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April 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
The top 10 choices are indicated by a star.
Ball Don’t Lie. By Matt de la Peña. Read by Dion Graham. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $40.
Seventeen-year-old Sticky has bounced from one foster home to another, but basketball will always be his refuge. Graham’s smooth narration plays up Sticky’s passion and potential for the sport while also hinting at his personal demons.
The Beast Is an Animal. By Peternelle van Arsdale. Read by Candace Thaxton. 2017. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $29.99.
In a world where soul eaters roam the countryside and evil is very real, Alys finds herself drawn to the very forest where the Beast makes its home. Thaxton’s narration is well paced and haunting, adding to the fairy-tale feel of the story.
Benjamin Franklin You’ve Got Mail. By Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel. Read by Nick Podehl and others. 2017. Brilliance Audio, CD, $54.97.
Time travel and America’s Founding Fathers get a hilarious skewering as seventh-grader Ike Saturday vows to save America. Podehl, Tom Parks, and Lauren Ezzo perform this caper with youthful humor and lively snark, appealing to young teens who relish broad comedy.
La Belle Sauvage. By Phillip Pullman. Read by Michael Sheen. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $60.
This fantastic tale, the first volume in the Book of Dust series, features young boy named Malcolm and his daemon, who live a simple life until the day Malcolm discovers a secret message. Blending a haunting and literary story with Sheen’s deep, rhythmic voice, this is a mesmerizing and vivid audiobook. A 2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook.
Dear Martin. By Nic Stone. Read by Dion Graham. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $38.
Justyce McAllister is a high-school senior whose best friend is killed in a senseless crime. After the incident, Justyce is under trial in the eyes of the public. Graham flawlessly invokes the different personalities of the high-school students.
Denton Little’s Still Not Dead. By Lance Rubin. Read by the author. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $50.
Denton Little is on the run from the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), which wants to know why he lived past his death date, but it doesn’t stop him from figuring out family secrets, cracking jokes, and trying to hook up with his best friend’s sister. The author’s knowledge of the text makes his narration shine, and the sf premise doesn’t stop this audio from being laugh-out-loud funny.
*Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. By J. K. Rowling. Read by Eddie Redmayne. 2017. Pottermore, DD, $45.
Not just an encyclopedic reference for Hogwarts’ students but a real listening treat as Redmayne describes the history of each beast and provides notes in a slightly different voice.
*Flying Lessons & Other Stories. By Ellen Oh. Read by the author and others. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $30.
This audio brings to life a funny, colorful, unique, and introspective anthology, written by some of the best YA and children’s authors and read by authors and great narrators. Selections from these diverse storytellers make fine introductions to their work.
*The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. By Mackenzi Lee. Read by Christian Coulson. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $59.99.
During a grand tour of Europe that goes horribly awry, Henry “Monty” Montague must reconcile his roguish habits with his growing love for childhood-friend Percy. Coulson perfectly characterizes Monty’s vices and virtues in this romantic, swashbuckling, eighteenth-century adventure.
Genuine Fraud. By E. Lockhart. Read by Rebecca Soler. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $50.
Imogen and Jule are the best of friends, but soon, mystery, murder, and lies lead to an exciting, unforgettable ending. Soler adds to the suspense with her pacing, and she deftly narrates various characters.
Girls Who Code. By Reshma Saujani. Read by the author. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $27.
The cover of this audiobook promises you can learn to code and change the world—and it lives up to that lofty promise. Narrated by the author, who founded the Girls Who Code movement, this audiobook will leave listeners inspired and informed.
Goodbye Days. By Jeff Zenter. Read by Michael Crouch. 2017. Macmillan Audio, CD, $55.
Carver Briggs has to deal not only with the grief of losing his three best friends but also the legal ramifications and emotional distress of how a text message he sent may have resulted in their deaths. Crouch handles this novel full of emotional intensity with care.
*The Hate U Give. By Angie Thomas. Read by Bahni Turpin. 2017. HarperAudio, CD, $39.99.
Racial tensions build after Starr Carter witnesses her childhood friend Khalil killed by a police officer. Turpin’s performance of this gripping story is unadulterated perfection. The 2018 Odyssey Award Winner.
Heartless. By Marissa Meyer. Read by Rebecca Soler. 2016. Dreamscape Media, CD, $39.99.
Sure, everybody knows who the most heartless character in Wonderland is—but did you ever wonder how the Queen of Hearts got that way? Soler, who also narrated the author’s Lunar Chronicles, teams up with author Meyer again and brings Wonderland and its host of characters to life.
*Honor Girl. By Maggie Thrash. Read by a full cast. 2017. Dreamscape Media, CD, $29.99.
In this graphic-novel memoir, 15-year-old Maggie returns to summer camp. After falling in love with her counselor, Erin, Maggie struggles to fit within the lines defined by the camp and the people associated with it. Voiced by a full cast, this audio includes background sounds, which make it a fully immersive listening experience.
*The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. By Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Read by Robbie Daymond. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $60.
It’s Sal’s senior year, and he is struggling with his future, his family, and his best friend. Daymond’s narration amplifies all of Sal’s emotions and feelings, taking the reader on an emotional listening journey.
