Random House Audio Listening Library
1 out of 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying more than 70 percent of students report bullying as an on going problem over 50 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied online and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying bullying is most prevalent in 4th through 8th grade where 90 percent of students are victims 56 percent of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school

In The News...

David Levithan

David Levithan sits down to discuss how his audiobooks Everyday and Two Boys Kissing are the perfect entry way to open a dialogue with young listeners. Each of these thought-provoking titles touch on gender, romance, and the complexities of life.

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Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson, the New York Times-bestselling author of Speak and Twisted, is known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity.
LISTEN IN
as she talks about bullying, writing for teens from both the female and male perspectives, and the power of story.

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Emily Bazelon

Photo Credit:
Nina Subin

LISTEN IN on our conversation with Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones, to hear her insightful take on how we can better address the issue of bullying in today’s world. An important listen for parents, educators, and teens themselves.

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Blubber cover
Blubber
Excerpt
Blubber cover Blubber
Author: Judy Blume
Narrator: Halley Feiffer

This enduring classic was ahead of its time in showing school-bus culture and how incidents could be avoided if adults were more tuned into the issue of bullying.

Blubber is a good name for her, the note from Wendy says about Linda. Jill crumples it up and leaves it on the corner of her desk. She doesn't want to think about Linda or her dumb report on the whale just now. Jill wants to think about Halloween. But Robby grabs the note, and before Linda stops talking it has gone halfway around the room. That's where it all starts. There's something about Linda that makes a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they can go -- but nobody, least of all Jill, expects the fun to end where it does.

Blubber delivers a relevant view of bullying, from the perspective of a fifth grade girl.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Bud Not Buddy cover
Bud, Not Buddy
Excerpt
Bud Not Buddy cover Bud, Not Buddy
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Narrator: James Avery

This Newbery Medal and Corretta Scott King Award Winner is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression.

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but he's on a mission. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression! Bud's got an idea that those posters will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him.
An AudioFile Earphones Award Winning review exclaims,

"James Avery's zippy reading creates the perfect mood. Add in occasional jazz tunes at chapter changes…and you just may have the best way to experience this award-winning book."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Eight Keys cover
Eight Keys
Excerpt
Eight Keys cover Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Narrator: Georgette Perna

A charming coming-of-age tale that highlights the importance of family and friendship in the face of bullying.

Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor. 
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the bar. AudioFile writes,

"Perna's reading of Elise's feelings is heartfelt and sincere…the emotional power of this story translates well to audio."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Freak the Mighty cover
Freak the Mighty
Excerpt
Freak the Mighty cover Freak the Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Narrator: Elden Henson

Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

Meet Maxwell Kane, narrator of Freak the Mighty. He's a timid soul stuck in the body of a teenage giant with size 14 shoes. Haunted by a dark secret in his past, he hides out in his basement room, avoiding the world. But when a new kid moves in next door Max's life changes forever. The two outcasts form the 'normal' world team up to become "Freak the Mighty." Like knights of old they defend the weak, right every wrong–and solve the mystery of Max's past. Proving once and for all that courage comes in all sizes.

AudioFile praises,

"Elden Henson's reading reinvigorates Max's point of view in this extraordinary story of two misfit adolescents who work together to become a force for good."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Hound Dog True cover
Hound Dog True

Excerpt
Hound Dog True cover Hound Dog True
Author: Linda Urban
Narrator: Catherine Taber
ISBN: 9780307942432

Linda Urban captures the sweet humor and tenderness of finding one's voice and making a friend, even when that seems impossible.

Just one week until school starts. One week until Mattie Breen is the new girl again. One week until she has to introduce herself—to try and make friends. Unless she can convince her uncle Potluck, the school janitor, to take her on as a custodial apprentice. Then she'll be able to work with him at lunch and recess instead of needing to be with all the other fifth-graders. All she has to do is stick to the custodial wisdom she writes in her notebook. Too bad her notebook doesn't tell her how to talk to Mama about things that really matter. Or what to do when her carefully-thought-out apprentice plan comes crashing down around her. But maybe everything going wrong can begin to show Mattie what's right. This story comes alive on audio as AudioFile praises,

"Taber's delivery makes his warm and supportive gestures on Mattie's behalf and her growing trust sound 'hound dog true'."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Jeremy Bender vs the Cupcake Cadets cover
Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets
Excerpt
Jeremy Bender vs the Cupcake Cadets cover Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets
Author: Eric Luper
Narrator: Lincoln Hoppe

