This past year I had the immense pleasure to serve as chair for the 2015 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee. It was a really great year for audiobooks and my committee was fortunate to consider a total of 395 audiobooks for our selection list! After hours and hours of listening, we had to whittle down a list of no more than 30 selections that were the year’s best. If you have not yet had a chance to checkout our list you can see it here. It was released last week, after the Midwinter Conference.
We also had the even more difficult task of selecting our Top Ten Audiobooks of the year. Below are our Top Ten titles for 2015, along with a suggested listen-a-like, in case you are ahead of the game and have already listened to these Top Ten selections.
2015 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten
ACID by Emma Pass, read by Fiona Hardingham with Nicholas Guy Smith and Suzan Crowley. Listening Library, 2014. 10 hours, 48 minutes; 9 discs. 978-0-8041-6832-8.
The brutal police state ACID rules all, so when Jenna is broken out of prison by a rebel group she has to fight to survive as ACID’s most-wanted fugitive. Unique ACID reports and recordings read by Smith and Hardingham’s excellent pace combine with her authentic teen voice to highlight this exciting story.
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick. Hachette Audio, 2013. 9 hours, 30 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4789-2648-1.
In the second installment of the Finishing School series, Sophronia and her classmates use their training to search for a dangerous device that may have fallen into the wrong hands. Quick’s lively narration highlights the wit and humor in Carriger’s story.
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, read by Miranda Raison: The Finishing School series, narrated by Quirk, is filled with sly humor but also packs a punch with Sophronia’s adventures. Likewise, The Screaming Staircase is not only is an action-packed steampunk mystery, but Raison brings variety to her narration by highlighting the nuances of the quirky cast of characters characters, including the darkly comedic Anthony Lockwood. (Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2014)
Today, we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a leader and legend in the Civil Rights Movement of 1950s and 1960s. And what better way to celebrate here at the Hub than to round up some of the incredible young adult fiction and nonfiction exploring this pivotal time in history?
While the major events and people of the Civil Rights Movement might be familiar, one aspect in particular is frequently under-appreciated: the incredibly significant role of children and teens. From elementary school kids to high school & college students, young people contributed their time, energy, and passion while risking their futures, bodies, and even sometimes their lives for the fight for justice. Nowhere does the strength of their commitment come through more clearly than in these young adult novels and nonfiction narratives.
Many of the significant civil rights events in the 1950s occurred at places central to the lives of children and teens: schools. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its monumental decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, unanimously declaring that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The ruling set into motion a renewed push for school integration across the country.
Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High – Melba Pattillo Beals (1995 ALA Notable Book)Drawing on memories, historical documentation, and her own teenage diaries, Melba Pattillo Beals shares her harrowing and life-altering experience as one of the Little Rock Nine–the nine black teenagers who integrated Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 amid violent protests and an eventual federal military intervention. Her straightforward and honest prose and the inclusion of her diary entries make this monumental historical event personal and alive in a whole new way. For another view on Central High’s integration, check out her fellow Little Rock Nine member Carlotta Walls LaNier’s memoir, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School.
A year after the contentious integration of Central High, tensions in Little Rock remain high. However, shy Marlee Nisbitt is mostly worried about starting middle school. But when her new outspoken friend Liz suddenly leaves school after rumors spread that she’s a black girl passing as white, Marlee must put her newfound voice to the test to stand up for her friend–and a larger cause.