K-Pop Confidentialby Stephan Lee; narrated by Joy Osmanski
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Release date: October 6, 2020
Candace Park has been an obedient Korean daughter watching from the sidelines as her brother is allowed to participate in sports and indulge in music while she is expected to go to college and enter a mundane career. That’s why her decision to audition for a spot in a K-Pop band is not only unexpected, but her subsequent invitation to join an intensive training program to become an idol is downright stunning. Candace convinces her staid parents to allow her to participate, and her mother accompanies her to Seoul where Candace lives in harsh conditions with cutthroat competitors.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, narrated by Ali Ahn Macmillan Audio Release date: May 17, 2021 ISBN: 978-1250804167
First book of the Tokyo Ever After series, the story begins with a report from a newspaper about an unnamed princess. Juxtaposed between each news article, Izumi struggles with the “cultural punches” of beauty standards, not knowing her father, and being a unilingual Pan-Asian. When her friend Nora accidentally stumbles across a scrapbook with a name, Izumi has to decide whether she wants to learn more about her father, her father’s family, and herself.
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that 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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Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).
Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family. Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story.
Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).
Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume; narrated by Candice Moll Penguin Random House Audio / Listening Library Publication Date: April 5, 2021 ISBN: 9780593400296
Masie is spending the holiday with her family and best friend Anna at a cabin, but she’s not looking forward to it. Her parents are fighting, her older judgmental sister is coming and she’s feeling self conscious about her body. When Anna starts flirting with her long-time crush Sebastian, Masie decides to join the annual beauty pageant and prove she deserves to be called beautiful too. With the help of Beamer, the cute goofball and Leila her new supportive friend, Masie takes on the pageant and her low self esteem. This coming of age story has alot going on under the surface including sibling rivalry, parental deceit and friendship implosion, but it’s all satisfactorily wrapped up in the end without being cliche.