Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2022 nominees cover art
Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that 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.

*Prices shown are for Library Digital Download.


Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).

Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family.  Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story. 

Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).

Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

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.


Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062975164).

Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared, and her only hope of finding him is to follow in his footsteps and become a Junior Agent with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. 

Amber and Clay. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Candlewick Press, $22.99 (9781536201222). 

In ancient Greece, two unlikely friends Rhaskos and Melisto find their lives intertwined in a search for freedom and purpose. As a ghost bound to Rhaskos, Melisto must help free him before she can find her own rest in the Halls of Hades.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of The Seventh Raven by David Elliott

Cover Art

The Seventh Raven by David Elliott
HMH Books for Young Readers/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
ISBN: 978-0358252115

Once upon a time, there were seven brothers. Six of them were named Jack, like their father. They were rowdy, bold, and brash, like their father. But the seventh son was unlike his brothers. He was quiet and thoughtful, and his name was Robyn. Jack and his wife loved their sons, but they wished for a daughter, and when their dream came true, they were happy. But April was sickly and dying, and Jack cursed his sons in anger, turning them into birds. The six brothers were sad and confused and wanted to return to their lives. But Robyn was not like his brothers. As a raven he felt like he was finally free. When April grows up, she learns about her brother’s curse and sets off on an adventure to bring them home. 

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of The Seventh Raven by David Elliott

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Spring

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.


*Prices shown are for Library Digital Download.

Admission. By Julie Buxbaum. Read by Julia Whelan. 2020. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63 (9780593216996).

Chloe, privileged daughter of a beloved celebrity, watches helplessly as her mother is caught up in a college admission scandal benefiting her. Julia Whelan skillfully unpacks the emotions that go with Chloe’s questioning whether her parents believe she is enough. 

Amari and the Night Brothers. By B. B. Alston. Read by Imani Parks. Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray, $64.99 (9780063057968).

Amari believes her missing brother is alive. When a mysterious suitcase appears in her closest, she is whisked away to a land of magic. To find her brother, Amari must pass a series of tests in order to enter the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Strong narration supports this fantastical adventure.

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Spring

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked Audiobook By Kerri Maniscalco cover art

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco; Narrated by Marisa Calin
Jimmy Patterson Books / Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
ISBN: 9780316428460

Twins Emilia and Vittoria are part of a long line of witches, which they keep secret to avoid persecution. One evening, Vittoria goes missing. When Emilia finds Vittoria’s body, her heart missing, she vows vengeance and will do anything to find her sister’s killer even if it means using dark magic and joining forces with the Wicked, princes of Hell that have their own nefarious agendas. If Emilia doesn’t keep her wits about her, the price of vengeance just might be too high.

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Dispatches from the End of the World: Survival Stories

Though it might be a bit unsettling, there are undoubtedly teens who see all the hurt and disruption in the world today and turn to dystopian futures or post-apocalyptic tales as the remedy. With those readers in mind, here is a list of titles that dive into the dark realities of an uncertain future.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher

Cover of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher

This 2020 Alex Award winner holds more than a few surprises, and it is a great title to suggest to the reader who has already worked through the more common dystopian titles. Griz is a finely-drawn and fully-complex character who teens will connect with, and the hunt for loyal dog Jess will keep them turning pages until the unexpected and remarkable ending.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

This book. It haunts me. Set in the early 2020s, but written in the early 1990s, it is a prescient and terrifying look at the kind of chaos and social disorder that could descend upon us. Climate change has led to massive water outages, and safety is dependent upon avoiding the mobs bent upon destruction. 15-year-old Lauren is wise beyond her years, but she is an ideal guide through this world and into a possible future.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, October 17 Edition

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold, narrated by Michael Crouch
Audio published by Books on Tape, Listening Library
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
ISBN: 978-0525625698

Noah’s about to start his senior year of high school, and he’s got his whole life figured out; except it isn’t the life that Noah wants anymore. He is a star swimmer, but he doesn’t want to swim in college, so he is faking an injury to get out of swimming this season. Then, one night at a party he tells a near-stranger that his life feels like a sweater that no longer fits. Noah goes home drunk after that same stranger attempts to hypnotize him. Then, Noah’s life changes – his friends now want to go to different colleges, his mom has a scar that he’s never noticed, everything is just slightly off. The only things that haven’t changed are his strange fascinations – a YouTube video, a photograph, and an old man with a goiter. Noah ends up on an emotional, and physical, journey to find out why his fascinations have stayed the same when nothing else has.

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#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 31 Edition

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
Viking Books for Young Readers / Penguin
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
ISBN: 978-0451478733 

Readers who enjoy a little intrigue and action with their historical fiction will devour this gripping tale of a 15 year-old spy, set against the backdrop of Austria during WWII.

After her mother’s death, Jewish teen, Sarah, avoids capture by the SS thanks to a British spy named Captain Jeremy Floyd. Captain Floyd obtains a false identity for Sarah and convinces her to join help him infiltrate the home of one of Hitler’s nuclear scientists, Hans Schafer, by befriending Schäfer’s daughter. To do so, Sarah must enroll in a Nazi boarding school, where surviving and fitting in is tougher than Sarah could have imagine.