Eleven-year-old Jeremy and his friend Slater attend a school that has a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, but they are tormented by the class bully Paul. While trying to figure out how to avoid the bully Jeremy does major damage to his father's prized boat. Jeremy figures he has one way to avoid being grounded for life: Fix it before Dad finds out. Inspiration strikes when the boys see an ad for the Windjammer Whirl. Sponsored by the Cupcake Cadets, the model sailboat race pays five hundred dollars to the winner. There's just one problem: You must be a Cadet—and a girl—to compete. Confident that it will be the easiest money they've ever made, Jeremy convinces Slater they should dress up like girls and infiltrate the troop. But as the boys proceed to botch everything from camping to field hockey, they realize that being a Cadet is no piece of cupcake. AudioFile raves that,

"Young listeners will enjoy this funny story with some serious implications."
This is a laugh-out-loud adventure that deals with bullying and honesty.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Super-Sized Slugger cover
Super-Sized Slugger

Excerpt
Super-Sized Slugger cover Super-Sized Slugger
Author: Cal Ripken, Jr. and Kevin Cowherd
Narrator: Stephen Hoye

Cody Parker may be overweight (he prefers the word burly), but he plays third base like a dream. Too bad no one knows it yet, because he's new to Baltimore, where he's a target—okay, a big target—for brutal teasing. Even worse, he's competing for the starting job on the Orioles of the Dulaney Babe Ruth League against budding hoodlum Dante Rizzo, who vows to squeeze Cody's head like a grape if Cody beats him out. Life gets even more complicated when York Middle School is beset by a rash of mysterious thefts, a crime wave that threatens to sideline Cody—and ruin a golden season for the Orioles. Will Cody ever succeed in getting people to see him for who he really is?

It's interesting to note that as a freshman baseball player at Aberdeen High School in Maryland, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was hung upside down in the school stairwell by his feet about 20 feet in the air, a victim of hazing.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Tail of Emily Windsnap cover
The Tail of Emily Windsnap

Excerpt
The Tail of Emily Windsnap cover The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Author: Liz Kessler
Narrator: Finty Williams

With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident—an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.

For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long as her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery—about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface.

AudioFile praises,

"This delightful story is given an energetic reading by Finty Williams. Her sprightly voice has a pixie quality that is a delight to hear."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Theres a Boy in the Girls Bathroom cover
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom
Excerpt
Theres a Boy in the Girls Bathroom cover There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom
Author: Louis Sachar
Narrator: Lionel Wilson

A disturbed, but lovable, eleven-year-old bully learns to believe in himself when he gets to know the new school counselor.

"Give me a dollar or I'll spit on you." That's Bradley Chalkers for you. He's the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls, and the teachers say he has "serious behavior problems." No one likes him–except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and she even enjoys his far-fetched stories. Carla knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren't afraid to try. But when you feel like the most hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. This audio brings Louis Sachar's believable characters to life so students can relate to them.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here.
Touching Spirit Bear cover
Touching Spirit Bear

Excerpt
Touching Spirit Bear cover Touching Spirit Bear
Author: Ben Mikaelsen
Narrator: Lee Tergesen

The gripping story follows a bully, who was abused as a child by an aggressive father and a drunk mother, who undergoes a profound change.

Within Cole Matthews lie anger, rage and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Peter Driscal in the parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Peter may have permanent brain damage–and Cole is in the biggest trouble of his life. Cole receives a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. There, he is mauled by a mysterious white bear of Native American legend. Hideously injured, Cole waits for death. His thoughts shift from anger to humility. To survive, he must stop blaming others and take responsibility for his life. Rescuers arrive to save Cole's body, but it is the attack of the Spirit Bear that may save his soul. Booklist praises,

"Tergesen competently captures Cole's early edgy and defiant attitude while pulling listeners into this story of healing and renewal."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Twerp cover
Twerp

Excerpt
Twerp cover Twerp
Author: Mark Goldblatt
Narrator: Everette Plen

It's not like I meant for Danley to get hurt... Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the terrible incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

Inspired by Mark Goldblatt's own childhood growing up in 1960s Queens, Twerp shines with humor and heart. This remarkably powerful story will have listeners laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.

