Cover Image: Rise!


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Member Reviews

Rise! is a biography of Maya Angelou for elementary and middle grade children. The audiobook reader has a lovely, soothing voice and the accompanying background noise does a beautiful job transporting the listener to where the story takes place. The reader even manages to make reading a timeline, which can be dry material indeed, captivating. A lot of information is included in this short biography, but it is well organized and presented in a way that will not overwhelm young listeners and will keep them engaged. The hardships and mistreatment Maya Angelou experienced are not omitted but used as an example of the value of perseverance.
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This is a powerful book with a powerful message that children need to hear.  This biography tells the basics of Maya Angelou's life and how she overcame tremendous obstacles to become a beloved, highly influential woman,  Although it is a picture book, it is geared more toward middle grade students. It is written in such a way that doors would be opened for meaningful discussions and conversations.
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This audiobook was received as an ARC from Publisher Spotlight Audio - Live Oak Media in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I have read many times of I Know Where The Caged Bird Sings and since this world has been filled with racial adversity and celebrating the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, this book is perfect to educate the younger generation on what it was like for Maya growing up and how you should always fight for what you believe in and never give up no matter how difficult the situation is. I loved the background music and singing. It really brought the story to life and painted a picture for me as a librarian it really opened my eyes to how society has been reacting to the world and it motivates me to attempt to make a difference no matter the situation. Rise! reminded me of why I love what I love what I do and how I make a difference in all the people that visit the library.

We will consider adding this title to our J Audiobook collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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Rise is a beautifully developed story of the late great Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus. I reviewed this as an audio book and was delighted. The narration by Cherise Booth was smooth with perfect high and low pitch. I sat with a cup of tea, closed my eyes and just listened. The author’s story and the narrator’s voice allowed me to envision the life of Maya Angelou with ease. An added bonus was hearing Maya’s voice in the background at times. The book could be a great teaching tool which can lead to discussions about abuse, racism, and civil rights. Maya did rise. She rose up despite everything she was up against and she did it with grace and courage. 
As is, I would caution to market the book as a children’s book. Dr. Angelou’s life was peppered with tragedy and heartache and some events are not appropriate for young ears. Although the story is told with truth, it would be best for parents to exercise caution with some of the verbiage. 
I am thankful to NetGalley, Live Oak Media, and Bethany Hegedus for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I've been so enjoying this audiobook. A walkthrough Maya Angelou's biography, through her difficult days in the south, early motherhood and entertainment career, to her work with Malcolm X and activism. Today too many remember her mostly as a poet, but that's only one aspect of her talent, heart and life. While this is technically children's nonfiction, it's a great book at any age. 


From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou (CD Only)

By #BethanyHegedus 
Illus. by #TonyaEngel

Available now

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This review was the most difficult for me to write . I’ve ever written. I don’t know when I’ve been so excited for a book - Maya Angelou has long been my hero. Thus, I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m sure that as a printed book, it’s probably wonderful and I would have a very different review. But … I am tasked with reviewing the audiobook …
It’s heartbreaking to say, but for me, this just doesn’t work as an audiobook. Without the accompanying illustrations, the text is floating, untethered and out of context. The voice actor has a lovely voice but the “story” just didn’t flow. The sound effects are annoying and it took me two or three listenings to figure out what most of them were. The very end, when the listener can here Angelou herself reading the lines of her inaugural poem, was thrilling. I got goosebumps hearing her stunning and eloquent voice. But that was the only high moment for me. 
With all of this in mind, I am going to seek out the print version because I am very interested to see this in what I imagine to be all of its glory.
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Gorgeous and compelling tribute to Maya Angelou- wisdom to be passed down generation to generation.  The narrator did beautifully and listening to this while out walking was therapeutic.
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Rise! is a beautifully expressive and age appropriate short biography of Poet Laureate Maya Angelou by author/educator Bethany Hegedus. Released 20th Aug 2021 by Live Oak Media, it's currently available in audiobook format and is in pre-release for print format.

Aimed at elementary school readers (~7-10 years), the author does a really good job of presenting the often tragic realities of young Maya's life. Dr. Angelou certainly rose above the problems and constraints of her early life, but her upbringing left indelible marks and shaped the person she became. Ms. Hegedus doesn't shy away from the truth, but does so in an age appropriate and sensitive way. 

The audiobook has a run time of 30 minutes, 59 seconds and includes an enhanced soundtrack with sound effects like chickens, cable-car bells in San Francisco, and background speech and voices. It's beautifully and capably narrated by Cherise Boothe. Her voice is rich and warm. She manages to imbue the different characters' voices with individuality, and I had no at all trouble following along.

This would be a superlative choice for public or school library acquisition, classroom use, or home library. Although it's clearly aimed at younger readers, it would be a good choice for listeners of all ages who wish to learn about Dr. Angelou's life.

