Anna and the Swallow Man. By Gavriel
Savit. Read by Allan Corduner. 2016.
6.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $40
(9781101891834). Gr. 8–11.
Corduner’s masterful performance underlines the effect of war on innocent
bystanders. He skillfully animates characters
while keeping a tight control on each chilling plot twist.
Carry On. By Rainbow Rowell. Read by
Euan Morton. 2015. 13.5hr. Macmillan,
CD, $39.99 (9781427262028). Gr. 10–12.
Morton makes this romantic fantasy in
a fan-fiction Harry Potter–like world sing
with infinite variety through his captivating narration, at turns gripping, funny, sexy,
shocking, and magical.
The Eloise Audio Collection. By Kay
Thompson. Read by Bernadette Peters. 2015.
1.5hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $14.99
(9781442391741). Gr. 1–4.
Peters lends her voice to the beloved children’s book character and transports listeners
to another era with an exuberant portrayal
of the six-year-old Plaza Hotel resident and
The Firefly Code. By Megan Frazer
Blakemore. Read by Cassandra Morris.
2016. 8hr. Recorded Books, CD, $77.75
(9781501931758). Gr. 3–6.
Morris’ excellent performance transforms
Blakemore’s imaginative coming-of-age story
about a not-so-idyllic utopia into a must-listen,
as the youthful cast learns about friendship,
family, and individuality.
Grayling’s Song. By Karen Cushman. Read
by Katherine Kellgren. 2016. 5hr. Recorded
Books, CD, $46.75 (9781501916922).
Kellgren’s tour de force narration enchants
listeners, as she reads and sings her way
through Cushman’s magical story of Grayling, who is transformed from timid child
to confident young woman. (Top of the List
If I Was Your Girl. By Meredith Russo.
Read by Samia Mounts. 2016. 7hr.
Macmillan, CD, $34.99 (9781427272935).
Actress Mounts’ penetrating performance
intensifies this gorgeously written, powerful
story of a transgender teen, her struggles, and
her search for acceptance, love, and safety.
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and
the Secret History of the Vietnam War.
By Steve Sheinkin. Read by Ray Porter.
2015. 8hr. Listening Library, CD, $45
(9780553552775). Gr. 6–9.
Porter’s fine narration, reminiscent of
great old-time newscasters, complements the
carefully constructed narrative, centered on
the complicated web of events that swirled
around America’s involvement in Vietnam.
Out of Darkness. By Ashley Hope Pérez.
Read by Benita Robledo and Lincoln
Hoppe. 2016. 12.5hr. Listening Library,
CD, $65 (9780735289475). Gr. 9–12.
An actual school explosion in 1937 East
Texas frames this story of racial tensions.
Robledo beautifully captures individual personalities, while Hoppe’s reading of sections
spoken by “the Gang,” the collective voice of
the intolerant, terrifies.
The Raven King. By Maggie Stiefvater.
Read by Will Patton. 2016. 12hr.
Scholastic, CD, $39.99 (9780545649087).
In this final fantasy series title, Patton
flawlessly navigates the complicated plot and
various characters, channeling the novel’s
frenetic energy as the story hurtles toward
Raymie Nightingale. By Kate
DiCamillo. Read by Jenna Lamia. 2016.
4.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $30
(9781101917435). Gr. 4–7.
Lamia perfectly embodies the sensitive,
thoughtful Raymie, who wants only to get
back the father who abandoned her. A sweet,
sad, and funny story.
Salt to the Sea. By Ruta Sepetys.
Read by Jorjeana Marie and others.
2016. 9hr. Listening Library, CD, $45
(9780147525451). Gr. 9–12.
In this poignant story of a nearly forgotten
WWII tragedy, four skilled narrators portray
a Lithuanian nurse, a pregnant Polish girl, a
Prussian artist-soldier, and a Nazi sailor, illuminating the pain, heroism, despair, hope,
and heartbreak of war.
The Smell of Other People’s Houses. By
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. Read by Jorjeana
Marie and others. 2016. 5.5hr. Listening
Library, CD, $35 (9780147523730).
The landscape of Alaska, from Fairbanks to
remote fishing villages, provides a provocative backdrop for this poignant and affecting
domestic drama entangling four troubled
teens, depicted by talented narrators in this
The Wild Robot. By Peter Brown. Read by
Kate Atwater. 2016. 4hr. Hachette, CD,
$25 (9781478938354). Gr. 3–6.
Atwater expertly voices Roz, a robot who
survives a shipwreck and washes up on a
wild island where she meets a delightful and
amusingly voiced crew of native animals in
this elegantly framed fable, enhanced by music and sound effects.