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Find more Top 10 Middle-Grade Fiction on Audio
We applaud these recordings that capture the adventure, absurdity, curiosity, and wonder of the middle-grade years. Starred reviews of each appeared in Booklist from March 15, 2017, through April 1, 2019.
Black Panther: The Young Prince. By Ronald L. Smith. Read by Dion Graham. 2018. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $45 (9780525531319). Gr. 4–7.
Listening to Graham narrate is as good as being at the movies! Convincing voices, building suspense, and a satisfying conclusion create a captivating listening experience.
Harbor Me. By Jacqueline Woodson. Read by a full cast. 2018. 4hr. Listening Library, CD, $27 (9780525637936). Gr. 5–8.
A full cast, including the author and her daughter, brings to life six students sharing their deepest fears and struggling to find support and friendship. An appended interview between Woodson and her son is a special treat.
Lions & Liars. By Kate Beasley. Read by Robbie Daymond. 2018. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $45 (9781101915844). Gr. 4–7.
This rollicking recording of Beasley’s entertaining cringe-comedy about the misadventures of a bullied 10-year-old named Frederick Frederickson soars, thanks to Daymond’s energetic and funny narration.
A Long Line of Cakes. By Deborah Wiles. Read by Jenna Lamia. 2018. 7hr. Listening Library, DD, $50 (9781984838681). Gr. 4–6.
Baking, baseball, small-town controversies, the need for community, and the longing to be settled in one place are depicted in delectable prose with exquisite emotional connection in Lamia’s understated performance.
Louisiana’s Way Home. By Kate DiCamillo. Read by Cassandra Morris. 2018. 3.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $35 (9780525633914). Gr. 4–7.
Morris captures all of Louisiana’s emotional sincerity, insecurity, and innocence swirled with wonder, trust, hunger, disbelief, awe, and her heart’s desire to survive, as she becomes her own person and finds her way.
Nightbooks. By J. A. White. Read by Kirby Heyborne. 2018. 7.5hr. Harper, DD, $20.99 (9780062841988). Gr. 5–8.
A great introduction to the thrill of listening to Heyborne narrate a dark tale. His cadence and tone add an exaggerated element of suspense, and this familiar story’s undertones are made richer in Heyborne’s animation of White’s cast of characters.
See You in the Cosmos. By Jack Cheng. Read by a full cast. 2017. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $35 (9781524750022). Gr. 4–7.
Alex sends his audio recordings into space in search of a father he thought was dead. The premise is a natural fit for an audiobook, and the narrators hit it out of the park. Sound effects balance the narration and draw the listener into the setting.
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts. By Avi. Read by James Langton. 2017. 6.5hr. Recorded Books, CD, $66.75 (9781501953262). Gr. 5–7.
British narrator Langton reads Avi’s action-packed historical novel, set in 1724 England, with a captivating energy that matches the lively plot. Langton keeps listeners riveted.
The Wind in the Willows. By Kenneth Grahame. Read by Andrew Wincott. 2017. 7hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781520068572). Gr. 4–7.
An excellent narration introduces a new generation to this timeless story. Wincott wields the power of the spoken word to enliven the classic novel and employs a cadence perfectly matched to the pacing of the story.
The Wonderling. By Mira Bartók. Read by Simon Vance. 2017. 9.5hr. Brilliance, CD, $24.99 (9781536685640). Gr. 4–7.
This extraordinary fantasy debut, magnificently narrated by Vance, entrances. He is a true virtuoso, employing a seemingly endless supply of brogues, tics, and accents to voice the imaginative story’s many characters.
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