"A vivid, absorbing story about one boy’s misadventure, heartache, and hope for himself." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town cover
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Excerpt
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town cover When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Author: Kimberly Willis Holt
Narrator: Will Patton

WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN won the National Book Award and was named one of ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults and was an AudioFile Earphones Award Winner.

Toby Wilson is having the toughest summer of his life. It's the summer his mother leaves for good; the summer his best friend's brother returns from Vietnam in a coffin. And the summer that Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world, arrives in their sleepy Texas town. While it's a summer filled with heartache of every kind, it's also a summer of new friendships gained and old friendships renewed. And it's Zachary Beaver who turns the town of Antler upside down and leaves everyone, especially Toby, changed forever.

With understated elegance, Kimberly Willis Holt tells a compelling coming-of-age story about a thirteen-year-old boy struggling to find himself in an imperfect world. At turns passionate and humorous, this extraordinary novel deals sensitively and candidly with obesity, war, and the true power of friendship.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Hoot cover
Hoot
Excerpt
Hoot cover Hoot
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Narrator: Chad Lowe

This Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling audio is a laugh out loud adventure listeners will love.

Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and - here's the odd part - wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail and onto adventure.

Booklist proclaims,

"Actor Lowe does an admirable job with the narration: he never tries to outdo the characters with outlandish vocalizations…a wonderful presentation."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Liar & Spy cover
Liar & Spy
Excerpt
Liar & Spy cover Liar & Spy
Author: Rebecca Stead
Narrator: Jesse Bernstein

The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal book When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship. LIAR & SPY deals with middle school bullying and losing your best friend to the "cool" crowd.

Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend? Like the dazzling When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy will keep readers guessing until the end.

Booklist raves,

"Fresh and funny, LIAR & SPY will speak to many children trying to find their own way."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Maniac Magee cover
Maniac Magee
Excerpt
Maniac Magee cover Maniac Magee
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Narrator: S. Epatha Merkerson

This Newbery Honor Winner is a touching story about prejudice, love, home, baseball, fear and understanding.

Maniac Magee is the story of Jeffrey Lionel Magee, who lost his parents at the age of three in a trolley accident. Leaving his relatives, who won't talk to each other, he searches for a home with a real address that he can call his own in Two Mills, Pennsylvania. In the meantime, he earns the nickname 'Maniac.' He can punt a football perfectly while carrying a book in his other hand, he can hit an inside-the-park home run, and he can untie even the most Gordian of knots. He can do practically anything that the children of Two Mills think is impossible including making peace between violent racial factions in the town.

Booklist raves,

"Merkerson's calm, matter-of-fact reading demonstrates a keen understanding of all characters, and she especially shines in her portrayal of the African American children, who exhibit a loving spirit."
An AudioFile Earphones Award Winning review praises,
"S. Epatha Merkerson does a masterful job...she gives her characters strength, individuality, and attitude, while the narrator remains neutral yet amused by the stories and the legend of this unflappable boy. A superb rendering of an exceptional book!"

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Okay for Now cover
Okay for Now
Excerpt
Okay for Now cover Okay for Now
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Narrator: Lincoln Hoppe

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until… he discovers the library.

"The Dump" is what Doug Swieteck calls his new home in upstate New York. He lands there in the summer of 1968. At home he lives with a father who has lost his way and a brother accused of robbery. And Doug's oldest brother is returning from Vietnam. But Doug has his own mission, and it begins when he first sees the plates of John James Audubon's Birds of America at the local library. His mission will lead him to Lil Spicer, who shows him how to drink a really cold Coke, to Mrs. Windermere, who drags him to a theater opening, and to the customers of his Saturday grocery deliveries, who together will open a world as strange to him as the lunar landscape.

Listeners will connect Doug's struggles to fit in and make a difference. This is spectacular audio is an Odyssey Honor Title, YALSA Amazing Audiobook and ALSC Notable Children's Recording. Booklist raves,

"This grand-slam production of Schmidt's latest is enhanced by Hoppe's pitch-perfect reading…crafting a timeless, unforgettable voice."
An AudioFile Earphone Award Winning review exclaims,
"The first-person point of view reaches out to involve listeners in the story, and Hoppe makes the most of these invitations."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Mighty Miss Malone cover
The Mighty Miss Malone

Excerpt
The Mighty Miss Malone cover The Mighty Miss Malone
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Narrator: Bahni Turpin

From Newbery Medal-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis, a heart-wrenching, suspenseful novel of one unforgettable family caught up in the turbulent days of the Depression.