Five stars for the book, five for the voicework. Stellar.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Written for all ages, Rise! is a biographical portrait of Maya Angelou that tells a story of her life, encompassing triumphs, adversity, and heartbreaks. Where the text is presented as poetry in the picture book, it comes across as poetical prose when read aloud. Sensitively written, parents may wish to preview the text of the book before sharing with younger children.

With a cover image that is at once exuberant and dignified, the narration by Cherise Booth reflects the visual mood of this book. With a voice that is mature and comforting, the pace and cadence is just right for listening at regular speed and multiple times.

Ending with a timeline of Maya Angelou's life, this is an enjoyable biography that includes quite a few things that I did not know about her. Well worth a listen an/or a read. Recommended.

This review refers to a temporary audiobook galley I voluntarily listened to via NetGalley, courtesy of Publisher Spotlight Audio and Live Oak Media. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
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Absolutely loved Rise! The narrator's voice was easy to listen to and provided the perfect amount of inflection and emphasis.  I would definitely use this as a read aloud in the classroom.
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I listened to the audiobook of this beautifully written biography of Maya Angelou, which doesn't shy away from (but doesn't graphically recount) some of the mistreatment of Angelou's childhood. What a powerful introduction this would be for young readers.

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed the short story of learning about Maya Angelou's life. It was very informative and written very well. I love the narration and the background music and everything. I actually learned a lot that I was never taught in school about her and I look forward to sharing this with my kids.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved getting to know more about this amazing author. Recommend to all, even those who don't know about her.
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I’m struggling to rate children’s books on the same scale as the books I read! So instead, I’ll place them in one of 3 categories: Buy, Maybe, Don’t Buy.

I was given a free copy of the audiobook for Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People Maya Angelou in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked
❤️The sound effects helped me feel like I was walking alongside Maya Angelou! They helped me really get into the poetry.
❤️Having not studied her before, I learned a LOT about Maya Angelou’s life.

What Could Be Better
❌The pauses between the stanzas made the audiobook feel a bit choppy, which made my listening feel less natural.
❌The benefit of sound effects meant I lost out on seeing the illustrations.

Overall, I’m placing this in the Maybe category. I think this audiobook would be best if it was used as a companion with the illustrated children’s book. It has the potential to spark great conversations between adults and the kids they read this with!

CW: This book does deal with Angelou’s childhood sexual assault. I believe the book deals with this hard subject in an age appropriate way. As a teacher and children’s ministry director, I know how important it is to talk about this topic with children. Because of the content in this book, I’d highly recommend children read it for the first time with a trusted adult, not by themselves. This may be a great starting point for conversations that lead to prevention and advocation!
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This is a beautiful summary of the life of Maya Angelou. Although Dr. Angelou's life was not easy, she worked to make a good life for herself and her child. She had many talents, was a gifted speaker and motivator, and she rose above all the obstacles in her life to become one of the most influential, African-American women in recent history. This audiobook was a quick summary of her extraordinary life and it does a fine job of giving a small glimpse into the struggles and successes of Dr. Angelou. I would highly recommend this audiobook as an introduction to learning more about Dr. Angelou and then move into her own works to get a complete understanding of what she offered to the world. She was a phenomenal woman.
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4 stars. This is a wonderful retelling of Maya Angelou's story. I listened to the audio production and it was fantastic! I would imagine reading and listening would offer a heightened experience for young readers and children. Review to come.
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I listened to this with 5 year old, 9-yo, and 14 year old girls. The 14 year old seemed to especially like it. She felt like the transition from childhood to adult was a little too abrupt. 

The narration and sound effects were engaging. And of course the story of Maya Angelou is inspiring. The timeline at the end is interesting but the format didn't seem right for an audio book. Based on the cover, I can imagine that the physical book would be a lovely companion to the audio.
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Thanks to Publisher Spotlight Audio/Live Oak Media for an advanced listening copy of this book. 

There's not a lot to say about this one, but I really enjoyed the narration. I highly recommend having a physical copy of the book in front of you while listening to the audiobook because the illustrations are stunning. Another great addition for school and classroom libraries. 

#Rise #NetGalley
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A beautiful non-fiction picture book about the life of Maya Angelou; from her lowest moments to the climax of her life as she rises to the top!
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This audiobook is a fantastic listening experience! The story of Maya Angelou's life is paired with many auditory aids, which add another layer to the story which children are sure to appreciate. The audiobook plays sounds in the background such as train whistles, creeks running, and jazz music, as they pair with the story. These aids make the audiobook more interesting, and more entertaining to listen to.

The narrators voice is a bit robotic throughout the audiobook, especially when listening at 2x speed (as I always do.) I'm not sure if this is reflective of the actual audiobook, or if the file quality decreased a bit when uploaded to Netgalley.

Overall I highly enjoyed this audiobook! Thank you for the ARC!
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