New Author-Narrated Books

As the new school year kicks off in person and virtually, we are releasing new Lerner Digital products that are sure to fit your needs at home, school, and in-between. The latest additions to our Audisee and Audiobook programs cover a wide range of curricular and high-interest topics, with a special offering of author-narrated books to add authenticity to the reading and listening experience.

The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Khoa Le

Narrated by author Kao Kalia Yang, The Most Beautiful Thing is drawn from her childhood experiences. Born in the refugee camps of Thailand to a family that escaped the genocide of the Secret War in Laos, she came to America at the age six. Yang’s performance adds authenticity to this moving picture book that portrays a family with a great deal of love and little money. Weaving together Kalia’s story with that of her beloved grandmother, the book moves from the jungles of Laos to the family’s early years in the United States. When Kalia becomes unhappy about having to do without and decides she wants braces to improve her smile, it is her grandmother—a woman who has just one tooth in her mouth—who helps her see that true beauty is found with those we love most. Stunning illustrations from Vietnamese illustrator Khoa Le bring this intergenerational tale to life.

A warmhearted and tender true story about a young girl finding beauty where she never thought to look.

Praise for The Most Beautiful Thing

★ “A deep and moving reflection on enduring hardship and generational love. . . . Poignant storytelling with stunning visuals.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

★ “A sincere narrative that centers on the power of family love.”—starred, School Library Journal

“Richly colored mixed-media illustrations feature beautiful, intricate patterns as a backdrop to this tale of a close-knit, multigenerational family.”—Booklist

“Yang centers her cherished paternal grandmother in this poignant picture book memoir.”—Publishers Weekly

“Yang’s words resonate with poetic power through their clarity and imagery.” –Star Tribune

From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Rachel Wada

Also written and narrated by Yang, From the Tops of the Trees is a powerful true story of a young girl who has never known life outside a refugee camp and a father determined to help her dream big. At Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, Kalia spends her days playing with cousins, chickens, and dogs. When she asks her father if all of the world is a refugee camp, he climbs with her to the top of a tree so she can see the world beyond the fences that confine them. Yang’s evocative performance is accompanied by atmospheric illustrations from Rachel Wada in a story that encourages readers of all ages and circumstances to believe in their dreams.

Praise for From the Tops of the Trees

★”Beautiful in its simplicity and elegance, with a hopeful and inspiring message, this story will not soon be forgotten.”—starred, Booklist

★”This story of resilience and generational hope is told in an expressive, straightforward narrative style. A visually striking, compelling recollection.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“[A]n inspiring and universal vision of hope.”—BookPage

AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler

Narrated by author and former child actress Emily Barth Isler, AfterMath is a fictional story about the aftermath of trauma and the ways in which people cope.

Isler’s narration immerses the reader in life of twelve-year-old Lucy, whose parents decide to move after her brother’s death from a congenital heart defect. Lucy is not prepared to be the new kid at school—especially in a grade full of survivors of a shooting that happened four years ago. Without the shared past that both unites and divides her classmates, Lucy feels isolated and unable to share her family’s own loss, which is profoundly different from the trauma of her peers.

Lucy clings to her love of math, which provides the absolute answers she craves. But through budding friendships and an after-school mime class, Lucy discovers that while grief can take many shapes and sadness may feel infinite, love is just as powerful.

Praise for AfterMath

“Like Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ghost Boys, Isler’s novel takes the timely and realistic topic of gun violence and turns it into an engaging story without sensationalizing it.”—Booklist

“Showing a keen understanding of loss, Isler’s compassionate debut is written with stark honesty, showcasing various responses to tragedy . . .”—Publishers Weekly

“Isler nose-dives into the perhaps taboo topic of school shootings, yet breathes healing, change, and math into the emotional ­catharsis.”—School Library Journal

“This book is a gift to the culture.” —actress and comedian Amy Schumer

See the full list of Fall 2021 Audisee and Audiobook offerings.

Audisee® eBooks with Audio combine professional narration and text highlighting to engage reluctant readers and auditory learners. Students in grades K-12 are drawn to the wide variety of titles—from curriculum-oriented nonfiction to page-turning chapter books to award-winning young-adult fiction. With our award-winning Audisee® eBooks with Audio bringing these titles to life, even the most reluctant student can’t resist!

Lerner Digital™ Audiobooks are now available directly in the Lerner Bookshelf! With an enormous variety of titles to choose from and a completely intuitive audiobook player, Lerner Audiobooks will get kids listening and learning.

See more from Kao Kalia Yang

A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Seo Kim

This award-winning picture book features a young Hmong American girl who constantly seeks out beauty in the world around her. In the course of the story, her family moves into a new house and her mother gives birth to twin boys. As a result, much of the beauty the girl finds goes unnoticed by others. In the end, she finds a way to share all that she’s seen with an elderly neighbor who is grieving the loss of his wife, and these two neighbors, one young and one old, find a true connection, now in Hmong.

Available in Print | eBook | Audisee eBook with Audio | Audiobook

A Map into the World is also available in four additional languages: Chinese, Hmong, French, and Spanish! All of these editions can be purchased in print or eBook formats.

The Most Beautiful Thing has four additional language editions: Hmong, Chinese, French, and Spanish! These editions can be purchased in both print and eBook formats.

Connect with author Kao Kalia Yang





Connect with author Emily Barth Isler




Photo credit: Beja Grinage

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