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Diversify YA Life: Social Justice League-Reader’s Advisory for Teens Dealing with Social Issues

As library workers, especially those of us who work with teens, our role can shift to “social worker” in an instant. Our teen patrons visit the library everyday and they begin to trust and confide in us.  Because most of us don’t have the training to work with at-risk youth, we can feel a little helpless but we don’t have to because we have the power of a good book.

About a year ago, a member of my book discussion group seemed to be questioning his sexuality and he never talked about it.  I gave him Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith to read because I thought the ending was perfect for his situation.  He loved the book and now he’s very open with his sexuality and he accepts who he is.  Did my recommendation help him? I don’t really know but I like to think it gave him some perspective.  When I see a teen who I think or know is struggling with a personal problem, I’ll strike up a book conversation on their next library visit asking them what they like to read.  If they are a reader, I’ll find a book from their favorite genre that deals with the subject they are struggling with.

In my library, I see homeless teens, teens with alcoholic parents, teens living with a dying parent, and teens dealing with gender identity and body image.  I used to feel powerless but after I recommended Grasshopper Jungle, I realized that I could be an effective adult in the lives of teens. Below are a list of good books that blend popular genres with social issues.  Gone are the days of feeling helpless. Say goodbye to sifting through numerous Google results.  You now possess the power of reader’s advisory in a flash.  You are the newest member of the Social Justice League!

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Wishing Away the Winter Blues with YA Lit

Dreaming Abour #summerreadingThis is my fourth year living in a city that has an actual winter season and I can say that January and February are the most difficult times of year for me. The magic of first snowfall and all of the holiday celebrations are long gone. Now everything is just grey and cold and dirty. I don’t want to think about getting cozy with a warm beverage and good book like I did back in November. I want to think about warm climates and drinks served in hollowed-out coconuts.

One of the things that gets me through this time of year is planning and daydreaming about my annual summer vacation to my hometown in South Florida. I look at the calendar to determine the best arrival and departure dates. I create spreadsheets with all of the restaurants that I want to visit and all of the supplies and cute clothes I need to buy. I ponder if this is the year that I finally plan a road trip to Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And I also begin to plan my vacation reading list.

I know that not everyone considers what they will read four months down the road, but it really is part of the process for me. There is an excitement in deciding what books will be part of my vacation. It is as important as deciding which sandals will be on my feet when I read them. Some of these are titles with well-timed release dates at the start of summer vacation, while others are upcoming releases that I plan to save.

Here is a peek at the start of my summer vacation reading list:

 

The Night We Said YesThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi – June 16, 2015
What’s better than reading a Florida author while on vacation in Florida? I’ve been waiting for this debut novel from Gibaldi F-O-R-E-V-E-R and I am so excited that it will be released shortly before my vacation begins so it will be waiting for me when I arrive. You’ll be able to find me on day one reading this one with my feet up.

 

Emmy & OliverEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway – June 23, 2015
Benway is an insta-read author for me. Audrey, Wait! is one of my all-time favorite YA titles and I can often be found pushing it to readers interested in fun, contemporary stories. Emmy & Oliver seems to be a much more emotional story, though, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out.

 

Ripped from the PagesRipped from the Pages (A Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle – June 2, 2015
While not YA lit, I think this series of cozy mysteries does have high teen appeal. This is the ninth release in the series and I’m excited to see what happens when Brooklyn joins her kooky family back on their commune in Wine Country, California.

 

The Girl at MidnightThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – April 28, 2015
Thanks to Twitter, The Girl at Midnight hit my radar a long time ago. I am excited to welcome a new fantasy trilogy into my life and the buzz has been fantastic about this debut. Waiting a couple months won’t be as bad as waiting for books two and three (scheduled for release in 2016 and 2017, respectively).

 

 

MosquitolandMosquitoland by Davis Arnold – March 3, 2015
It’s going to be rough to wait on this one because I LOVE road trip stories. They scream vacation, though, so I’m going to do my best and hold out. Mosquitoland sounds like it will have all of the high points and low points that a real road trip has. Throw in a quirky cast of characters along the road and I’m sold.

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – April 7, 2015
The cover of this one demands my attention every time I see it – it’s so great! The story sounds like a fun and charming contemporary romance with some drama related to the not-so-openly gay protagonist’s e-mail correspondence. Many of the reader reviews I have seen relate to the readers’ inability to stop smiling and I cannot imagine anything better for a summer vacation reading list.

 

Hello I Love YouHello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout – May 26, 2015
If a contemporary romance about an American student studying in a Korean wasn’t enough for me, throw in the fact that the love interest in a KPop star and I am all over it. Musically-charged with an adorable love story and some family drama? This sounds amazing!

 

Made You UpMade You Up by Francesca Zappia – May 19, 2015
Not going to lie: this one had me at “for fans of Wes Anderson.” The main character struggles to tell the difference between reality and fantasy which in turns requires the reader to work out the difference. It sounds both adorable and funny which are great qualities in a vacation read.

 

Have you started planning your summer reading? Any upcoming releases that I should consider adding to my list? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

– Jessica Lind, currently reading Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends by Gail Simone