Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories. It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat-by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them-everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives. Cast of Narrators: N'Jameh Camara, as Haley Jose Carrera, as Tiago Dean Flanagan, as Ashton Angel Romero, as Esteban Toshi Widoff-Woodson, as Holly Mikelle Wright-Matos, as Amari and also featuring the author, Jacqueline Woodson, as Ms. Laverne
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by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Thomas
by Jacqueline Guidry
by Elmer Kelton
by Jacqueline Carey
by Clay Byars
"N'Jameh Camara narrates the emotive narrative of biracial Haley, who describes increasingly honest conversations among six classmates along with her own undisclosed truths. In this unique audio, six narrators represent characters in shared dialogues. Toshi Widoff-Woodson, portraying an African-American girl, is defensive and a bit spoiled. Dean Flanagan is reticent Ashton, a bullied white boy. Mikelle Wright-Matos affects a near swagger as Ashton's confident African-American friend, Amari. Jose Carrera's deeper, lightly accented Latinx voice chimes in as Tiago, and Angel Romero is the worried Esteban, whose father has been taken away by ICE. The least strong portrayal is by the author, a fitting representation of the teacher who remains in the background so her students can speak freely. An interview between Woodson and her son, Jackson-Leroi, which serves as an afterword, is honest and powerful. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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