"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.

Booklist raves,

"Turpin handles the large cast with aplomb, shifting tones, accents, pitch, and cadence to match characters and situations…Curtis tackles a lot in this book, and Turpin's well-paced narration keeps the characters straight and puts young listeners in the heart of the Depression."
And the Audio was selected as an AudioFile Earphones Award Winner,
"Turpin's range is well suited to this character-driven story, rich in history, culture, and emotional power."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place cover
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
Excerpt
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place cover The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
Author: E.L. Konigsburg
Narrator: Molly Ringwald

THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE is a rousing audiobook about intelligence, art, and the fierce preservation of individuality.

Margaret Rose begins her summer with a miserable experience at camp; from which she's rescued by her beloved, eccentric uncles. Little does she know that her uncles, in turn, need rescuing themselves--from a tyrannical city council determined to tear down her uncles' life work--three spectacularly beautiful towers that her uncles have been building since before Margaret was a baby.

Booklist praises,

"Ringwald is a competent storyteller. Her straightforward reading style matches Margaret Rose's precocious personality, and her accurate interpretation of the uncles' Old World accent gives the story an unexpected depth."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham cover
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Excerpt
The Watsons Go to Birmingham cover The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Narrator: LeVar Burton

Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. Kenny thinks he would be teased a lot more if it weren’t for his older brother, Byron, simultaneously Kenny’s greatest tormentor and fiercest protector. When he befriends Rufus, the new kid in school who comes from a poor family, Kenny worries he will become the target of more bullying, especially by Larry Dunn, the king of Kindergarten to 4th grade. But Kenny soon learns that even bigger problems exist outside his sheltered community.

When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. Heading South, they're going to Birmingham, Alabama, and toward one of the darkest moments in America's history. Kenny becomes a firsthand witness to a shocking moment of brutality and violence that causes him to question everything he knows about the world.

By turns comic, tragic, and touching, this remarkable Newbery Honor work, impeccably performed by Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton, will delight listeners young and old and give parents an opportunity to discuss important topics like bullying, race, the Civil Rights movement, and social injustice.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
When You Reach Me cover
When You Reach Me

Excerpt
When You Reach Me cover When You Reach Me
Author: Rebecca Stead
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway

WHEN YOU REACH ME was a Newbery Award Winner, An ALSC Notable Children's Book and a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

AudioFile writes,

"A strong reading by Cynthia Holloway makes listeners curious about this story's nonlinear structure, rather than being put off."
Booklist recommends,
"Experiencing this complicated novel in audio is a terrific way to reinforce the plot."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Eleanor & Park cover
Eleanor & Park
Excerpt
Eleanor & Park cover Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra

In Eleanor & Park, praised for its "observational precision and richness" by John Green in The New York Times, listeners are invited to hop on board a bus in 1986 to observe two star-crossed misfits who experience bullying, bravery, and love over the course of one school year.

Park loves comic books and eighties music, excels at Taekwondo, and tries his best to fly under the radar at school. Eleanor comes from a troubled home and with her fire-engine red hair and collection of eccentric outfits, she couldn’t go unnoticed if she tried. Though she is the target of many bullies and pranks, Park soon falls in love with Eleanor’s wit and unconventional beauty. But is he brave enough to face the rest of the kids at school with Eleanor by his side? Will Eleanor’s family tear them apart before he gets the chance?

Publishers Weekly declares in a starred review, "narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra turn in superb performances... Listeners of all ages will be able to enjoy this audio edition."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Evolution Me and Other Freaks of Nature cover
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature
Excerpt
Evolution Me and Other Freaks of Nature cover Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature
Author: Robin Brande
Narrator: Kalli Vernoff

Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth. And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

This fictional coming-of-age story covers the controversial issue of evolution versus intelligent design. Listeners will appreciate Kaili Vernoff who captures the vulnerable teen who sees no conflict between science and her own deeply rooted faith. As added bonus author Robin Brande interviews A professor of biology, about the controversy of science versus religion and offers additional insight for listeners. This title was chosen as YALSA Amazing Audiobook. AudioFile praises,

"Narrator Kaili Vernoff characterizes the ostracized Mena Reece, portraying her as a strong-willed and confident young woman who stands up for the underdog...Vernoff keeps the tone light and the pacing tight throughout, although the lesson of tolerance is clear."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Scrawl cover
Scrawl

Excerpt
Scrawl cover Scrawl
Author: Mark Shulman
Narrator: Mark Deakins and Kimberly Farr

Provocative, heartbreaking, and funny this is a touching story about a wise-cracking 8th grader.

