Collection Development, Guest Post Debut author of DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE shares his must-hear children’s audiobook picks

Hi, I’m Lance Rubin. In my debut novel, DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE everybody knows the date they’re going to die. Here are my must-listen children’s literature picks—or my “BUCKET LISTens” if you will. (I’d say this list could be for Denton, but I think he’s already listened to most of these.)

All seven Harry Potters, by J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale:
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I am probably at my most demonstrably angry when I hear someone put down Harry Potter, or say they have no interest in reading these books because “they’re for kids.” J.K. Rowling is one of the best storytellers of all time, people. Get with the program. Plus, Jim Dale is amazing.

My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville, read by Liza Ross:
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In elementary school, I was all about this awesome sci-fi book, along with the three sequels that followed. It was such a game-changer for me when I picked up the second book, My Teacher Fried My Brains, and realized it was narrated by an entirely different character. Wow. I loved that then, and I love it now. I’m so excited for his new “Enchanted Files” series.

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson, read by the Author
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Woodson’s memoir of her childhood growing up first in South Carolina and then in Brooklyn is so moving and so stunningly written. It’s the kind of listen where you constantly find yourself shaking your head in wonder at the way she’s able to evoke a time, a place, a feeling, with such an economy of language.

Grasshopper Jungle
by Andrew Smith, read by Philip Church
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This audiobook blew my mind. Echoes of Vonnegut, Jurassic Park, and Lost, plus a teenager honestly dealing with his own sexual confusion. Straight-up genius.

The Girl at Midnight
by Melissa Grey, read by Julia Whelan
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I was lucky enough to read this before it came out. Like Harry Potter, its magical elements are beautifully grounded in genuine human emotion, and it has a wonderful cast of multi-dimensional characters, including the snarky Echo and the complicated-badass-with-an eyepatch Dorian. Perfect for an epic audiobook experience.

Chocolate Fever
by Robert Kimmel Smith, read by Lionel Wilson
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In 4th grade, we did a play version of this. I was the kid who gets chocolate fever, so it’s a book that’s close to my heart. It only occurred to me recently that the strange rash Denton develops in my book might be some kind of subconscious homage to this.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume, read by Laura Hamilton
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I finally listened to this last year, and I was caught off-guard by how much I related to it. Growing up, I had tons of anxiety about my family’s muddled religious situation, and Margaret has that, too! I’m pissed it took me so long to get around to reading this great book.

Mosquitoland, by David Arnold, read by Phoebe Strole:
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Okay, full disclosure: I’m in the middle of reading this right now. But I’m loving the story of plucky, weird Mim Malone and her cross-country journey so much that it’s going on the list. (Also, because audiobook narrator Phoebe Strole is such a perfect match for this.)

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, read by Ron Rifkin:
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Every dystopian YA book of the past ten years is walking on a road paved by The Giver. By imagining a world with no feelings, no tastes, no colors, Lowry pulls off the masterful trick of making us appreciate our own world, in all of its messy, imperfect glory.

Thanks so much, Lance, for sharing your favorite audiobooks with us! But there’s one more title we’d like to add to this must-hear “BUCKET LISTens” list:

lance-bucket-list-265x285pxDENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE
by Lance Rubin, read by the Author

Listen to a clip:

AudioFile raves: Narrator and first-time author Lance Rubin shines as the voice of Denton Little…Rubin’s pacing and tone capture the suspense of a mounting mystery, and his bold, idiosyncratic delivery beautifully illustrates Denton’s thoughts. His characterizations of family members and Denton’s peers add wry humor and poignance to each scene. This is a refreshingly bizarre premise, well grounded in the realities of high school and family life, and Rubin’s dynamic, offbeat charm stands out as he performs his debut novel.”

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