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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Diverse Novels on Audio
Amina’s Voice. By Hena Khan. Read by Soneela Nankani. 2017. 4.5hr. Recorded Books, CD, $46.75 (9781501971945). Gr. 3–6.
Nankani’s superb Urdu-accented English narration elevates this compelling story of the middle-school challenges faced by Pakistani American Amina.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. By Junot Díaz. Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo. 2017. 10hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9780525493990).
Miranda and Olivo deliver complicated passages, moving from Spanish to English, didactic to idiomatic, while maintaining a gleeful irreverence throughout this modern classic, the saga of “ghetto nerd” Oscar.
Chasing Down a Dream. By Beverly Jenkins. Read by Lynnette Freeman. 2017. 10.5hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781501964947).
Mystery, drama, and romance abound in this heartwarming story of family, faith, and love. Freeman creates unique voices for the residents of Henry Adams, Kansas, a historic town settled by former slaves.
The Hate U Give. By Angie Thomas. Read by Bahni Turpin. 2017. 12hr. Harper, CD, $24.99 (9780062677082). Gr. 9–12.
When her friend is killed by a police officer, teenager Starr is caught between her white school and black neighborhood. Turpin convincingly channels Starr’s reactions to this explosive situation.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. By Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Read by Robbie Daymond. 2017. 12hr. Listening Library, CD, $60 (9781524734558). Gr. 9–11.
Narrator Daymond brings sensitivity to his compelling reading of Sal’s story, as the introspective Mexican American high-school senior is troubled by recent developments in his increasingly turbulent life.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. By Arundhati Roy. Read by the author. 2017. 16.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $50 (9780525494607).
Roy’s soothing voice embodies the serious yet absurd situations her characters face, from Anjum’s life as a woman trapped in a man’s body to a conflict among college friends who find themselves on opposite sides in Kashmir’s struggle against India.
Openly Straight. By Bill Konigsberg. Read by Pete Cross. 2017. 9hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781520066776). Gr. 9–12.
Openly gay teen Rafe transfers to an all-boy’s boarding school, hoping to be just one of the guys. Cross’ genuine narration sells the story’s humor, drama, and deeply emotional moments.
Quiet until the Thaw. By Alexandra Fuller. Read by Alma Cuervo. 2017. 4.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9781524778187).
Cuervo’s straightforward narration propels listeners back and forth in time in this contemplative story set in South Dakota’s Oglala Lakota Nation, where the lives of two cousins diverge tragically.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. By Lisa See. Read by Ruthie Ann Miles and others. 2017. 14hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781508226536).
Li-yan’s life in a remote Chinese village follows the rhythm of the tea crop—until outsiders discover the village’s unique tea. Seven readers enrich the listening experience, giving the story an authentic resonance.
You Bring the Distant Near. By Mitali Perkins. Read by Sneha Mathan and others. 2017. 7.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $50 (9780525530855). Gr. 7–11.
Multiple narrators employ diverse accents to underscore the challenges faced by the Das sisters, immigrants from India, as they adjust to life in 1970s America in this family saga about tradition and identity.
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