Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, September 9 Edition

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

A Werewolf in Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig; narrated by Ramon de Ocampo
Scholastic Audio
Publication Date: April 8, 2020
ISBN: 9781338605396

Someone is killing the citizens of Riverdale in a bloody, brutal fashion.  After a particularly brutal murder, Jughead Jones wakes up and finds evidence that he is the murderer. He has been bitten and turned into a werewolf.  Now Jughead must try to keep his secret from all of his friends, including werewolf hunter Betty Cooper, while struggling to keep his dark side under control.

Roehrig’s story is set in a slightly creepy version of Riverdale that fans of both the Archie comics and the television show Riverdale will be familiar with, while listeners unfamiliar with either will still be able to enjoy the story.  Narrator de Ocampo does a masterful job of ramping up the fear and suspense in all the right places.

Fans of Archie Comics as well as the television shows Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be glad to step into this supernatural version of an old favorite.  Fans of other young adult horror novels like Blood Countess by Lana Popovic and the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs will be drawn in by the atmosphere that Roehrig and de Ocampo work together to create.

–Candace Fox

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace; narrated by Shayna Small 
Macmillan Young Listeners
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
ISBN: 9781250248992

Magic, new discoveries and adventures captivate us as we listen to Adayln Grace’s new debut.  Pirates, a mermaid, and a princess who has the tenacity and determination needed to conquer her heart desires will entice you to continue listening.

Venturing to a magical piece that is not just refreshing, but is packed with adventure, complex characters, and vivid descriptions is what this book brings.  Characters are likeable, filled with zest, and a unique blend of zeal and intricacy that will keep the listener engaged.  Amora, the main character is steadfast to becoming the queen, but she also has other desires. As she embarks on her adventure, she uncovers novel places and people.  She connects with magical characters and unlocks enchanted secrets.

All the Stars and Teeth showcases an action filled fantasy.  This piece reminds individuals to follow their heart despite challenges that might seem impossible to overcome.  The narrator, Shayna Small provides the enthusiasm that hypnotizes the listener to continue listening. 

If you enjoyed Shattered Realms by Cinda Williams Chima or Forgery of Magic by Maya Motayne, you would enjoy this piece. 

–Kiera O. Vargas

They Went Left by Monica Hesse; Narrated by Caitlin Davies
Little, Brown Young Readers
Publication Date: April 8, 2020
ISBN: 978-0316490573

Set in the first few months after WWII this follows Zofia, a young girl, as she searches for her younger brother. Before being separated at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Zofia promises her brother Abeck that she will find him no matter what after the war. Now that the war is over and Zofia is free, she’s determined to keep that promise. But finding a missing person is not easy in a war torn country and Zofia has a hard time remembering things. Things she chose to forget to survive, but must now remember in order to be reunited with her brother. Along her journey she meets other refugees who are searching for loved ones, healing from atrocities and looking for a new home. This story is about what happened to survivors of the holocuast after WWII and touches on PTSD, survivors guilt and the power of hope.

This gripping story is beautifully narrated and shows the intense emotions, accents and personalities of the various characters. The mystery of what happened to Zofia’s brother and whether she’ll find him is a powerful, moving plot element that will keep teen readers interested. Well researched and historically accurate, this heartbreaking story is a fresh perspective on WWII.

Readers looking for other lesser known war stories with elements of mystery should check out Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys and The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron. For other stories of hope, friendship and bravery during war read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein or The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman.

–Rachel Adams