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Audiobooks, 2014 List

Kathy
Appelt
Lyle Lovett
Simon & Schuster
9781442366121
$29.99
2013

Binjo, J’miah, and Chap Brayburn, two raccoons and a sugar-pie-loving twelve-year-old, must keep Jaeger Stitch from overtaking the swamp and turning it into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park. Lyle Lovett’s Texas drawl perfectly fits these characters in this bayou tale.

 

The One and Only Ivan
Katherine
Applegate
Adam Grupper
Recorded Books
9781470351236
$30.75
2013

Adam Grupper perfectly captures the voice of Ivan, a silverback gorilla living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. At turns sad and funny, Ivan muses on friendship, art, freedom and responsibility as he struggles to find a better life for himself and Ruby, a baby elephant.

Hooray for Anna Hibiscus!
Atinuke
Mutiyat Ade-Salu
Recorded Books
9781461834427
$15.75
2013

This audio for a collection of vignettes about young Anna’s “amazing Africa” only adds to the sensorial flavor of self, social awareness, and the humor of life with her lively extended West African family. Ade-salu’s clear and melodic voice adeptly switches between the narration and the characters’ distinctive accents.

Matilda
Roald
Dahl
Kate Winslet
Penguin
9781611761849
$29.95
2013

Kate Winslet's animated narration has listeners cheering for precocious Matilda and booing at mean Miss Trunchbull. Winslet thoroughly captures ever character in one of the best audios ever produced. Another newly-released Penguin audio by Roald Dahl features Derek Jacobi in a superb narration of George's Marvelous Medicine.

Roald
Dahl
Penguin Audiobooks
9781611762068
$19.95
2013

See annotation for Dah's Matilda.

cover shot
Rebecca
Emberley
Emberley
Ed Chris Thomas King
Weston Woods
9780545571388
$12.95
2013

Musician Chris Thomas King’s jazzy music and lively narration enhance this twist on the traditional fable of a hardworking ant who learns to take a break and have some fun.

The Last Dragonslayer
Jasper
Fforde
Elizabeth Jasicki
Brilliance Audio
9781455858286
$19.99
2013

Foundling Jennifer Strange sees herself as a normal fifteen-year-old indentured servant managing a magician's employment agency until someone prophesizes the last dragon’s death. Narrator Elizabeth Jasicki ably conveys Jennifer’s beleaguered pragmatism in a  magical world with its own problems and characters.

Sharon
Flake
Bahni Turpin and Dominic Hoffman
Listening Library
9780385361132
$38.00
2013

Autumn, a struggling reader but star wrestler and only girl on the team, and Adonis, an intellectual and unyielding boy born without legs, make an unlikely pair. The voices in this dual narration capture the initial tensions between the two and deftly relay their increasing emotional angst and deepening attraction.

Adina Rishe
Gewirtz
Kate Reinders
Brilliance Audio
9781469274850
$22.99
2013

Gran is having fewer and fewer good days, so Annie and Rew spend much of their summer in the forest reading Treasure Island and making up heroic stories about their late father. Things change when an escaped prisoner breaks into their house and upsets their routine. Excellent voicing in the narration makes this compelling plot seem like a play.