Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, April 8 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

cover art

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda; Narrated by  Christian Coulson, Candice Moll, and Steve West
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers  / Listening Library
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
ISBN: 978-0525518211

Coming from vastly different class backgrounds, Annie and Lee have been close friends since meeting at the orphanage nine years ago. Both were orphaned: Annie losing her family at the hands of Lee’s father in an act of oppression, and Lee’s family of dragonborn rulers slaughtered in a bloody revolution that overthrew the aristocracy.

In the new regime, dragonriders are now chosen on merit, instead of birthright, and both Annie and Lee have trained hard, and have a chance at becoming Firstrider, leader of a new fleet of dragonriders. As competitions for Firstrider continue, and Annie and Lee get closer to gaining the title, parts of Lee’s past surface that could bring up painful truths jeopardizing their friendship, threatening their lives, and possibly sending their country into war. 

This fast-paced listen of dragons, political intrigue, and exploration of class will easily keep listeners engaged. As points of view shift between Annie and Lee, narrators Coulson, Moll, and West bring the listeners along with consistency, and their narration adds to the worldbuilding of an high fantasy time of castles and dragons. 

This will easily appeal to teens of all ages, and is a great title for fans of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina series, John Flanagan’s Ranger Apprentice series, and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea. There is a lot here for fans of books with political intrigue such as Joan He’s Descendent of the Crane, Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen, Kristen Ciccarelli’s The Last Namasara, or any Sarah J. Mass story.

Danielle Jones

cover art

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi; Narrated by Jason Reynolds
Little, Brown Young Readers
Publication Date: March 10, 2020

In this “not a history” book, teens are given the historical basis of racism in the United States.  Explanations of acts of racism, antiracism and assimilationism by prominent figures throughout US history give readers a framework to identify those acts in our present day.  Listeners will walk away with tools for living their own lives avoiding racism and fighting against it.

Reynold’s excellent narration, in his hugely relatable voice, as well as musical transitions make this audiobook an experience unto itself, building on the already fantastic book.

Teens interested in social justice and alternate narratives of history will flock to this book.  Fans of Jason Reynolds’s YA novels, Angie Thomas’s novels and Dear Martin by Nic Stone will find this an informative nonfiction account of the racism in the U.S. that is the basis of those stories.

-Cathy Outten