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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 First Novels on Audio
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. By Gail Honeyman. Read by Cathleen McCarron. 2017. 11hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9781524749705).
Loner Eleanor Oliphant is truly not completely fine, but McCarron’s splendid reading certainly is, and her deadpan delivery perfectly matches the sharp and witty writing.
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness. By Kate Beasley. Read by Tara Sands.
2016. 4.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $30 (9781101915806). Gr. 5–8.
Sands grabs feisty fifth-grader Gertie’s outsize personality from the very first and runs gleefully with it from beginning to end in this delightful tale of a sometimes-annoying motherless child.
The Hate U Give. By Angie Thomas. Read by Bahni Turpin. 2017. 12hr. Harper, CD, $24.99 (9780062677082). Gr. 9–12.
Caught between the worlds of her white school and her black neighborhood, 16-year-old Starr is thrown into the spotlight when her unarmed friend is shot by police at a traffic stop. Turpin masterfully portrays her anguish, confusion, and anger.
Here Comes the Sun. By Nicole Dennis-Benn. Read by Bahni Turpin. 2016. 11.5hr. HighBridge, CD, $39.99 (9781681682709).
Two sisters navigate the dark side of Jamaica in this issue-rich novel that tackles homophobia, self-respect, and identity. Turpin’s expressive reading captures the rhythms of the island and places listeners in the sisters’ stories.
The Impossible Fortress. By Jason Rekulak. Read by Griffin Newman. 2017. 8hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $29.99 (9781508228806).
Young teen Billy Marvin’s obsession with Playboy and computer coding leads to an unlikely romance. Newman’s endearing narration pinpoints the confusion of a boy who doesn’t really understand girls, grown-ups, or himself.
Lily and the Octopus. By Steven Rowley. Read by Michael Urie. 2016. 7.5hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $29.99 (9781508217923).
Urie reads this heartfelt tale of a man and his dog and contrasts the dachshund Lily’s sweet, childlike voice and Ted’s tender words of love and despair with the gravelly, sarcastic, lazily delivered voice for the Octopus, his name for the cancer that threatens Lily.
The Nix. By Nathan Hill. Read by Ari Fliakos. 2016. 21.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $55 (9780147523280).
Fliakos skillfully embodies a wide range of characters in this sprawling romp as Samuel Andresen-Anderson attempts to discover and write about his mother’s surprising life.
The Reader. By Traci Chee. Read by Kim Mai Guest. 2016. 12.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $60 (9780147525734). Gr. 9–12.
Guest’s mesmerizing, lyrical voice transports listeners to a world where books are prohibited and the possession of one puts young Sefia in danger.
See You in the Cosmos. By Jack Cheng. Read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast. 2017. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $35 (9781524750022). Gr. 4–7.
Eleven-year-old Alex makes sound recordings of his daily life to send into space. Told through these recordings, enhanced by superb narrators and supported by sound effects, his poignant coming-of-age story is a natural fit for audio.
The Trouble with Twins. By Kathryn Siebel. Read by Katherine Kellgren and Cassandra Campbell. 2016. 4.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $30 (9780399569043). Gr. 3–6.
Kellgren brilliantly contrasts twin sisters who struggle with their differences. She inhabits these girls, creating suspense, laughter, and tears, while Campbell, as their mother, frames the story in soft, gentle tones.
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