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Find more Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. 4hr. Recorded Books, CS, $33.75; CD, $46.75.
A fledgling cartoonist, Arnold “Junior” Spirit, leaves his Spokane Indian reservation high school after throwing his 30-year-old geometry textbook at his teacher. Reading his own work with appropriate pacing and true emotion, Alexie explores major issues of belonging, community, life and death, and the value of friendship. The 2009 Odyssey Award winner.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox. 7.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $29.95.
Her parents tell her that she has just awoken from a coma after a terrible accident, but Jenna Fox doesn’t remember anything about her life. Narrator Jenna Lamia brilliantly brings to life one of the most empty—literally—young women in fiction.
The Burn Journals. 8hr. Recorded Books, CS, $56.75; CD, $77.75.
At age 14, Brent Runyon set himself on fire; this is the true story of his emotional and physical recovery from that darkness. The pain, joy, and fear of Brent’s ordeal are flawless in Christopher Evan Welch’s narration.
A Clockwork Orange. 8hr. Harper, CD, $34.95.
High on milk-plus and teen hormones, Alex happily leads his mates on a rampage of ultra-violence. Arrested and imprisoned, he agrees to be “cured”; the cost is his free will. Tom Hollander breathes life into Alex and his world in an amazing performance, helping listeners easily comprehend the “nadsat” language.
The Compound. 6hr. Brilliance, CS, $69.25; CD, $74.25.
Eli’s billionaire father built the Compound to protect his family from nuclear devastation. Six years have passed and Eli finally begins to question his reality. Christopher Lane’s well-paced narration adds to the pulse-pounding intensity of this nonstop thrill ride.
Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. 14hr. Listen and Live, CD, $29.95.
Mary “Jacky” Faber spent a year at sea facing life-and-death situations, but becoming a “Fine Lady” at the Lawson Peabody School for Girls will be her toughest challenge yet. This rousing historical tale is brought to vivid life through Katherine Kellgren’s expert narration. A 2009 Odyssey Honor title.
The Declaration. 7hr. Recorded Books, CS, $67.75; CD, $97.75.
It’s 2140 and Anna is a Surplus, an unwanted child forced into slavery. With Peter’s arrival, she learns that everything she knows is wrong, and her journey back home begins. Charlotte Parry’s unique and genuine accents make the characters shine in this thrilling story.
Elijah of Buxton. 9hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
Mirron Willis’ enthralling, richly authentic narration of Christopher Paul Curtis’ award-winning novel transports listeners to a historic Canadian settlement of former slaves as 11-year-old Elijah Freeman confronts the realities of slavery. A 2009 Odyssey Honor title.
Fairest. 8hr. Full Cast, CD, $55.
Aza does not look like her fellow Ayorthans, but she can sing like them. Feeling huge and ugly, she somehow becomes the favorite of the new queen, sharing a secret that could bring down a kingdom and destroy Aza’s happiness. The Full Cast actors expertly read and sing the story of Aza and Ayortha—a country where beautiful music and singing are prized above everything.
The Graveyard Book. 8hr. Recorded Books, CS, $56.75; CD, $77.75.
Pursued by a knife-wielding killer, young orphan Bod Owens is taken in by the spirits of a graveyard. Wanting to learn about life beyond the cemetery gates, Bod must face the dangers that await him. Listeners cannot help but be captivated by Bod’s tale through the voice of master storyteller Neil Gaiman, who evokes the horror, humor, and heartbreak of an unusual boy raised by ghosts.
How to Build a House. 5hr. Listening Library, CD, $45.
Harper’s home and family are falling apart. To escape her father and stepsister, she joins a volunteer program to build a house for Teddy’s family, who lost their home in a tornado. Caitlin Greer gives voice to Harper who, as she helps one family build their house, starts to put her own life back together.
The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer. 7.5hr. Recorded Books, CS, $41.75; CD, $51.75.
In his third adventure as apprentice to Spook, young Tom Ward travels with him to Angelzarke for a long, cold winter. When Spook falls ill, Tom faces terrors on his own as he defends the County against the dark. Narrator Christopher Evan Welch creates a properly spooky and suspenseful atmosphere seen through the eyes of the naïve Tom.
Lock and Key. 11hr. Penguin, CD, $39.95.
Just shy of her 18th birthday, Ruby is forced to move in with her older sister Cora, who abandoned Ruby to their alcoholic mother 10 years earlier. In creating the character of Ruby, Rebecca Soler perfectly embodies a young adult woman—alternatively confident, scared, sarcastic, and tentatively affectionate.
Nation. 9.5hr. Harper, CD, $29.95.
Narrator Stephen Briggs’ crisp, precise British narration artfully enhances Terry Pratchett’s Nation, a survival story focusing on 13-year-old Mau and British teen Daphne, the sole survivors of a tsunami. A 2009 Odyssey Honor title.
Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools. 8.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
On the eve of her 17th birthday, Princess Kerin is rescued from certain death by Sebastian, Cornelius, and Max the Buffalope. Chock full of action, humor, friendship, and loyalty, this adventure is epic storytelling at its best with Maxwell Caulfield in charge of the narration.
Skybreaker. 11.5hr. Full Cast, CD, $65.
Matt Cruse soars to new heights of adventure in pursuit of the Hyperion, a ghost ship carrying untold treasure at 20,000 feet. David Kelly and the Full Cast ensemble masterfully create engaging and unique characters that pull listeners into Matt’s high-flying world of excitement, adventure, and danger.
Slam. 7hr. Penguin, CD, $29.95.
Sam is a 16-year-old who admires skateboarder Tony Hawk and . . . gets his girlfriend pregnant. Nicholas Hoult nails the voice of Sam—immature, poignant, and funny—maturing through the story as listeners experience Sam’s life, including fatherhood.
Story of a Girl. 5hr. Listening Library, CD, $38.
Branded the “school skank” at age 13, Deanna feels isolated and puts on a tough exterior. Sara Zarr’s narration unveils the spare, powerful, and honest portrayal of a girl with a bad reputation.
Tallgrass. 8.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $29.95.
Rennie’s life is changed forever at age 13; her brother is fighting in World War II, and a Japanese internment camp opens near her small town. When a young girl is murdered, most of the townspeople believe the killer was someone from the camp. Lorelei King’s multidimensional voice brings the characters to life.
A Thousand Never Evers. 8hr. Listening Library, CD, $50.
It’s the summer of 1963, and 12-year-old Addie Ann Pickett lives on the black side of town in Kuckachoo, Mississippi. Kenya Brome has the perfect voice for Addie, her family, and the people of Kuckachoo, as she alternately expresses lighthearted optimism, tearful emotion, and an arrogant assumption of white superiority.
Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber. 15hr. Listen and Live, CD, $44.95.
When her reunion with Jaimy goes awry due to a misunderstanding, Jacky is pressed into service on the Wolverine. Katherine Kellgren captures the wonder of the “Cheapside orphan” who has journeyed to America and back, and undertakes new feats with daring, recklessness, and courage.
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