Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne
Narrated by Bahni Turpin
Crown Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 10, 2022
When things come to a head in her abusive relationship, Angel is sent across the country to live with her uncle in Brooklyn. She quickly finds a new family in her friends, classmates, and teachers, as well as the books and music that become a soundtrack to her new life.
The narrator is terrific, reading the novel in verse with a lyrical style that meshes well with the topic of music. Flashbacks are clearly designated, helping the listener get information about the past that clarifies the present storyline. Though heavy topics are covered, the upbeat attitude of Angel and the representation of positive role models within the public school system leave listeners feeling satisfied rather than sad.
Fans of Mahogany L. Browne’s previous book Chlorine Sky will enjoy her writing style and tone. Readers who liked the student camaraderie of Jacqueline Woodson’s Harbor Me will enjoy the relationships, and those who liked the musical connections in Morgan Parker’s Who Put this Song On? will appreciate the running playlists.
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.