March 1, 2017 Booklist 21 www.booklistonline.com
The Water Princess. By Susan Verde and Georgie
Badiel. Illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Putnam,
Princess Gie Gie walks miles every morning
to collect water for her family while dreaming of
bringing clean drinking water to her parched African village.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes. By Julie
Fogliano. Illus. by Julie Morstad. Roaring Brook/
Neal Porter, $18.99 (9781596438521).
Quiet, whispered poems capture the internal
world of a diverse cast of children, who delight in
the changing seasons.
AMAZING AUDIOBOOKS FOR
YOUNG ADULTS, 2017
The top 10 choices are indicated by a star.
The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire. By Dan
Howell and Phil Lester. Read by the authors.
2016. Listening Library, CD, $44.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hamsters, anime, cat
whiskers—just a few of the obsessions of British
YouTube stars danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.
Dan and Phil take this visually amazing book and
transform it into an even more amazing audiobook.
Unashamed. By Lecrae. Read by the author.
2016. Christianaudio, CD, $14.98.
Grammy Award–winning hip-hop artist Lecrae
tells the painful story of his youth, his search for
faith, and his successful rise to fame with unflinching honesty and directness. This memoir, narrated
by the author and including tracks of his music, is
told as only he can tell it.
Anna and the Swallow Man. By Gavriel
Savit. Read by Allan Corduner. 2016. Listening
Library, CD, $40.
After her father is taken away, Anna and the
enigmatic Swallow Man try to survive as the harsh
reality of WWII creeps into their lives. Corduner’s deep, storyteller voice gives this tale an air of
mystery and solemnity. The 2017 Odyssey Award
Beast. By Brie Spangler. Read by Andrew
Eiden. 2016. Blackstone, CD, $35.95.
In this modern Beauty and the Beast story, hairy
and oversize Dylan ends up in therapy, where he
meets the smart, funny, and transgender Jamie.
Eiden’s emotion and nuance capture each character’s unique circumstance.
Gemina. By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
Read by a full cast. 2016. Listening Library, CD,
When their space station is threatened, the captain’s daughter and a mafioso are the best chance
for saving the group’s new home. The pace never
lets up in this full-cast production, which drops
the listener into the middle of the action.
Ghost. By Jason Reynolds. Read by Guy Lockard.
2016. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD, $14.99.
When Castle Crenshaw is selected for a track
team, he finds that his budding friendships
mean more to him than he thought. Lockard
gives this story an authenticity that allows the
listener to hear Castle’s struggles and triumphs
through a true teen voice. A 2017 Odyssey
Grimm’s Fairy Tales. By Jacob Grimm and
Wilhelm Grimm. Read by a full cast. 2016.
Listening Library, CD, $19.99.
The gruesome tales from the Brothers Grimm
are told by some of the biggest names in audiobooks. Every curse, every transformation, and
every chopped-off appendage are presented with
flourish in one convenient place.
Half Lost. By Sally Green. Read by Carl
Prekopp. 2016. Listening Library, CD, $50.
In the midst of losing the war against the Council of White Witches, Nathan struggles to deal
with having become a killer like his father. In this
final volume of the Half Bad trilogy, Prekopp’s
distinctive accents, with enhanced sound effects,
make this a listening adventure.
Highly Illogical Behavior. By John Corey
Whaley. Read by Robbie Daymond and Julia
Whelan. 2016. Listening Library, CD, $40.
Lisa Praytor wants to earn a psychology scholarship by curing her ex-classmate Sol of his
agoraphobia. Daymond and Whelan’s emotional
intensity builds with each chapter as the characters
test the boundaries of their newly formed friendship.
Holding Up the Universe. By Jennifer Niven.
Read by Jorjeana Marie and Robbie Daymond.
2016. Listening Library, CD, $50.
In the love story of Jack and Libby, each must
overcome obstacles—the least of which are his
face blindness and her weight struggles. Marie and
Daymond strike the perfect balance between these
two teens as they come together.
The Incident on the Bridge. By Laura McNeal.
Read by Lincoln Hoppe. 2016. Listening Library,
It seems as though Thisbe jumped to her death,
but her sister and friends are determined to find
out where she really is. Hoppe deftly captures the
personalities of the characters in this story told
from multiple perspectives.
