump, by Chiara Atik | Read by Ana Ortiz, Herbert Siguenza, Alma Martinez, and a Full Cast. Published by LA Theatre Works

Bump (free Sora download 6/29-7/5/23)
by Chiara Atik | Read by Ana Ortiz, Herbert Siguenza, Alma Martinez, and a Full Cast
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

The humorous story of Claudia’s plan to deliver her baby at home (using an amateur-built birthing machine!) is bookended by those of a midwife and first-time mother in 1790 and an online bulletin board for December moms.

Includes an interview with the author and a gynecologist.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/226065/bump-by-chiara-atik-read-by-ana-ortiz-herbert-siguenza/

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CD cover of The Woman Who Split the Atom: the Life of Lise Meitner, by Marissa Moss | Read by Sandy Rustin. Published by Recorded Books

The Woman Who Split the Atom: the Life of Lise Meitner (free Sora download 6/29-7/5/23)
by Marissa Moss | Read by Sandy Rustin
Published by Recorded Books

It was Lise Meitner’s groundbreaking research into the behavior of atoms in the 1930s that led to understanding nuclear fission and its later use in atomic weapons, much to her sorrow.

As a Jewish woman in pre-World War II Germany, brilliant Meitner was given substandard lab facilities, saw her work attributed solely to men, was forced into exile by the Nazi regime, and never received the Nobel Prize honors awarded to her male co-researchers.

On BooksYALove here, you’ll find my recommendation of Hidden Powers: Lise Meitner’s Call to Science, by Jeannine Atkins – a biography of Meitner in verse.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/229657/the-woman-who-split-the-atom-by-marissa-moss-read-by-sandy-rustin/

Which invention has most improved your own life?
**kmm

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Traverse A WILDERNESS OF STARS to save humanity, by Shea Ernshaw (YA book review)

book cover of A Wilderness of Stars, by Shea Ernshaw. Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

An unmistakable omen,
Time to leave safety,
Time to find the stars’ secrets.

Every night, Vega and Mom talk about all the stars they can see from their secluded valley, including the constellation tattooed on the teen’s neck.

When Vega sees a dreadful omen in the skies and Mom dies, it’s time to go away – for Vega is the last Astronomer and must find the Architect to save their world.

Together, they can find a cure for the fast-spreading sickness that takes sight and hearing before death.

If she can stay clear of the star-branded Theorists who believe the Astronomer can help them end the world quickly…
If that young man truly knows where to find the Architect…
If the Architect and the Astronomer can get to the sea…

Hunted by Theorists, going quietly around dusty near-ghost towns where her face is on wanted posters, Vega moves quickly with teens Cricket and Noah, now the Last Architect.

Vega’s affection for Noah grows as they travel stealthily across the hostile wilderness toward the sea, even as she worries about the secrets of his past.

Will their knowledge – passed down orally for generations – be accurate enough to save their world?

**kmm

Book info: A Wilderness of Stars / Shea Ernshaw. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

PIGSKINS TO PAINTBRUSHES: football-playing artist Ernie Barnes, by Don Tate (Picturebook review)

book cover of Pigskins to Paintbrushes: the Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes, by Don Tate. Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

His pencil never stopped drawing,
his heart was filled with music and images,
some day he would show the world!

On the sidelines as he played professional football, Ernie kept drawing. After all, art had long been his escape from bullies as he grew up in segregated North Carolina.

In high school, Ernie was a big guy, so his mother convinced the football coach to let him play – and Ernie hated it! Only when the weight-lifting coach encouraged him to get stronger did the young Black man find his rhythm on the field and on the track team, leading to college scholarship offers

Oh, how Ernie loved the art studio at his all-Black college, learning oil painting and perspective and art history. His professor encouraged him to use his own experiences as inspiration for his work, and Ernie began painting about football as he kept playing.

His NFL career cut short by injury, Ernie proposed that the American Football League hire him as their official artist. He painted for the New York Jets, exhibiting 30 vibrant and exciting works to great acclaim in the mid-1960s.

Ernie’s paintings of Black Americans reflected joy and community, and his art career came full circle when they were exhibited in 1979 at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where he wasn’t allowed to enter as a child during segregation.

Movement, muscle, memory, and heart made Ernie Banks an art superstar. Watch the book trailer here!

What sport-related artwork is your favorite?
**kmm

Book info: Pigskins to Paintbrushes: the Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes / Don Tate. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2021. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Celebrate the rainbow spectrum – read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

For Pride Month, AudioSYNC brings us real-life and fictional accounts of teens across the rainbow of gender and sexuality.

You have until Wednesday 28 June 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

The Audiofile review page for each audiobook include a link to their podcast discussion of the book!

Get ready to read with your ears!

CD cover of Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez. Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez
Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Two trans feminine, two trans masculine, and two nonbinary young people spoke candidly with Susan Kuklin about their struggles to be accepted.

These real interview transcripts of gender non-conforming teens also include some family members; all narrated by professional voice actors with emotion and empathy.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/225998/beyond-magenta-by-susan-kuklin-read-by-tanya-eby-nick-podehl/

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CD cover of Loveless, by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church. Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Loveless (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church
Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Surely her first year of college will be when Georgia finally has a crush, gets kissed, falls in love…right?

New friends and old help the British teen find her true self and claim her identity as asexual/aromantic.

I recommended Loveless here on BooksYALove.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/206271/loveless-by-alice-oseman-read-by-billie-fulford-brown-elizabeth-schenk/

What’s your favorite story with gender-nonconforming characters?
**kmm

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SIDE EFFECTS of meds worse than her anxiety? by Ted Anderson, Tara O’Connor, Dave Sharpe (Graphic Novel review)

book cover of Side Effects, by Ted Anderson; art & color - Tara O'Connor; lettering - Dave Sharpe. Published by Seismic Press | recommended on BooksYALove.com

First time living away from home,
her anxiety skyrockets…
she can’t get through college like this.

Hannah has always been worried and anxious, but everything new at college is just so overwhelming. After a deep depressive episode, her roommate helps her connect with a therapist on campus.

Dr. Jacobs is calm and reassuring, offering medication if Hannah wants to try it and cautioning her to watch for unusual side effects before her next appointment. Her brother Levi is supportive and wishes their mom would work on her own anxiety.

Oh, wow, what side effects! Such headaches, and she zaps anything she touches with electric shocks – even co-worker Jay at the library notices, yet still invites her to a very quiet, low-key party at his dorm.

Wow, Hannah is brave enough to go to the party and meet new people, including lovely Iz!

A new medication that won’t cause the terrible headaches makes Hannah disassociate from her body – is she really seeing through walls and reading people’s minds?

Her movie and dinner date with Iz is perfect! Then… crickets, no answer when Hannah texts her – what went wrong?

As freshman year rolls on, Hannah keeps trying to help herself and allows others to help her, too.

This graphic novel begins with a content warning about the mental and emotional distresses depicted and concludes with notes from the author and a mental health professional.

For help, call or text the free and confidential Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8 any time, any hour.

In a new place or situation, what do you think about first?
**kmm

Book info: Side Effects / written by Ted Anderson; art & color by Tara O’Connor; lettering by Dave Sharpe. Seismic Press, 2022. [publisher site & interviews] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.