I know what you think. You think I'm fixable, don't you? You want to fix the bad guy. You don't know the half of it. Tod Munn is a bully. He's tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad. Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn't know why he's there, but she does. Tod's punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one . . . for real?

Library Media Connection raves,

"This is a different take on the bully story. It lets the readers inside the mind of a bully and see the reasoning for his actions. The story is true to life, funny, and shows that people who are seen as troublemakers can change…Highly recommended."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Speak cover
Speak

Excerpt
Speak cover Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Narrator: Mandy Siegfried

In this powerful Printz Honor winner, a believeable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school.

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops — a major infraction in high-school society — so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute. But it's not so comfortable in her head, either — there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. Try as she might to avoid it, it won't go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can't be silent — she must speak the truth.

In this powerful audiobook, an utterly believable, bitterly ironic heroine speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while learning that, although it's hard to speak up for yourself, keeping your mouth shut is worse.

AudioFile exclaims,

"Mandy Siegfried has the right weary tone; as Melinda, she is lamenting, resigned, self-loathing, and at times as bleak as a Syracuse winter. But there's life in her cynical observations of her peers, teachers and parents, and in her fleeting feeling of sanctuary in art class. By the end, listeners will be urging Melinda to act, to open her compulsively chewed, scarred lips and speak."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Stargirl cover
Stargirl

Excerpt
Stargirl cover Stargirl
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Narrator: John H. Ritter

In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity - and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

She's as magical as the desert sky. As strange as her pet rat. As mysterious as her own name. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students are enchanted.Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different. And Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

Booklist raves,

"Ritter's dynamic reading of Stargirl captures every nuance of the characters in this frighteningly accurate portrait of high-school culture and the 'in group'."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Chocolate War cover
The Chocolate War
Excerpt
The Chocolate War cover The Chocolate War
Author: Robert Cormier
Narrator: Frank Muller

In 1974, after suffering rejections from seven major publishers, THE CHOCOLATE WAR made its debut. An uncompromising portrait of conformity and corruption, it quickly became a bestselling—and provocative—classic for young adults. Cormier's chilling look at the insidious world of gang intimidation and the abuse of power in a boys' boarding school is a timeless classic.

AudioFile praises,

"Frank Muller narrates the story with an intensity that makes all the events feel like a matter of life and death. In this anniversary audio production, the universe is again disturbed, and we realize that not much has changed in the last thirty years."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Outsiders cover
The Outsiders
Excerpt
The Outsiders cover The Outsiders
Author: S.E. Hinton
Narrator: Jim Fyfe

A heroic story of friendship and belonging.

Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

AudioFile proclaims,

"Narrator Jim Fyfe presents Ponyboy and his group, along with the socs and their circle, with '60s' language appropriate to each socioeconomic group. No character is all good or all bad, and when the final violent confrontation erupts, listeners are sorrowful but not shocked. This moving story is excellent for all ages and perfect to illustrate both sides of bullying."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
The Tragedy Paper cover
The Tragedy Paper
Excerpt
The Tragedy Paper cover The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth Laban
Narrator: Nick Chamian and Jesse Bernstein

Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, The Tragedy Paper has been called "a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak," by #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner.

It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is "Enter here to be and find a friend." A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential "It" girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving's most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving's version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school's least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Three Quarters Dead cover
Three Quarters Dead
Excerpt
Three Quarters Dead cover Three Quarters Dead
Author: Richard Peck
Narrator: Ariadne Meyers

Edgar Award winner Richard Peck spins a chilling young-adult ghost story with a decidedly contemporary edge.

Kerry thinks life has finally begun when she is noticed by the three coolest girls in the school. For once she's in on the jokes and sitting at the right table, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to be part of their clique.

But how much will it take? And after her life with the popular crowd starts to feel as cruel as death, what will she decide to do about it?

Chilling and compulsive, this is a new kind of ghost story—one that's as terrifying as today's headlines.

