This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey; narrated by Suzy Jackson
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Jess is living in the 90’s and dealing with some complicated issues. She has a major crush on her childhood best friend, unsupportive friends and a younger sister sick with a terminal illness. To make matters more complicated, unexplainable things start happening to Jess. She hears chanting no one else can, a flu knocks out half her classmates, and her best friends keep pressuring her to date the annoying school jock. When her sister ends up in the hospital, it’s the catalyst that Jess needs to slowly unravel a deep secret about the town.
My Contrary Maryby Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows; narrated by Fiona Hardingham Publisher: Harper Audio Release date: June 22, 2021 ISBN: 9780063087903
Mary, Queen of Scots, is an Eðian in a cutthroat world of Verities. Despite her mouse form in a world of predators, she refuses to be a victim. She may be caught between scheming deGuise uncles and a vicious Catherine de Medici, but she never forgets that she is a queen. Instead, she frees Eðians that have been captured and abused, retakes her throne, and discovers romantic love is possible, even in politically arranged marriages.
Hand, Ashton, and Meadows have spun off their Jane series and are now reimagining historical Marys. With their signature nods to actual history and several hilarious homages to pop culture this well-crafted story of power and intrigue with a strong female protagonist is worth the listen. Fortunately, the characters are voiced by the consummate narrator, Fiona Hardingham. Hardinham flawlessly performs the multiplicity of accents (French, English, Scottish) enabling listeners to immediately recognize each character and breathes life into a rollicking tale that will appeal to teens.
Readers who enjoyed The Lady Jane Series (My Lady Jane, My Plain Jane–also narrated by Hardingham, and My Calamity Jane) will avidly devour this fantasy.
– Jodi Kruse
Other Nominated Titles
This Is Not The Jess Show by Anna Carey; narrated by Suzy Jackson (February 2, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.
Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre. By Alverne Ball. Art by Stacey Robinson. Abrams/Megascope, $15.99 (9781419755170).
Greenwood—also known as Black Wall Street—was a bustling district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with many successful Black-owned businesses. In 1921, a white mob descended on Greenwood, destroying businesses and devastating the community. One hundred years later, Across the Tracks pays homage to Greenwood.
Alone. By Megan E. Freeman.2020. Penguin Random House/Crown, $17.99 (9780593176399).
Maddie finds herself completely, totally alone when she wakes up from a secret sleepover and discovers that everyone was evacuated overnight from her town, her state, and maybe her whole half of the country. She has to survive natural disasters, the elements, looters, wild animals, and her own crushing loneliness.
Alone by Megan E. Freeman Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Publication Date: January 12, 2021 ISBN: 978-1534467583
Taking advantage of her divorced parents, Maddie convinces her mom she is staying with her dad and vice versa in order to pull off a sleepover at her grandparents’ empty apartment. In the morning, she awakes to find she is alone. The entire town, including her family, have been evacuated and stripped of all forms of communication. Maddie has no other option but to fend for herself, living off what the town left behind. With only George the Rottweiler for companionship, Maddie survives a fire, flood, tornado, and several harsh winters in her quest to stay alive and one day see her family again.