Books by James McBride
NPR stories about James McBride
Forget the taped readings of yore. Today's audiobooks feature integrated musical performances, movie-quality sound effects and all-star casts of rotating narrators. Take a peek at the new world of listenable literature with AudioFile magazine founder Robin Whitten's list of four notable audiobooks from 2013.
NPR staff and critics selected more than 200 standout titles. Now it's up to you: Choose your own adventure! Use our tags to search through books and find the perfect read for yourself or someone else.
A visibly shocked James McBride picked up the fiction prize for his novel The Good Lord Bird about a young slave who joins up with abolitionist John Brown. The nonfiction award was won by George Packer for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.
On Tuesday night, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night.
James McBride's The Good Lord Bird follows 10-year-old ex-slave Henry, known as "the Onion," as he travels with abolitionist John Brown. Reviewer Bobbi Booker says the book "provides a new perspective on one of the most decisive periods in the history of this country."
In 1857, John Brown liberates 12-year-old Henry from his master. There's only one problem: Brown is so wrapped up in his freedom mission, he thinks Henry is a girl. James McBride delivers a portrait of Brown and his friend Frederick Douglass as Henry sees them.
NPR's Barrie Hardymon has been scanning the catalogs all year, searching for the summer's best books. Her five favorites range from young-adult fiction to a memoir about cheese.
Best known for his memoir, The Color of Water, James McBride tackles the subject of slavery in the new novel Song Yet Sung. Set a decade before the Civil War, it is the story of a runaway slave who has visions of the future.