Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; Narrated by Fajer Al-Kaisi, Feodor Chin, Gisela Chípe, Michael Crouch, Janina Edwards, James Fouhey, Renata Friedman, Catherine Ho, Nicole Lewis, Omar Leyva, Guy Lockard, Jesus E. Martinez, and Lisa Renee Pitts Listening Library Publication Date: August 11, 2020 ISBN: 978-0593121610
Through poetry, essays, lists, and letters, The Talk gives 17 different conversations that delve into race, racism, identity, and self-esteem. Coming from a variety of experiences, which are often intergenerational and intersectional, this is a conversation starter for dissecting structural racism, moves to be more antiracist, and ways to be more inclusive with a focus on being affirming to listeners.
Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender Scholastic Press Publication Date: February 4, 2020 ISBN: 978-1338129335
When Kingston James saw a dragonfly land on his brother’s casket, he knew his brother was showing him he wasn’t truly gone. King constantly searches for his brother’s dragonfly to talk to; seeing the dragonflies always helps. Before his death, Khalid overheard King’s best friend Sandy confide a secret and pushed King to end the friendship over it. Now Khalid is gone, Sandy is missing, and King is alone and realizing he has the same secret.
Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster Publication Date: August 11, 2020 ISBN: 978-1534448636
Three years ago, ICE deported Sia’s mother to Mexico, and now she’s presumed dead after attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert. Ever hopeful, Sia retreats to the desert, lighting candles to guide her mother’s return. Eventually Sia’s mom does appear, flying an alien spacecraft and claiming that extraterrestrials are hunting her. Together with her best friend Rose and would-be boyfriend Noah, Sia tries to find the truth in her mother’s fantastical claims.
This is a fast-paced genre mash-up with elements of mystery, fantasy, and Mexican folklore. Short chapters keep the story moving, along with discussions of compelling issues such as deportation, racism, sexual assault, and grief. The alien subplot, however, adds a dose of levity and intrigue. The main characters are a diverse lot with engaging backstories that highlight Sia’s Latinx heritage, Noah’s mysterious family life, and Rose’s tense relationship with her fanatically religious father. Over the course of the story, Sia learns a lot about the people in her life, and that everyone faces challenges or carries scars that aren’t always visible to others.