Sonja Cole

AUDIBLE EDITOR

Sonja Cole

As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books. For her, the best thing about audiobooks is that she can listen and knit at the same time.

Sonja's Recent Reviews

    • The Journey of Little Charlie

    • By: Christopher Paul Curtis
    • Narrated by: Christopher Paul Curtis, Michael Crouch
    • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5
    • Performance
      4
    • Story
      5

    Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils....

    • By: Christopher Paul Curtis
    • Narrated by: Christopher Paul Curtis, Michael Crouch
    • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
    • Release date: 01-30-18
    • 5 ratings
    • From the award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy
    • One of my all-time favorites, Christopher Paul Curtis, can make me laugh and cry in the same sentence. Twelve-year-old Charlie, son of a white sharecropper, gets swindled into joining an evil plantation overseer on a journey to capture escaped slaves. Charlie is a product of his environment, yet bravely struggles to do right in the face of the evil he sees. Based on an actual incident, this story is sometimes brutal, but redemptive and even funny in a way that only Curtis can manage. It begs to be listened to so kids can hear Charlie’s dialect as it was meant to sound.
    • Refugee

    • By: Alan Gratz
    • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen
    • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      258
    • Performance
      240
    • Story
      238

    This timely and powerful novel tells the story of three different children seeking refuge....

    • A Kids'-Eye View of Fleeing Home

    • By Emily - Audible on 08-16-17
    • By: Alan Gratz
    • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen
    • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
    • Release date: 08-01-17
    • 258 ratings
    • Three harrowing stories from three time periods come together in alternating chapters: Josef, a 12-year-old Jew in Nazi Germany, Isabel in 1990s, poverty-stricken Cuba, and Mahmoud in current-day, war-torn Syria. Based on the true stories of actual refugees, Gratz weaves the three characters’ lives and histories together in a fascinating way, while leaving you on the edge of your seat as they all desperately journey to safety. While not gratuitously so, the stories are quite violent, so parents should use discretion with kids under 10.
    • Raymie Nightingale

    • By: Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
    • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      142
    • Performance
      125
    • Story
      124

    Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan....

    • Honest and Heartwarming

    • By merrylue on 06-13-16
    • By: Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
    • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
    • Release date: 04-12-16
    • 142 ratings
    • Ten-year-old Raymie is on a mission to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest, hoping it will make her absent father return. In baton twirling class, she befriends two other girls with equally heartbreaking missions of their own. As in Because of Winn-Dixie, DiCamillo blends hope, humor, and honest reality into three memorable characters and a life-affirming, redemptive story that her fans will love. Narrator Jenna Lamia’s regional accents really make the characters shine.
    • Orphan Island

    • By: Laurel Snyder
    • Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
    • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      57
    • Performance
      51
    • Story
      51

    On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there....

    • Sequel in the works?

    • By Marlav9 on 01-18-18
    • By: Laurel Snyder
    • Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
    • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
    • Release date: 05-30-17
    • 57 ratings
    • 2017 National Book Award Nominee
    • Nine orphan children live alone on an island in safety and peace. Every year, a boat comes to drop off the new, youngest orphan and take away the oldest orphan across the sea to no one knows where. “Nine on the island, orphans all; any more, the sky will fall.” But when it’s Jinny’s turn to leave the island, she refuses, setting off changes in their safe environment that no one is prepared for. Like Jonah in The Giver, Jinny must come of age as she struggles to understand her world full of incomprehensible rules.
    • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

    • By: L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
    • Length: 3 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      83
    • Performance
      72
    • Story
      73

    The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is a 1902 children's book, written by L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz....

    • Classic story, great narrator.

    • By Stephanie on 12-20-17
    • By: L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
    • Length: 3 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 12-05-17
    • 83 ratings
    • Santa’s origin story
    • This story includes all the adventure and magic you would expect from L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: an enchanted forest ruled by the Master Woodsman of the World, a foundling baby adopted by wood nymphs, a war with dragons and giants, and of course, the toys, the reindeer, and the sleigh. This is the perfect audiobook to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit, but it’s especially wonderful for kids with questions about the whys and hows of Santa Claus.
    • Undefeated

    • Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
    • By: Steve Sheinkin
    • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
    • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      48
    • Performance
      40
    • Story
      39

    When superstar athlete Jim Thorpe and football legend Pop Warner met in 1904 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history....

    • Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
    • By: Steve Sheinkin
    • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
    • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
    • Release date: 01-17-17
    • 48 ratings
    • I will read anything by Steve Sheinkin, so while not a football fan, I devoured this audiobook. It is both a history of football from the first Rutgers-Princeton game in 1888 (so brutal!), and the story of coach Pop Warner and the Native American high schoolers (including Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe) who changed the game forever. This audiobook is perfect for sports fans, but it doesn’t gloss over the prejudice against Indians, and definitely made me think about the Washington Redskins name controversy.
    • How to Train Your Dragon

    • By: Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated by: David Tennant
    • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      1,263
    • Performance
      1,155
    • Story
      1,153

    Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan....

    • THE HARD WAY TO BECOME A HERO

    • By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-20-17
    • By: Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated by: David Tennant
    • Series: How to Train Your Dragon, Book 1
    • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 01-02-14
    • 1,263 ratings
    • Nothing about Hiccough is manly or heroic even though he is the son of a Viking chief. His dragon is even worse with no teeth—Hiccough the Useless and his dragon, Toothless! But Hiccough has a strength that none of the other Vikings has: intellect. And he will need it to train Toothless for the Viking initiation trial. Laugh-out-loud funny with action-filled dragon fights, this book is non-stop fun from start to finish. David Tennant’s Scottish accent gives hilarious personality to the Hairy Hooligan tribe and their dragons.
    • Magic Marks the Spot

    • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1
    • By: Caroline Carlson
    • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
    • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      546
    • Performance
      501
    • Story
      500

    Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags....

