Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2016 Top Ten
What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 6 hours, 36 minutes; digital. 9781483030180. Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd, answers increasingly absurd questions from across the internet in a serious, scientific manner…usually. Wheaton’s inherent humor provides an enjoyable and captivating listening experience.
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, read by Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson. Hachette Audio, 2015. 10 hours, 30 minutes; digital. 9781478959830. Carly and Kaitlyn live in the same body - one is conscious during the day, the other comes out at night. Parry and Coulson’s performance takes this already creepy story and turns it into a spine-tingling nightmare. Don’t listen in the dark!
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, read Mark Bramhall, David De Vries, Macleod Andrews, and Rebecca Soler. Scholastic, 2014. 10 hours, 22 minutes; 9 discs. 9780545788373. Children from different times and places are connected by a mysterious harmonica. The various narrators complement the story with great pacing, and the musical accompaniments are dynamic and integral to the tale.
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, read by Kyla Garcia. Listening Library, 2015. 7 hours, 59 minutes; 7 discs. 9781101917039. Gabi Hernandez poetically chronicles everything from her best friend’s pregnancy to her father’s meth addiction to her own obsession with food. Garcia effortlessly incorporates the Spanish language and highlights the lyrical poetry found throughout the book.
Half Wild by Sally Green, read by Carl Prekopp. Listening Library, 2015. 9 hours, 30 minutes; 8 discs. 9781101891094. Nathan is determined to find his love, Annalise, while struggling with the magical gifts he has received from his reviled father. Prekopp’s intense narration, combined with a plethora of additional sound effects, makes for a compelling listen.
Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, read by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, Jonathan McClain. Listening Library, 2015. 11 hours, 41 minutes; 10 discs. 9781101916643. Upon surviving the obliteration of their planet, Kady and ex-boyfriend Ezra team up to reveal the truth behind the government’s lies. Amazing sound effects and a full cast of narrators grip listeners with action and heart.
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, read by January LaVoy. Listening Library, 2015. 20 hours, 13 minutes; 16 discs. 9780449808795. In the sparkling world of 1920’s New York, Evie, Sam, and the other Diviners are drawn into a gathering evil that is creeping into the dreams of unsuspecting sleepers. With haunting melodies and skillful accents from the Louisiana bayou to Chinatown, LaVoy pulls out all the stops for this stunning performance.
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, read by Kirby Heyborne. Blackstone Audio, 2015. 14 hours, 54 minutes; digital. 9781504634328. With time running short, Jacob must use his newfound Peculiar powers in order to rescue his friends and beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. Heyborne’s wide range of character voices, seamless incorporation of text cues, and sound effects bring color to this immensely popular book.
Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne. Recorded Books, 2015. 10 hours, 15 minutes; 9 discs. 9781490694320. Newly minted trollhunter Jim Sturges joins a motley group in a desperate battle to defend the human world against a terrifying troll king. Heyborne’s narration of this action-packed tale is enhanced by his astonishing ability to communicate an array of spine-chilling monster noises.
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick. Hachette Audio, 2015. 9 hours; digital.9780316279611. Sophronia Temminick, a student at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, helps fellow student Sidheag return to her werewolf pack in Scotland. Quick’s lively pacing and diverse, unique voices treat listeners to a laugh-out-loud listen.