It seems to be the time of the year that classroom assignments turn to thoughts of biography. Yes, those books that tell the stories of real people. Fortunately, fans of fiction and nonfiction agree: biographies are fun to read, whether you use your eyes or ears to do so. Basing engrossing narratives on interesting facts, biographies make the educational entertaining and the entertaining educational.
This past week, three notable new audiobook biographies were added to our library.
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford tells the emotional story of a Civil Rights heroine, the daughter of a sharecropper in Mississippi. In the audiobook version, background music and sound effects complement Janina Edwards’s melodious narration and pitch-perfect accent. Readers who also check out the book will discover beautiful illustrations that won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor. This title is a Robert Sibert Award honoree for being a distinguished informational book.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin and read by Mark Bramhall will appeal to sports fans, those who like underdog stories, and readers who like unflinching historical narratives of the Native American experience. It is the story of Jim Thorpe, who was called the “greatest athlete in the world” in the early years of the 20th century and went on to win gold in the 1912 Olympics, and of Pop Warner, Thorpe’s coach and legendary football innovator. It was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Young Reader’s Edition by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik is read by Andi Arndt. It mixes pop culture, humor, and expert analysis to tell the remarkable story of the pioneering, trailblazing, heroine whose tireless fight for equality has impacted our whole country.