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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Historical Fiction Audiobooks for Youth
These diverse titles from the past two years demonstrate that historical fiction works especially well in audio, allowing young listeners to experience different eras, characters, and events through readers who enliven the settings and stories.
All the Truth That’s in Me. By Julie Berry. Read by Kathleen McInerney. 2013. 8hr. Dreamscape, CD, $59.99 (9781624069178). Gr. 9–12.
McInerney slowly builds tempo in this moving story of Judith, kidnapped and mutilated four years earlier, who struggles to find her place in an isolated colonial village.
The Case of the Deadly Desperados. By Caroline Lawrence. Read by T. Sands. 2012. 7hr. Listening Library, CD, $50 (9780307968838). Gr. 4–6.
With an over-the-top twang, Sands deftly builds suspense in this action-packed western, which opens as 12-year-old P. K. Pinkerton discovers his foster parents have been murdered.
Code Name Verity. By Elizabeth Wein. Read by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell. 2012. 10hr. Brilliance/Bolinda, CD, $59.97 (9781742857640). Gr. 9–12.
Narrators Christie and Gaskell masterfully portray young British agents in this tension-filled tale of the horrors of WWII.
Crow. By Barbara Wright. Read by J. D. Jackson. 2013. 7.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $45 (9780804123952). Gr. 9–12.
Through his portrayal of young Moses and the racial tensions in the post-Civil War South, Jackson connects listeners to the characters and imbues the words with a solemnity that underscores the importance of the Wilmington riots in 1898.
Into That Forest. By Louis Nowra. Read by Lisbeth Kennelly. 2013. 6hr. Brilliance, CD, $49.97 (9781480544185). Gr. 5–8.
Kennelly’s scratchy voice confides elderly Hannah’s amazing story of being stranded with her friend Becky in the wilds of nineteenth-century Tasmania and adopted by fierce but protective tigers.
P.S. Be Eleven. By Rita Williams-Garcia. Read by Sisi Aisha Johnson. 2013. 6hr. Recorded Books, CD, $66.75 (9781470361839). Gr. 4–7.
Johnson’s heartfelt narration transports listeners to 1960s Brooklyn and the Gaither sisters. Letters from Delphine’s mother in California elucidate the title: Don’t grow up too fast.
Shadow on the Mountain. By Margi Preus. Read by Jeff Woodman.2013. 6hr. Recorded Books, CD, $66.75 (9781470326142). Gr. 6–9.
In this harrowing tale of a young Resistance fighter in Nazi-occupied Norway, Woodman’s reading highlights periods of building tension and heart-stopping action.
Splendors and Glooms. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Read by Davina Porter. 2012. 12hr. Recorded Books, CD, $108.75 (9781449835729). Gr. 4–8.
Porter’s impeccable reading reflects the atmospheric blend of suspense, gritty realism, and magic in this imaginative tale which opens at Clara’s 12th birthday party.
Will Sparrow’s Road. By Karen Cushman. Read by Katherine Kellgren. 2012. 5hr. Listening Library, CD, $30 (9780449014707). Gr. 5–7.
Will Sparrow joins a troupe of Elizabethan players and finds adventure on the road. Kellgren creates individual voices and personalities for the diverse cast.
Yellow Star. By Jennifer Roy. Read by Tavia Gilbert. 2012. 3hr. Brilliance, CD, $49.97 (9781469215266). Gr. 5–8.
This free-verse Holocaust tale follows nine-year-old Sylvia, one of only 12 children among the 800 Polish Jews rescued after Nazi guards fled approaching Allied armies. Gilbert’s youthful tones match Sylvia’s growth in this compelling tale.
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