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Find more Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults
The Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults list, compiled annually by a committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association, is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases of interest to young adults, ages 12-18. The list was announced January 15, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting.
An Abundance of Katherines. 7hr. Brilliance, CD, $82.25.
Colin has been dumped by his nineteenth Katherine and is no longer a “child prodigy” and definitely not an adult genius. His wisecracking buddy decides that the cure for Colin’s blues is to take a summer road trip. The smart, quirky characters come to life through reader Jeff Woodman’s gentle, thoughtful interpretation.
Before I Die. 7hr. Listening Library, CD, $50.
Tessa is dying of cancer and has only a short time to live. Through humor and pain, Tessa lists things she must do before she dies—sex, drugs, breaking the law—but the list starts to change as Tessa finds that there are more important things she wants to experience. Charlotte Parry captures every range of emotion that Tessa experiences.
The Black Tattoo. 14hr. Listening Library, CD, $50.
This intricate fantasy is partly set in modern London and partly set in hell. Jack follows his friend Charlie into hell in an attempt to save him. Jack, Charlie, and Esme are pitted against the evil Scourge. If they fail, it will be the end of the universe and life. John Lee creates a cast of unique characters.
Bloody Jack. 8hr. Listen and Live, CD, $29.95.
Jacky is quickly becoming a respected ship’s boy aboard the HMS Dolphin but has a secret that she is struggling to keep from everyone onboard—she is not a boy. Katherine Kellgren’s cockney accent brings this rousing tale to life.
Cupid. 5.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $45.
Julius Lester retells the story of Cupid and Psyche in his own inimitable fashion. Stephen McKinley Henderson is completely into his role as storyteller—funny, dramatic, ironic, and delighted to tell the tale.
Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature. 6.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $45.
Ostracized by her friends for doing what she thought was right, Mena—in studying evolution—finds that she can fight for what she believes in. Kaili Vernoff’s voice is appropriately young and sweet and shows growth as Mena finds her way.
Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood. 9hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
Members of the Sisterhood spend the summer apart from each other, but somehow the pants bring them back together again. A flawless reading infused with true humor and emotion.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 21hr. Listening Library, CS, $90; CD, $90.
In his seventh and final year at Hogwarts, Harry and friends decide not to return, bound by Professor Dumbledore’s dying wish to find and destroy the Horcruxes where He Who Cannot Be Named has stored the pieces of his soul. Once again, Jim Dale does not disappoint—a tour de force.
I Am the Messenger. 9hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
The mystery begins when Ed Kennedy receives cards in the mail that help him change people’s lives. Marc Eden Gray’s Australian accent and personality make this a wonderful audiobook.
Jazz. 43min. Live Oak, CS, $25.95; CD, $28.95.
Original music enhances each poem performed by James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas in Walter Dean Myers’ rhythmic tribute to jazz.
Life as We Knew It. 9hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
After a meteor collides with the moon and pushes it closer to the earth, the lives of Miranda and her family change drastically. Emily Bauer reads this funny, frightening, realistic story of survival, family, and hope.
Mao’s Last Dancer. 9hr. Bolinda, CD, $64.
Li Cunxin’s life story as a ballet dancer under Mao’s control at the Beijing Dance Academy is a moving and fantastic exploration of one man’s determination to find freedom. Paul English’s flawless performance enhances this beautiful and simple story.
Mimus. 12.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $70.
Prince Florin is taken prisoner by a neighboring kingdom and forced to become a court jester. Maxwell Caulfield’s charming accent adds texture and excitement through his great characterizations and varied storytelling.
The Off Season. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $45.
Things are looking up for D. J. Schwenk, the football-playing heroine of Red Bend, Wisconsin, but suddenly “a whole herd of trouble” comes her way. With her sweet voice, upbeat delivery, and Midwest accent, reader Natalie Moore is D. J.
Peak. 7.5hr. Recorded Books, CS, $51.75; CD, $66.75.
Peak Marcello joins his father on an expedition to Mount Everest in hopes of becoming the youngest person to reach the summit. Ramon de Ocampo puts listeners right in the middle of the action.
The Rules of Survival. 8.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $38.
This is a tale of a family trying to survive while in the clutches of an abusive mother. Daniel Passer’s calm, measured voice allows listeners to share in the struggles.
Samurai Shortstop. 7hr. Listening Library, CS, $40; CD, $50.
Toyo is being groomed to become a leader of the new Japan, but he feels drawn to the Bushido code of the samurai. Arthur Morey’s narration comes alive as he delivers the baseball play-by-play with the excitement and enthusiasm of a modern commentator.
Skulduggery Pleasant. 7.5hr. Harper, CD, $27.95.
Rupert Degas fleshes out a cast of characters, including a “tweenage” girl, nefarious villains, and a skeleton detective. Music and sound effects mirror the mood of this bone-rattling mystery.
Soul Eater: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Book 3. 7hr. Recorded Books, CS, $51.75; CD, $66.75.
Kidnapped by Soul Eaters, Wolf is taken to the desolate, freezing Far North, leaving Torak and Renn to fight for their survival while trying to save their pack brother. Ian McKellen weaves this Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series tale.
Thirteen Reasons Why. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $45.
Hannah Baker has left a message—for Clay and others who made her life so unbearable that she felt she had no choice but to end it. This book excels as an audio, with two accomplished readers taking a very moving story and making it fly.
Treasure Island. 7hr. Listening Library, CD, $55.
Stevenson’s pirate classic elegantly unfolds as Alfred Molina’s panoply of accents and the soundscape of the sea place listeners aboard the Hispaniola.
Wintersmith. 7.5hr. Harper, CD, $29.95.
“Crivens!” Tiffany Aching has danced with the Wintersmith, and he is determined to have her for his bride. Stephen Briggs reads quickly, keeping the story at a breakneck pace.
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