Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, June 27, 2019

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This week our audiobooks offer a couple of contemporary high school stories. In keeping with that theme, expect characters who experience self-consciousness, make assumptions about others around them, and take leadership roles among their peers even when those peers might not have looked to them in particular to move others toward change.


From award-winning author Meg Medina, we have the #OwnVoices novel YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS, performed by Roxanne Hernandez and published by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio. Each of the characters here comes to life as the narrator changes her intonations to suggest the various students and adults in a story that starts off with a high school girl just trying to get through her classes, her job, and her life, veers into the crazy-making torture of unexpected bullying by an invisible antagonist, and then comes to self-understanding that indicates growth for both the protagonist and listeners.

As most teens know, what gets learned in high school is as much about becoming an individual young adult as it is about the subjects taught in the curriculum. From HarperAudio, HERETICS ANONYMOUS is Katie Henry’s debut novel. Vocally agile narrator Michael Crouch performs credible voicing for the teenaged boys and girls brought together by their individual religious beliefs, all of which differ from their Catholic school’s orthodoxy. Both Henry and Crouch play out a wide range of emotions activated by the teens’ connections with each other and offer listeners opportunities to consider, second guess, and cheer the stands taken by each of the friends.

This week's pair of audiobooks offers strong characters, difficult school situations many listeners will recognize from their own lives, and opportunities to learn which tactics can be helpful and which, while tempting, lead to even further complications.

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