Interview Listen In: Jay Asher talks bullying with narrator Kirby Heyborne

Jay Asher hit the road this month on his 50 States Against Bullying Tour. Hear him explain why creating an open dialogue in your community is so important, and how THIRTEEN REASONS WHY can impact young listeners.

We’ve been sharing posts and interviews throughout October as part of National Bullying Prevention Month. Keep conversations about bullying going all year long by visiting, where you can find clips from audiobooks that address the topic of bullying, as well as interviews with bestselling authors like David Levithan, Laurie Halse Anderson, Emily Bazelon, and Jay Asher. Request a free Kids & Bullying: Audiobooks for Conversation CD Sampler here.


Author Jay Asher talks bullying with award-winning narrator Kirby Heyborne in this exclusive Q&A, and discusses his New York Times bestselling book THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. In this intricate and heartbreaking audiobook, Clay Jensen finds a mysterious package filled with cassette tapes from his classmate Hannah Baker, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. As Clay listens, he follows Hannah’s words through their small town…and what he discovers will change his life forever.

The unique structure of this story, told through Hannah’s recordings and Clay’s present perspective, makes it ideal for the audiobook format. Jay said, “Because the actors did such a great job interpreting the characters, I ended up listening to the entire thing in one sitting, just wrapped up in the story because I was able to listen and forget that I’d originally written what they were saying.”

If you haven’t heard this story yet, we strongly encourage you to take a listen and share this powerful audiobook with your community. Reading or listening to this book together can start important discussions about tough topics like bullying and suicide. As Jay explains, “Keeping these issues silent helps no one who is currently dealing with them. People in that situation need to reach out for help and know they’re not alone, but that only happens when others come forward with their stories.”

By Jay Asher
Read by Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone

Hear a clip from THIRTEEN REASONS WHY:

A YALSA Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults: “One of those books that excels in its audio interpretation, two accomplished readers take this very moving story and make it fly.”

More praise for the audiobook:

“The novel makes a perfect transformation to audio…The interplay of the two [narrators] is perfectly choreographed in this powerful audio.”–AudioFile

“Asher’s debut novel lends itself particularly well to audio since the book involves teenager Clay Jenson listening to the recorded voice of classmate Hannah Baker detailing circumstances that led to her suicide.”–Booklist

“Narrators Johnstone and Wiseman impeccably interpret Clay’s anxious musings and Hannah’s unrelenting, bitter accusations in alternating monologues.”–Horn Book


On October 1, Jay Asher kicked off his 50 States Against Bullying Tour. More than 700 schools were nominated to be part of this movement, and now Jay is traveling across the country to rally communities to stand up against bullying and proclaim the #ReasonsWhyYouMatter. His tour encourages “students and faculty to continue pursuing a more open and understanding school.” Follow Jay across all 50 states by visiting Jay’s blog or the campaign website.

See reader and listener reactions to THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and share your own on

Share your #ReasonsWhyYouMatter and join celebrities like Selena Gomez in their support of this important movement:

Find more conversation starters and learn how you can start your own discussion group by downloading these resources:



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