Save Me a Seat: Stand in Their Shoes

Two fifth-grade boys from worlds apart find a common bond in this dual narration.

Narrators Josh Hurley and Vikas Adam go behind the mic for AudioFile and give us a dual perspective on SAVE ME A SEAT as two boys start school at Einstein Elementary.

“These kids are like a lot of kids in grade school who deal with bullies, insecurities, and trying to fit in.”— Josh Hurley

113948.jpgSAVE ME A SEAT
by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan,
read by Vikas Adam & Josh Hurley
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Two fifth-grade boys, Ravi and Joe, come from very different places. Ravi is newly immigrated from India, and Joe is dealing with learning challenges. Using two narrators is the perfect way to deliver this story, and Vikas Adam and Josh Hurley bring every moment to listeners with clear connection and involvement. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review HERE.

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Read our interview with Vikas & Josh here!

 

For more listening selections for kids, teens, tweens, or the whole family, visit our age-graded kids & teens list!

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2016 Best Audiobooks
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The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, Boxer and Humanitarian

In honor of Muhammad Ali: Much of Ali’s humanitarian work went unheralded, and you’ve probably never heard this story.

 

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In an exclusive extra,
AudioFile reviewer Mike Sangiacomo tells us about meeting Muhammad Ali—in Baghdad— in 1990.

I spent some time with Muhammad Ali in the most unlikely place: Baghdad in late 1990, just weeks before the U.S. and its allies bombed it in Desert Storm. I was there on assignment from my newspaper, THE PLAIN DEALER, and he was there to get hostages released. Both of us were there against the wishes of the U.S. Government, to say the least.

Ali’s mission to Baghdad was largely unreported at the time, but the story leaked out a few times over the years.

As a world-renowned Muslim, Ali was welcomed in the city of Bagdad, and through his power of persuasion, he was able to leave with 15 American hostages. You probably never heard about it–the story was kept quiet, though I reported it in my newspaper. My group was invited to spend some time with Ali in his room at the Al Rashid Hotel. When we got there, Ali was lying down on the bed. He looked drawn and tired–his Parkinson’s disease was taking its toll. His schedule in Baghdad was exhausting. When he was not in talks with leaders, he was entertaining Iraqi children, who followed him everywhere.

He sat up in his bed, half-clothed, and asked us to wait in the seating area of his room. I remember watching him struggle to stand up, a shadow of his former self. But when he emerged minutes later, he looked like a new man. He had put on a blue suit, white shirt, and a tie, in deference to his visitors. He could only speak in a whisper, his voice exhausted from days of negotiations. Amid the small talk and stories I have long forgotten, Ali asked to keep his private talks with Saddam Hussein a secret, at least until the hostages were released.

“We admire the man who has never stopped using his celebrity for good- the man who helped secure the release of 14 American hostages from Iraq in 1900,” Obama was quoted in USA Today. With all due respect to Mr. Obama, it was 15. I counted.

Ali surprised our group by asking if we wanted to see some magic tricks, something he also performed for the other “guests” (Iraqi code for hostages) in the hotel lobby. He even did his levitation trick. Ali’s mission to Baghdad was largely unreported at the time, but the story leaked out a few times over the years. George Bush and subsequent presidents ignored it until President Barack Obama talked about it this year  after Ali’s death June 3. “We admire the man who has never stopped using his celebrity for good—the man who helped secure the release of 14 American hostages from Iraq in 1990,” Obama was quoted in USA Today. And, with all due respect to Mr. Obama, it was 15. I counted.

In addition to sharing this story, Mike listened to Ali’s autobiography, THE GREATEST: MY OWN STORY for us and wrote, “It’s uncanny how much narrator Dion Graham sounds like Ali”. You can read Mike’s full review and listen to a sound clip HERE or check out what Dion had to say about recording Ali’s story below!

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2016 Best Audiobooks

 

Tuesday Tease: Honor

An essential element of romance.

It might not be obvious, but honor is an essential element of romance.  After all, no one wants to date someone who cheats or is unkind to the less fortunate. What honorable traits do you require in a romantic partner?  Do you yourself brake for squirrels, leave a 20% tip, or give a dollar to the team collecting outside the supermarket?

These TEASE audiobooks showcase personal belief and the ways narrators portray the shared values that can develop through romance.

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In THE DUKE OF SIN, MARRYING WINTERBORNE, and THE MCCULLAGH INN IN MAINE, narrators show us the evolution certain characters undergo to achieve moral agreement with their partners.

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Romance is a fundamental validation of identity, and what is more basic to identity than personal conviction? As with the best audiobooks, you’ll find a little bit of yourself in each of these compelling listens.

Want to be sure your next audiobook wins your heart?
Browse our newest romance reviews!

Til next Tuesday’s Tease!
-Caitlin Augusta