Download Tough Boy Sonatas Audiobook

Tough Boy Sonatas Audiobook, by Curtis Crisler Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Curtis Crisler Narrator: Kevin R. Free, Deon Graham Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2017 ISBN: 9781490608129
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Wherever your home is, it’s probably not as tough as Gary, Indiana. Gary has been called a lot of things. The Armpit of Chicago. The Land of Robbing Hoods. Hell. For the children of Gary, living often boils down to surviving. Maybe these kids get caught up in games of gin rummy. Maybe they spin tops as a way to scratch something fun out of their desperation. Maybe they stand by helplessly as their tenement buildings go up in flames. Or maybe they get held up at gunpoint by somebody who wants more money than he could steal from his church collection box. Award-winning poet Curtis L. Crisler’s work gives voice to the children of Gary, shedding some light on their experiences. Kevin R. Free, Dion Graham, and JD Jackson provides a haunting performance of Crisler’s bittersweet poems.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The speakers represent voices that are rare in books for youth, and their furious yearning for justice, love, safety, sex, and a good education is unforgettable, as is their hope in what Crisler calls hell.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “These poems are muscular and vivid, fierce with the sound and force of language.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Crisler’s poetry paints a vivid picture of violence, poverty, sex, family, and community in verse that demands to be performed, to be experienced beyond the printed page…The language conveys the anger, bravado, fear, love, and wonder of boys coming of age in an urban African American community…Vocabulary, tone, and cultural references keep the collection from being traditional teen-angst poetry, but the language, format, and themes will appeal to teens willing to wrestle with poetry and to revel in language.”


  • “Through the voices of urban young men, this forceful collection of poems weaves threads of anger, frustration, sex, confidence, and pride through a gritty tapestry depicting life in Gary, Indiana…This portrayal of urban adolescence, told with such insight, skill, and honesty, is a powerful and important look at the very real challenges of many teens.”

    Children’s Literature

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About the Author

J. D. Jackson is a theater professor, aspiring stage director, and award-winning audiobook narrator. He is a classically trained actor, and his television and film credits include roles on House, ER, Law & Order, Hack, Sherrybaby, Diary of a City Priest, and Lucky Number Slevin. He is the recipient of more than a dozen Earphones Awards for narration and an Odyssey Honor for G. Neri’s Ghetto Cowboy, and he was also named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year for 2012 and 2013. An adjunct professor at Los Angeles Southwest College, he has an MFA in theater from Temple University.

About the Narrators

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and several AudioFile best narrations of the year selections. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.

Deon Graham is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.