This month, AudioFile Magazine is launching a new opportunity for audiobook fans to share their love of listening. The inaugural audiobook club will foster a shared listening experience. The magazine will select a title and provide book discussion prompts and supplementary materials including a video from the narrator for anyone to use when discussing the book. 

The first title selected is Rez Ball by Byron Graves, narrated by Jessee Nobess. This novel for teens centers on a character named Tre and explores family, grief, community, belonging, and, of course, basketball. The title is the 2024 winner of the American Library Association’s American Indian Youth Literature Award for Young Adult Book and the William C. Morris YA Debut Award.

Author Byron Graves is Ojibwe and was born and raised on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, where he played high school basketball. Rez Ball is his debut novel. Narrator Jesse Nobess is a Canadian and Métis actor and comedian.

“It was a pleasure to narrate such a compelling story,” says Nobess. “There were so many moments that I embodied Tre through Byron Grave’s storytelling. As an Ojibwe athlete and a younger sibling, I also developed a close connection to the story arc. It was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend this book to all ages!"

See the AudioFile review

To see the AudioFile review of this title, log into your library's NoveList Plus account and search for the title. In addition to the review, NoveList provides the full award lists for the American Indian Youth Literature Awards, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, Recommended Reads lists, and librarian-selected listen-alikes for additional titles focusing on Indigenous teenagers.

Find listen-alikes for Rez Ball

For readers wishing to dig a little deeper into a particular aspect of the novel, NoveList’s Appeal terms and Themes identify searchable characteristics from the novel. For Rez Ball, the reader may want to look for more titles with a theme of “Facing racism” or “Coping with death” in stories with Indigenous characters and a genre of Realistic fiction. To do this, just go to the title record in NoveList Plus, scroll down to the "Search for More" box, select the search criteria, and click "Search."

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Renee Young is the Senior Metadata Librarian for NoveList. She is listening to A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales, narrated by Fiona Hampton.