    • Best Narrator Ever!

    • By gkbowood on 12-05-14
    • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1
    • By: Caroline Carlson
    • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
    • Series: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1
    • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
    • Release date: 09-10-13
    • 546 ratings
    • Admiral Westfield’s daughter Hilary intends to be many great things but a “good little girl” is not one of them. So when her father sends her to Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, Hilary secretly packs the magic gargoyle who guards her house, and runs away to join a band of ferocious pirates. What follows is a hilarious and rollicking adventure wonderfully narrated by the always sparkling Katherine Kellgren.
    • The Magic Misfits

    • By: Neil Patrick Harris
    • Narrated by: Neil Patrick Harris
    • Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      102
    • Performance
      96
    • Story
      96

    When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly....

    • A kids book EVERYONE will enjoy

    • By Amazon Customer on 12-02-17
    • By: Neil Patrick Harris
    • Narrated by: Neil Patrick Harris
    • Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 11-21-17
    • 102 ratings
    • The Ever Charming Neil Patrick Harris
    • Neil Patrick Harris’s first book is full of the usual Dickensian clichés so common in children’s books--a poor orphan and crooked, greedy adults trying to exploit him—but Harris makes it his own by adding legit magic tricks and endearing personal asides to the audience. The story is light and fun, and fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events will love it. But the best part is Harris’s narration. His charm and charisma come through in full force, making you feel like you are his best friend and he is telling the story just for you.
    • Stella by Starlight

    • By: Sharon M. Draper
    • Narrated by: Heather Alicia Simms
    • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      203
    • Performance
      177
    • Story
      176

    As Stella’s community - her world - is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end....

    • Perfect marriage of voice and text

    • By Anne Macdonell on 03-01-15
    • By: Sharon M. Draper
    • Narrated by: Heather Alicia Simms
    • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
    • Release date: 01-06-15
    • 203 ratings
    • A Book With Depth and History
    • It is 1932 and the Depression is “downright depressin.’” Even though slavery ended years ago, in North Carolina, segregation is still the law of the land. So when Stella and her little brother spy the Klan riding one night, they are SCARED. Their father is scared, too, but fear doesn’t stop him from trying to register to vote. He knows it’s his right as an American, but he also knows the Klan could punish him viciously for it. The narrator tells the story and sings the hymns with warmth and heart, echoing the strength Stella derives from her close-knit community as she witnesses their courage in the face of prejudice.
    • Fish in a Tree

    • By: Lynda Hunt
    • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
    • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      822
    • Performance
      712
    • Story
      717

    An emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in....

    • Great book but...not just dyslexia

    • By Jennifer Hurst on 12-31-15
    • By: Lynda Hunt
    • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
    • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
    • Release date: 02-05-15
    • 822 ratings
    • A Lesson in Compassion for All Kids
    • Ally’s teachers are fed up with her. She is even fed up with herself but she just can’t seem to make them happy no matter how hard she tries . . . until Mr. Daniels becomes her teacher. He is the first one to make Ally feel safe enough to confess her secret: She can’t read. On her brave journey to understanding what dyslexia is, she discovers that she is not, in fact, stupid, and that “’I’m having trouble’ is not the same thing as ‘I can’t.’” Told with empathy and compassion, this book is a powerful reminder for all kids that people learn differently.
    • Ghosts of Greenglass House

    • By: Kate Milford
    • Narrated by: Chris Henry Coffey
    • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      61
    • Performance
      57
    • Story
      58

    Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House, where 13-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests....

    • As good or better than Greenglass House

    • By Walter S. on 02-05-18
    • By: Kate Milford
    • Narrated by: Chris Henry Coffey
    • Series: Greenglass House, Book 2
    • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
    • Release date: 10-03-17
    • 61 ratings
    • Cozy Family Mystery
    • This sequel to the Edgar Award winning Greenglass House picks up one year later, and now 13-year-old Milo has a new mystery to solve over winter break. What I love most about this series is the coziness of house itself: stately and elegant with hidden reading nooks by the fireplace, frost glistening in the woods outside, and an attic full of old treasures. Unlike so many child characters, Milo has loving and supportive parents to talk to and bring him hot chocolate, so even while he is struggling to puzzle together clues, he is always safe in the embrace of his family. It is possible to listen to this without knowing the first book, but it will reveal a major plot spoiler if you listen out of order.
    • Word of Mouse

    • By: James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated by: Nate Begle
    • Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      29
    • Performance
      23
    • Story
      24

    What makes Isaiah so unique? First, his fur is as blue as the sky - which until recently was something he'd never seen, but had read all about. That's right - Isaiah can read, and write....

    • perfect for the family!

    • By Michael A. Smith on 08-31-17
    • By: James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated by: Nate Begle
    • Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
    • Release date: 12-12-16
    • 29 ratings
    • James Patterson's Silly Side
    • Isaiah has been separated from his family while running away from their captors. He is traumatized knowing that his family didn’t escape while he, the youngest of them all, did. And now he’s on his own with no family to take care of him. Did I mention that Isaiah is bright blue laboratory mouse? He soon finds that life on the outside is extremely dangerous, but also more exciting than he could have imagined. The narrator captures the youthful enthusiasm of our intrepid and hilarious hero as he navigates his brand new world on his own.