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Find more Top 10 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
The full 2021 Amazing Audiobooks list consists of 81 titles published in 2020 selected from 149 official nominations. The full list, with annotations and discussion about the titles, is available online at The Hub All items are downloads unless noted. An asterisk indicates an Odyssey Award or Honor title.
Cemetery Boys. By Aiden Thomas. Read by Avi Roque. 13.5h. Macmillan Audio, $26.99 (9781250619129).
Roque, a Latinx/trans/nonbinary narrator, brings distinctions to Thomas’ fantastic characters.
*Clap When You Land. By Elizabeth Acevedo. Read by the author and Melania-Luisa Marte. 5.5hr. Harper, $29.99 (9780063011816).
Clap When You Land is a novel in verse about two sisters who learn about each other after their father’s death. In alternating chapters, the lyrical and expressive tones of these spoken-word performers are beautifully balanced. Listeners experience the pain and joy of the sisters as they reconcile and share their family stories.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Book 1. By Holly Jackson. Read by a full cast. 11h. Listening Library, $69.99 (9780593155264).
The full-cast narration with sound effects draws the listener in as Pip uncovers some shocking secrets.
*Kent State. By Deborah Wiles. Read by a full cast. 2h. Scholastic Audio, $19.99 (9781338636352).
2021 Odyssey Award Winner. Kent State uses alternating voices to convey the experiences behind the shootings at Kent State on May 4, 1970, with one goal: to ask us to listen. Original music by Jim Pearce and vivid sound effects combine with the narration to create an immersive, thought-provoking, and immediate experience for any listener. “The variety of perspectives, along with an excellently produced soundscape, invites audiences to critical examine a tragic, historic event with distinct relevance today,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Maryanne Olson.
Legendborn. By Tracy Deonn. Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. 19h. Simon & Schuster Audio, $18.99 (9781797113463).
Abbot-Pratt’s skillful narration is masterful in this fast-paced, action-filled tale.
Raybearer. By Jordan Ifueko. Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. 14h. Blackstone, MP3 $29.99 (9781094149189).
Abbott-Pratt notably gives voice to varying accents, cultures, and musical instruments.
The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party. By Allan Wolf. Read by a full cast. 10h. Brilliance Audio, CD, $61.97 (9781713547983).
Narrated by many voices in poems, prayers, and essays, this is a story of survival made stark.
*Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Read by the authors. 4h. Hachette, $24.98 (9781549184253).
This compelling remix of Kendi’s academic work sets a new standard for nonfiction audio production. In sections framed by dynamic music, Reynolds delivers a conversational and riveting performance about the history of racism and antiracism that connects contemporary listeners to the past.
We Are Not Free. By Traci Chee. Read by a full cast. 10.5h. HMH, $19.95 (9780358343561).
Narration by a cast of voices brings distinction to the fourteen characters’ often heart-wrenching stories of disenfranchisement.
*When Stars Are Scattered. By Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. Read by a full cast. 3.5h. Listening Library, $38 (9780593162590).
Intimately experience the challenges, hopes, and dreams of Omar; his younger brother, Hassan; and other children in a Somalian Refugee camp in Kenya. Based on a true story, this audio adaptation of the original graphic novel is a masterful collage of voices and ambient sound effects.
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