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December 2020/January 2021

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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Observing the physical and natural world has led to incredible discoveries that have changed humanity forever. The fiction and nonfiction audiobooks in this list celebrate scientific investigation of all kinds. Topics that might seem dry and boring in a textbook—like the water cycle, or the history of microbiology— are rendered as thrilling, true-life adventures. And the fictional stories help kids imagine themselves as future medical researchers or architects of artificial intelligence. Perfect for family listening, these audiobooks will have curious kids and their parents eager to find out more. Audiobooks and Literacy THIS RAINDROP Linda Ragsdale, read by Simon Vance With the reverent tone of a kindly professor, Simon Vance's voice pulls listeners in and encourages them to contemplate the impor- tance of water in all its forms on our planet. Music and watery sound effects further enhance the mood of this inspirational and educational audiobook. Dreamscape Unabridged Ages 4-6 Trade Ed.: DD THE THING ABOUT BEES Shabazz Larkin, read by Shabazz Larkin, Legend Larkin, Royal Larkin, Ashley Larkin Shabazz Larkin narrates with warmth as he describes the important role that bees play in pollinating plants and making a picnic's worth of fruits grow. Buzzing bees, light piano music, and bongo drums add to the fun as Larkin explains how kids share some buzzing and sneaking and stinging tenden- cies with bees—and how essential his kids are to making his life sweeter, too. Live Oak Media Book & Recording Ages 4-6 Trade Ed.: CD ECHO MOUNTAIN Lauren Wolk, read by Holly Linneman Holly Linneman's narration brings the quiet woodland landscape of rural Maine to life. After an accident leaves her father in a coma and doctors unable to help him, 12-year-old Ellie courageously endeavors to learn all she can about natural healing. Listening Library Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD, DD Library Ed.: DD ALL IN A DROP Lori Alexander, read by Kevin T. Collins After building his own microscope in 1674, Antony van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of microscopic moving creatures in lake water stunned the scientists of his day and led to the study of microbiology. Kevin T. Collins's even pacing makes this scientific history easy to follow, while his formal, serious tone provides a droll contrast to Antony's fascination with the microbes living in people's skin scrapings, tooth plaque, earwax, and feces. Dreamscape Unabridged Ages 6+ Trade Ed.: CD, DD DR. WANGARI MAATHAI PLANTS A FOREST Rebel Girls [Eds.], read by Bahni Turpin Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, led a life of environmental activism and is an inspiration to people every- where. With Kikuyu words and names, various distinct voices, and African accents, Bahni Turpin's performance evokes sympathy for Maathai's determined efforts to lead Kenyan women in the Green Belt Movement. Listening Library Unabridged Ages 6+ Trade Ed.: DD Library Ed.: DD COG Greg van Eekhout, read by James Fouhey Narrator James Fouhey gives life and heart to a group of misfit robots on a mission to save themselves from the evil AI corpora- tion "uniMIND." Cog (whose name is short for "cognitive development") is a robot who looks and acts remarkably human. After an accident leaves him damaged, Cog wakes up in a lab surrounded by scientists who want to remove his brain. With the help of four robot accomplices, Cog escapes on a funny, action-packed adventure to try to find the human engineer who built him. Harper Audio Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: DD By Sonja Cole Fiction and Nonfiction Audiobooks for Science-Minded Kids 68 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com

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