The Inquisitor’s Tale; or, The Three Magical
Children and Their Holy Dog. By Adam
Gidwitz. Read by a full cast. 2016. Listening
Library, CD, $40.
In this story set in medieval France, à la The
Canterbury Tales, a white greyhound and three
unlikely friends unite to escape prejudice and
persecution. A full cast of narrators enhances this
lively and miraculous adventure.
Iron Man: The Gauntlet. By Eoin Colfer. Read
by Ari Fliakos. 2016. Listening Library, CD, $40.
Iron Man is outwitted by a young Irish girl who
hacks into his suit to free her sister from an orphanage where she is being held captive. Fliakos skillfully
handles the many accents, while his comedic timing adds a level of fun to the intensity of the story.
Kill the Boy Band. By Goldy Moldavsky.
Read by Barrett Wilbert Weed. 2016. Scholastic
Audio, CD, $34.99.
Four fangirls kidnap the least popular member
of a famous boy band. Hilarious antics ensue, secrets are revealed, and things that aren’t supposed
to happen do. Weed’s spot-on voices and heartfelt
singing make this an outrageously funny listening
A Little in Love. By Susan Fletcher. Read by
Melody Grove. 2015. Recorded Books, CD,
Fletcher imagines the story of Victor Hugo’s
Les Miserables from the perspective of Eponine,
including her changing relationship with Cosette
and her love for Marius. Grove narrates Eponine’s
story with great perceptiveness and a delightful
The Memory of Light. By Francisco X. Stork.
Read by Frankie Corzo. 2016. Scholastic, CD,
Vicky Cruz wakes up in the psychiatric ward
after trying to commit suicide. Here she meets
new friends who inspire her to find the strength
to carry on. Corzo’s gentle voice connects listeners
to Vicky as she recovers and finds the reasons life
is worth living.
My Lady Jane. By Cynthia Hand and others.
Read by Katherine Kellgren. 2016. HarperAudio,
In this alternate-historical comic fantasy of
Tudor England, Lady Jane Grey is unwillingly
married off and unwittingly enmeshed in a conspiracy to control the throne. Kellgren prances
through this narration with sparkling wit and theatrical attention to detail.
My Name Is Not Friday. By John Walter. Read
by Dion Graham. 2016. Scholastic, DD, $30.
At the end of the Civil War, free black brothers
Samuel and Joshua are living in an orphanage until Samuel is sold into slavery, which takes readers
on a journey that they will hope leads to freedom
once again. Graham’s inflection and pacing make
this accessible for readers old and young.
Nimona. By Noelle Stevenson. Read by a full
cast. 2016. HarperAudio, DD, $24.99.
Nimona is a shape-shifter and a sidekick to su-pervillain Lord Blackheart. Mischief escalates into
a vicious battle that will expose Nimona’s mysterious past as well as the Institution of Heroics. A full
cast of narrators and fierce sound effects make this
an essential experience. A 2017 Odyssey Honor
Orbiting Jupiter. By Gary D. Schmidt. Read
by Christopher Gebauer. 2015. Recorded Books,
Fourteen-year-old Joseph’s foster family helps
him process his traumatic life experiences, including his desire to find the baby daughter he’s never
met. Gebauer narrates with deeply felt emotion
and adroitly handled pacing.
Our Chemical Hearts. By Krystal Sutherland.
Read by Robbie Daymond. 2016. Listening
Library, CD, $45.
Henry Page is happily sailing through his senior
year until broken and mysterious Grace Town is
chosen to coedit the school newspaper with him.
Daymond’s character voices will leave readers
laughing and crying, making this a memorable
The Red Umbrella. By Christina Diaz Gonzalez.
Read by Kyla Garcia. 2016. Dreamscape, CD,
As Castro takes power in Cuba in 1961, Lucia
and her brother seek asylum in the U.S. Garcia
deftly handles various accents and languages, perfectly capturing the characters’ fears and hopes for
Salt to the Sea. By Ruta Sepetys. Read by
Jorjeana Marie and others. 2016. Listening
In 1945, four teenagers from different countries
find their paths have all led to a voyage on the Wil-
helm Gustloff, in this novel based on the true story
of history’s most deadly maritime disaster. The