Hauser provides a ground-level look an international high school in New York that serves an immigrant population of students who work, live, and learn their way through the angst-ridden experience that is high school. As narrator, Tavia Gilbert is a good fit for Hauser’s prose. She has a clear and strong voice but one that can soften or execute other nuances as the scene dictates. Her energy and matter-of-fact tone hold listener attention. She amplifies Hauser’s declarative but empathetic approach, which seems to humanize a population that U.S. culture largely disowns. Gilbert consistently delivers an array of accents and personalities and makes smooth transitions between dialogue and narrative. AudioFile
I knew I would be happy with Tavia Gilbert as a narrator when she contacted me about name pronunciations. As a journalist who obsesses over accuracy, it was a huge comfort for me to know that the person narrating the audio version of my book does the same. Tavia clearly cares about details and nuances, but she also sees the big picture. The New Kids follows the personal journeys of recent immigrant students at an international high school in Brooklyn, and Tavia did an amazing job of “giving voice” to these teenagers who come from all over the world—not easy!
Like any skilled artist, her work is guided by a mix of both genuine feeling and practiced restraint. She is a pro at transitioning between characters and bringing each one to life. I am thrilled with the audiobook of The New Kids and thankful for the great care she took recording it. An added bonus? Tavia has received rave reviews and prestigious awards for her work, and your audiobook might get more notice as a result. Think of her as the Meryl Streep of audiobooks!
~ Brooke Hauser