Today is a big day for us at Random House Audio and Listening Library. Tons of awards and honors were given out for audiobooks at the Youth Media Awards, and we wanted to share the good news with all of our listeners!
Firstly, make sure you definitely take a listen to THE GARDEN INTRIGUE by Lauren Willing, read by Kate Reading. Chosen for the RUSA Listen List, the ninth book in Willing’s PINK CARNATION series is sure to satisfy fans and excite new readers, too. The story takes us on adventure with Augustus Whittlesby, an atrocious poet, who teams up with Emma Morris Delagardie, an American widow to prevent Napoleon’s invasion of England.
Secondly, the ALSC chose SO MANY Listening Library/Books on Tape titles as Notable Children’s Recordings. I suggest getting to your bookstore, or loading up your favorite e-retailer ASAP so you can get a head start. You ready?
THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright , read by Katherine Kellgren and Robin Sachs
In this playful homage to Charles Dickens, unlikely allies learn the lessons of a great friendship. Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, the intelligent mouse-resident, and his fellow mice. Thus begins a most unlikely alliance.
A DOG’S WAY HOME by Bobbie Pyron, read by Chuck Carrington and Emily Eiden
Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, A Dog’s Way Home is an unforgettable tale of the many miles, months, and mountains that divide two loyal friends–but that can’t possibly keep them apart. Abby knows that Tam, her Shetland sheepdog, is her north star, and she’s pretty certain she’s his, too. But when an accident separates Abby and Tam, it feels as though all the stars have fallen out of the sky and nothing will ever be right again. As the days between them turn to weeks, then months, dangers and changes fill up Abby’s and Tam’s lives. Will they ever find their way home to each other
THE GREAT CAKE MYSTERY by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Adjoa Andoh
Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective? This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right.
THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis, read by Bahni Turpin
“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful” is the motto of Deza Malone’s family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.
THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD by Steve Sheinkin, read by Mark Bramhall
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This biography introduces listeners to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale. Fearless in the line of fire, a genius at strategy and motivating his men, General Arnold was America’s first action hero. But his thirst for recognition would ultimately be his undoing. Hopeless at political maneuvers, prone to outbursts of ego and temper, Arnold saw his fame slowly slipping away. And so, he came up with a plan that would guarantee his place in history.
ONE YEAR IN COAL HARBOR by Polly Horvath, read by Kathleen McInerney
Primrose Squarp is back! Even though her parents, once lost at sea, are home, there’s a whole slew of problems and mysteries to keep Primrose busy. There’s Uncle Jack and Kate Bowzer, who may (or may not) be in love. There’s Ked, a foster child who becomes Primrose’s friend. And there’s the new development on the outskirts of town that threatens the Coal Harbor Primrose knows and treasures.
TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER by Deborah Hopkinson, read by Mark Bramhall, Peter Altschuler and Various
EARLY MORNING ON APRIL 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her glorious maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, sank after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Thus the ship declared to be unsinkable was lost in one of the most infamous tragedies in history. Even now, a century later, the events surrounding the Titanic continue to haunt and intrigue us. Author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices of Titanic survivors and witnesses to the disaster to bring the horrors of that terrible night to life. There’s nine-year-old Frankie Goldsmith; Violet Jessop, a young stewardess; Jack Thayer, an American high school senior; Colonel Archibald Gracie, a well-to-do gentleman; William Murdoch, a brave seaman; Charlotte Collyer, a young mother on her way to start a new life; and many others. Their recollections are filled with heart-stopping action, devastating drama, and fascinating historical details.
THE FIRE CHRONICLE by John Stephens, read by Jim Dale
It’s been six months since Kate, Michael, and Emma confronted the Dire Magnus in The Emerald Atlas, but the trail to their long-missing parents remains cold. Then Michael and Emma find a man who saw them ten years ago—three days after they disappeared. He knows about a map of a distant land, a place shrouded in mystery that may lead them to their parents. Meanwhile, Kate’s connection to the Book of Time is growing stronger and stronger, until a dangerous trick gets her stuck in the past, searching for a friend to help her. Only a perilous quest and a daring risk will help the children to harness the power of the Books of Beginning. But will it be enough to save them?
Those all sound amazing, right? But we’re not done yet! You have to check out BOMB: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinken, read by Roy Samuelson because it won THREE awards (The Newberry Honor, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Non-fiction for Young Adults, and the Robert F. Sibert medal)! BOMB is the story of the plotting, risk-taking, deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon, the atomic bomb. This gripping narrative of the race between countries, spies, and scientists is sure to keep you hooked.
I’ve probably given you enough books to last through 2 summer vacations but, we’ll have even more amazing titles to recommend tomorrow, so be sure to come back to check them out!