Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve; narrated by MW Cartozian Wilson Recorded Books Release date: April 27, 2021 ISBN: 9781705028339
High school senior Dean has things planned out. In a year, Dean will be majoring in theatre at NYU and living in New York with his girlfriend, Zoe, and his best friend, Ronnie. Plus, Dean just landed the lead role in the school play, Shakespeare’s Romeo. As Dean settles into the role, something is made clear, being a male feels right. Dean is transgender. The story follows Dean as he navigates what being trans means for him and comes out to his friends, family, and community.
In this honest story of self-acceptance, coming out, and navigating new relationships, listeners are granted an inside look into the coming-out process that is both engaging and validating. The story is made even more validating because of the narration. The narrator has a male voice – a voice that probably sounds closer to what Dean hears in his head rather than the high-pitched voice Dean complains of throughout the story.
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.
One Two Threeby Laurie Frankel; narrated by Emma Galvin, Jesse Vilinsky, and Rebecca Soler Publisher: Macmillan Audio Production from St. Martin’s Press Release date: June 8, 2021 ISBN: 9781250790965
Mab, Monday, and Mirabelle have grown up in Bourne, a bucolic little place that has an above average percentage of pets and humans who have been afflicted with various cancers, congenital birth defects, and early death. Wheelchair accessibility is common. All of this can be traced back to the silty effluence caused by Belsum Chemical that presaged the water turning a violent shade of green. Nora Mitchell, the mother of the triplets, KNOWS that Belsum is responsible and has single-handedly rallied the town in a class action lawsuit that will never bring back her dead husband or make her two neuro-divergent daughters whole. Then, Duke Templeton, son of Belsum Chemical’s owner, comes to town with his family reopening old wounds and heightening town tension with news that the Belsum plant is reopening. In a race against the clock, Mab, Monday, and Mirabelle must try to find evidence that Belsum wants to keep hidden–evidence that could keep the plant shut down forever.
There are several ways to approach the 2021 Reading Challenge here at The Hub, though there’s no easy way to five in a row! One way to get started is to look at the 2021 ALA YMA winners and honorees, many of which can fill more than one spot on the Bingo board.
Let’s begin with those top corners. The Odyssey Award is given each year to excellent audiobooks produced for children or young adults. The 2021 winner was Kent State by Deborah Wiles, which is also a full-cast audiobook, so it would work for either corner. Another award-winning title with a full cast audiobook is Traci Chee’s We Are Not Free, a 2021 Printz honor book.