Booklist proclaims,

"The audio is a particularly effective format for giving voice to Peck's spot-on teenage lingo. As the story morphs from realism to the paranormal (the three dead girls return from the grave), it offers a chilling look at just how cruel high-school cliques can be."
AudioFile raves,
"Ariadne Meyers gives a distinct voice to each girl; Kerry, in particular, sounds wheedling, weaker-willed, and less socially adept, qualities that perfectly match her willingness to do whatever the other girls ask. Peck demonstrates how far hazing can go…and Meyers draws listeners adeptly into the plot of revenge."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Twisted cover
Twisted
Excerpt
Twisted cover Twisted
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Narrator: Mike Chamberlain

Listeners will be captured by Tyler's pitch perfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas he faces.

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for writing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy— and Tyler's secret crush. That sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in school, in his family, and in the world.

Booklist proclaims,

"Chamberlain's narration easily bounces between appropriately flip tones and more somber or awestruck ones as Tyler's moods and situations change. The teenager's anger, despair, joy, and confusion come through clearly."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Almost Perfect cover
Almost Perfect

Excerpt
Almost Perfect cover Almost Perfect
Author: Brian Katcher
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne

Brian Katcher covers all the uncomfortable feelings associated with this one-of-a-kind story--shame, fear, hopelessness--as well as the joys of a blossoming relationship, without being preachy or phony.

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.

An AudioFile Earphone Award Winning review raves,

"Kirby Heyborne’s performance of ALMOST PERFECT is perfect. He nails each character and delivers raw emotion without drawing attention to the performance itself."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Ask the Passengers cover
Ask the Passengers

Excerpt
Ask the Passengers cover Ask the Passengers
Author: A.S. King
Narrator: Devon Sorvari

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even realize she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives—and her own—for the better.

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Bless the Beasts and Children cover
Bless the Beasts and Children
Excerpt
Bless the Beasts and Children cover Bless the Beasts & Children
Author: Glendon Swarthout
Narrator: Scott Brick

A classic novel of youthful rebellion.

"Send Us A Boy... We'll Send You A Cowboy!" is the slogan of the Box County Boy's Camp. But for the nail-biters, thumb-suckers and teeth-grinders - the cast-away offspring of parents who are busy traveling, being divorced, remarrying, and garnering fortunes - it's just another place to find rejection. The other campers and counselors pick upon them mercilessly, calling them "The Bedwetters." But when a herd of buffalo is slaughtered before their eyes, they are galvanized into action. Their leader, Cotton, takes them on a fantastic mission to sneak out of camp and save the remaining buffalo - and, in the process, to save themselves. But as the raw red Arizona sun rises, they will discover the cost of their one grand moment of glory...

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Breathing Underwater cover
Breathing Underwater

Excerpt
Breathing Underwater cover Breathing Underwater
Author: Alex Flinn
Narrator: Jon Cryer

To his friends, popular and handsome sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas has led a charmed life. But the guys in Nick's anger management class know differently.

When Nick meets Caitlin, he thinks that she is the answer to all his problems. Caitlin is everything Nick has ever wanted–beautiful, talented, and in love with him. But then it all changes. And Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his gather than green eyes and money.

In a harrowing journey of self-recovery, Nick learns the truth about himself and that the phrase "like father, like son" can carry terrifying possibilities.

An AudioFile Earphones Award Winning review raves,

"Flinn's popular YA novel gains added depth and power through this superb audio production."
Booklist exclaims,
"Cryer's cool voice sends shivers down the spine as he ruthlessly rationalizes the characters' controlling attitudes and violent tempers."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Brutal cover
Brutal
Excerpt
Brutal cover Brutal
Author: Michael Harmon
Narrator: Kim Mai Guest

With insightfulness and spot-on dialogue, Michael Harmon tells the story of a displaced girl grappling with a truly dangerous bully.

With her martyr-doctor mother gone to save lives in some South American country, Poe Holly suddenly finds herself on the suburban doorstep of the father she never knew, who also happens to be a counselor at her new high school. She misses Los Angeles. She misses the guys in her punk band. Weirdly, she even misses the shouting matches she used to have with her mom.