Kill All Happies. By Rachel Cohn. Read by Lauren Ezzo. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $29.99.
Victoria “Vic” Navarro is determined to give the seniors of Rancho Soldado one last party they won’t forget. When the night begins to veer off course, Vic must decide whether to try to fix the problems or give up and join in the fun. Ezzo captures the sarcasm and acerbic banter with a seamless delivery and impeccable timing.
Long Way Down. By Jason Reynolds. Read by the author. 2017. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD, $9.99.
In 60 seconds of elevator time, a young man fixated on revenge learns all the reasons why he should not follow his instincts. Using poetry read by the author in a stylistic, free-verse manner, Long Way Down will rock your eye-for-an-eye world. A 2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook.
A Million Junes. By Emily Henry. Read by Julia Whelan. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $55.
When Jack “June” O’Donnell strikes up a friendship with the one person her parents have always told her to stay away from, she sets in motion a series of events that could change everything she knows about herself, her past, and her future. Whelan’s nuanced narration fills this poignant and magical story with emotion.
Once and for All. By Sarah Dessen. Read by Karissa Vacker. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $60.
Love is found in all sorts of places, including weddings, but romance built on tragedy is an unexpected occurrence. Dessen fans will love the plots twists and gradual background reveal through flashbacks, read so naturally by Vacker.
Patina. By Jason Reynolds. Read by Heather Alicia Simms. 2017. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD, $49.99.
On the track team, Patty runs to win, but running also helps her escape all that she’s juggling in her young life. Simms’ animated delivery portrays a relatable young teen who tackles challenges with brass and determination.
*The Pearl Thief. By Elizabeth Wein. Read by Maggie Service. 2017. Bolinda Audio, CD, $14.99.
After teenager Julie Beaufort-Stuart, the unforgettable heroine from Wein’s Code Name Verity, loses her grandfather and must help pack up her family’s ancestral estate, she is entangled in the mysterious disappearance of a London professor and her family’s collection of Scottish river pearls. Julie’s vivacity, love, and quest for justice are brought to life through Service’s captivating narration.
*Scythe. By Neal Shusterman. Read by Greg Tremblay. 2017. Brilliance Audio, CD, $20.
Citra and Rowan reluctantly compete to become a scythe, or professional grim reaper. The one who wins must kill the other. Tremblay’s superbly nuanced reading imbues the concept of death with an unexpected sense of grace.
See You in the Cosmos. By Jack Cheng. Read by a full cast. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $35.
Alex Petroski is 11 years old, and he loves space, Carl Sagan, and his dog (also named Carl Sagan). When he sets out on a trip across the U.S., he’s determined to find answers about his family and record what life is like on Earth for other lifeforms. A full cast, led by Kivlighan de Montebello, brings this funny and sweet story to life.
Solo. By Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. Read by Kwame Alexander. 2017. Zondervan, CD, $39.99.
Seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison is a talented musician who learns a truth that sends him on trip of self-discovery to Africa. Alexander’s delivery is fantastic, and Randy Preston’s music takes the production to another level.
Spellslinger. By Sebastien de Castell. Read by Joe Jameson. 2017. Bolinda, CD, $9.99.
When Kellan, son of a powerful mage family, shows no signs of magical ability by age 16, he must rely on trickery and a band of ragtag accomplices to survive mounting dangers. Jameson’s performance perfectly captures the motley crew of characters and events in this richly imagined and laugh-out-loud adventure.
*The Sun Is Also a Star. By Nicola Yoon. Read by Bahni Turpin and others. 2016. Listening Library, CD, $40.
Fact-loving girl meets poetry-writing dreamer in this anything-but-typical love story. Turpin’s, Dominic Hoffman’s, and Raymond Lee’s distinct voices prevent the shifting perspectives from becoming confusing and add even more layers to the already rich story.
*Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom. By Lynda Blackmon Lowery. Read by Damaras Obi. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $20.
Lowery’s compelling memoir recalls her teenage activism in the 1960s. Obi reads with a conviction and urgency that bring the civil rights movement to life and underscore its relevance today.
Turtles All the Way Down. By John Green. Read by Kate Rudd. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $35.
Aza, a teenage girl who suffers from anxiety, reluctantly looks into the disappearance of a childhood friend’s publicly disgraced, missing father, while her best friend, Daisy, encourages a romance between Aza and that childhood friend. Rudd narrates Aza’s anxiety with fortitude and honesty and Daisy with humor and wit.
Undefeated. By Steve Sheinkin. Read by Mark Bramhall. 2017. Listening Library, CD, $40.
In 1904, Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner join together to make the Carlisle Indian Industrial School’s football team a force to be reckoned with. Bramhall’s narration breathes life into a book that is more than a story about a football team.
Who Killed Christopher Goodman? By Allan Wolf. Read by Jesse Lee and others. 2017. Brilliance Audio, CD, $16.99.
The alternating viewpoints of Doc Chestnut, the sleepwalker; Squib Kaplan, the genius; Hunger McCoy, the good ol’ boy; Hazel Turner, the farm girl; Mildred Penny, the stamp collector; and, occasionally, the murderer himself drive this tragic tale. The cast adds distinct qualities to each character, especially Squib and Hazel.
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