Loreby Alexandra Bracken; narrated by Fryda Wolff Disney Hyperion Publication Date: January 6, 2021 ISBN: 978-1368075107
Lore, or Melora Perseous, is a fighter who knows she is destined for greatness despite her family’s ignominious reputation. She has steadfastly avoided the bloodbath of the Agon, a punishment of nine Greek gods that dooms them to be hunted by the Greek families and killed for their power. That stubborn resistance to becoming a hunter is tested when Castor, her childhood friend and beloved companion, returns–seemingly from the dead as a new deity. Her resolve is further tested when Athena shows up on Lore’s doorstep with a mortal wound, a vendetta, and a way to bind Lore through oath to keep Athena safe.
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.
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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 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.
Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne Penguin Random House Audio Publication Date: January 11, 2021 ISBN: 978-0593343777
The protagonist of this novel-in-verse is tired of being overshadowed by her best friend, tired of her sister’s harsh criticisms, and tired of the boys she plays basketball with thinking she’s not good enough to hang with them. She meets a neighborhood boy who she hopes will help her escape her feelings of unworthiness but their relationship leads to more frustration and pain.
Mahogany L. Browne’s poetry background shines through in this gritty and heart-felt coming of age story. The emotional language and vibrant prose connect the reader to Skyy on her journey of self-discovery in an almost stream of consciousness style. Browne’s narration plays with the conversational flow of the text and makes it accessible to even reluctant readers. This is a short listen but one that can be played multiple times with new themes and connections appearing with each listen.