But Poe manages to find a few friends: Theo, the cute guy in the anarchy Tshirt, and Velveeta, her oddly likeable neighbor—and a born victim who's the butt of every prank at Benders High. But when the pranks turn deadly at the hands of invincible football star Colby Morris, Poe knows she's got to fix the system and take down the hero.

AudioFile raves,

"In telling the story of her battle to force her school to confront bullying, Poe Holly will represent for many young listeners their own outrage at the injustice of the teen pecking order. Narrator Kim Mai Guest makes Poe's character her own, skillfully conveying Poe's growth from passive cynic to triumphant firebrand. The combination of spot-on writing and gifted delivery keeps the undercurrent of tension and danger 'til the novel's last moment."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Everybody Sees the Ants cover
Everybody Sees the Ants
Excerpt
Everybody Sees the Ants cover Everybody Sees the Ants
Author: A.S. King
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne

Printz Honor recipient A.S. King's smart, funny and original writing shines in this powerful audiobook about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.

Lucky Linderman doesn’t want to wake up....

Lucky Linderman has been the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying for as long as he can remember. But he has a secret—one that helps him wade through the mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos, where his grandfather, who never came home from the Vietnam War, is still trapped. There, Lucky can be a real man and maybe even a hero. But how long can he keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside? Printz Honor recipient A.S. King’s boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you—and taking a stand against it.

AudioFile raves,

"With an intimate reading, Heyborne keeps listeners inside Lucky’s world rather than at a distance... Heyborne delivers a powerful, inventive story of redemption."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Lord of the Flies cover
Lord of the Flies
Excerpt
Lord of the Flies cover Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Narrator: William Golding

Read by the author William Golding's classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. At once a tale of adventure and a merciless allegory on the darker side of human nature, LORD OF THE FLIES uses the full range of man's innocence and man's cruelty to expose the underpinnings of civilized society.

The novel begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. The struggle to survive and impose order on their existence quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts.

An AudioFile Earphones Award Winning review raves,

"LORD OF THE FLIES gives a lucid and chillingly objective mirror to our modern society. William Golding's narration is as impartial as his work, yet his grumbly, grandfatherly voice, complete with mid-sentence sniffs and swallows, is intimate. Included on the [CD] is background on how he came to conceive the book and a brief rebuttal to critics about its meaning."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Rotters cover
Rotters
Excerpt
Rotters cover Rotters
Author: Daniel Kraus
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne

Cory Doctorow, author and coeditor of Boing Boing raves,

"You'd be hard-pressed to find a coming-of-age story as satisfying as this."

Winner of the 2012 Odyssey Award for Excellence in audio production.

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

Kirby Heyborne does an amazing job of narrating this terrific tale drawing the listener into the ghastly details. In a starred review Booklist raves,

"Heyborne compels complete immersion in the novel's literate language, giving us no choice but to absorb every word as gruesome details build to reveal a modern-day secret society… A tour-de-force combination of reader and writer, resulting in horrific realism with strong adult crossover appeal."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Thirteen Reasons Why cover
Thirteen Reasons Why
Excerpt
Thirteen Reasons Why cover Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Narrator: Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, author Jay Asher weaves a brilliant and mesmerizing story that will deeply affect teen listeners.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself–a truth he never wanted to face.

AudioFile raves,

"The novel makes a perfect transformation to audio. Debra Wiseman narrates Hannah's story with a blend of dispassion, disgust, and defeat. Joel Johnstone portrays the grieving Clay, who chimes in uncertainly from time to time to protest Hannah's words, his comments marked with desperation. The interplay of the two is perfectly choreographed in this powerful audio."

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.
Two Boys Kissing
Two Boys Kissing
Excerpt
Two Boys Kissing Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Narrator: David Levithan

In his follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Every Day, author David Levithan, narrating his own audiobook for the first time, tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. While locking lips, these boys become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with bullies, languishing long-term relationships, coming out, and navigating gender identity—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other. Two Boys Kissing showcases David's trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love.

AudioFile praised Levithan’s “impassioned” narration: “Narrating his own work, David Levithan strikes a balance between elegy and hope--perfect for a story about generations…This sincerity resonates and deepens the emotional weight of the intersecting stories, particularly the observations of the chorus. Characters are recognizable by personality and nuanced delivery, allowing the wide-ranging plot to unfold seamlessly. An afterword provides insight into the story's origin.”

For Teachers or Librarians looking for more information, click here. For Parents, looking for more information, click here.

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