2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten
In addition to the full list of 2014 titles, the committee selected the following recordings as its top ten:
- Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi, read by Sunil Malhotra. Listening Library, 2013. 6 hours, 4 minutes; 5 discs. 978-0-804-16678-2.
Rabi, Miguel, and Joe launch a stealth investigation into a meat-packing corporation's greedy plot, which has inadvertently caused a zombie apocalypse. Sunil Malhotra’s narration makes this a funny and scary listen for tweens and teens.
- Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quirk. Hachette Audio, 2013. 8 hours, 55 minutes; Digital download. 978-1-6196-9316-6.
Exasperated with her unladylike behavior, Sophronia’s mother sends her off to a mysterious finishing school filled with spies and assassins. A spectrum of oddball characters are voiced by Moira Quirk with panache and whimsy.
- William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher, read by a full cast. Listening Library, 2013. 3 hours, 29 minutes; Digital download. 978-0-8041-9180-7.
The original Star Wars movie is retold in iambic pentameter as if Shakespeare himself penned the tale. The full cast achieves a memorable interpretation complete with beeps and whistles and selections from the original score.
- If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan, read by Negin Farsad. High Bridge Audio, 2013. 5 hours, 15 minutes; 5 discs. 978-1-6223-1225-2.
In contemporary Iran, where same sex relationships are forbidden, Sahar discovers her beloved Nasrin is to be married. The news prompts Sahar to consider extreme measures to save their love. Negin Farsad beautifully communicates the nuances of the culture and language through her emotive delivery.
- Scowler by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne. Listening Library, 2013. 11 hours, 15 minutes, 9 discs. 978-03853-6837-7.
During a freak meteorite storm, Ry’s convict father escapes to terrorize his family. This triggers the return of Ry’s imaginary friends who once saved him from terrible abuse. In dark tones that range from whispers to screams, narrator Kirby Heyborne will haunt listeners with this tale of psychological and physical horror.
- The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson, read by Danny Burstein. Simon and Schuster Audio, 2013. 4 hours, 15 minutes; 4 discs. 978-1-4423-6765-4.
This memoir chronicles the survival of one of the youngest children on Schindler's list through his adult life in America. Danny Burstein’s understated yet powerful narration connects contemporary listeners to the horrific events of WWII and its aftermath.
- Viva Jacquelina!: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away (A Bloody Jack Adventure) by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. Listen and Live Audio, 2013. 10 hours, 8 discs. 978-1-5931-6635-9.
Dramatic exclamations, tender quiet moments, and Katherine Kellgren’s lovely singing voice return in this madcap audiobook that will leave listeners on the edge of their seats as Jacky leads a life of espionage in wartime Spain.
- Crap Kingdom by D.C. Pierson, read by D.C. Pierson. Blackstone, 2013. 7 hours, 41 minutes; 7 discs. 978-1-6246-0070-8.
With wit and humor, author D.C. Pierson's narration transports listeners to Crap Kingdom, an alternate universe where two friends are both selected as "The Chosen One," resulting in an epically hilarious battle.
- Dodger by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs. Dreamscape Audio, 2012. 10 hours, 31 minutes; 9 discs. 978-1-6112-0972-3.
Sewer rat Dodger’s life takes a sudden turn when he rescues a young woman from an attack, and goes from being a rascal to a hero. Stephen Briggs is the perfect narrator to express Pratchett’s dry British humor while painting a lively picture of Victorian London.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, read by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra. Listening Library, 2013. 9 hours; 7 discs. 978-0-385-36828-5.
Two outsiders--awkward, redheaded Eleanor and quiet, half-Korean Park--fall in love in 1986 Omaha, reading comics, sharing mix tapes, and braving the wrath of Eleanor’s terrifying stepfather. Lowman and Malhotra’s tender narration captures the emotional highs and lows of this sophisticated tale of first love.