Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2017 Top Ten
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, read by Allan Corduner. Listening Library, 2016. 6 hours, 31 minutes; 6 discs. 978-1-1018-9181-0. After her father is taken away, Anna and the enigmatic Swallow Man try to survive as the harsh reality of World War II creeps into their lives. Corduner's deep, story-teller voice gives this tale an air of mystery and solemnity.
Beast by Brie Spangler, read by Andrew Eiden. Blackstone Audio, 2016. 8 hours, 30 minutes; digital. 978-1-5047-4612-0 In this modern Beauty and the Beast story, hairy and oversized Dylan ends up in therapy, where he meets the smart, funny and transgender Jamie. Eiden’s emotion and nuance capture each character’s unique circumstances.
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, read by Carla Corvo, MacLeod Andrews, Steve West, and a full cast. Listening Library, 2016. 12 hours, 33 minutes; 11 discs. 978-1-101-91666-7. When their space station is threatened, the captain’s daughter and a mafioso are the best chance for saving their new home. The pace never lets up in this full cast production that drops the listener right in the middle of the action.
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky, read by Barrett Wilbert Weed. Scholastic Audio, 2016. 6 hours, 55 minutes; 6 discs. 978-0-5459-1104-7. Four fangirls kidnap the least popular member of a famous boy band. Hilarious antics ensue, secrets are revealed, and things that aren't supposed to happen do. Weed’s spot-on voices and heart-felt singing make this an outrageously funny experience.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, read by Marc Thompson, Rebecca Soler, January LaVoy, Peter Bradbury, Jonathan Davis, David Pittu, Natalie Gold. HarperAudio, 2016. 2 hours, 16 minutes; digital. 978-0-0625-6280-7. Nimona is a shapeshifter and a sidekick to super villain Lord Blackheart. Mischief escalates into a vicious battle that will expose Nimona's mysterious past as well as the Institution of Heroics. A full cast of narrators and fierce sound effects make this an essential experience.
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt, read by Christopher Gebauer. Recorded Books, 2015. 3 hours, 30 minutes; 3 discs. 978-1-4906-8112-2. Fourteen-year-old Joseph’s foster family helps him process his traumatic life experiences, including his desire to find the baby daughter he’s never met. Gebauer narrates with deeply felt emotion and adroitly handled pacing.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, read by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch. Listening Library, 2016. 8 hours, 48 minutes; 7 discs. 978-0-1475-2543-7. In 1945, four teenagers from different countries find their paths have all led to a voyage on the Wilhelm Gustloff, which is based on the true story of the most deadly maritime disaster. Marie, Damon, Morris, and Crouch effectively embody each of their characters making this historical novel unforgettable.
Star Wars Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston, read by Ashley Eckstein. Listening Library, 2016. 10 hours; digital. 978-1-5247-7757-9. After leaving the Jedi, Ahsoka begins to quietly live her life as a mechanic. When the Empire invades the new planet she has settled on, she gives them more of a fight than they anticipated. Eckstein's high energy narration is enhanced by full movie-like sound effects, making this one out of this world.
Traffick by Ellen Hopkins, read by Kirby Heyborne, Julia Whelan, Madeleine Maby, Rebekkah Ross, Jacques Roy. Simon & Schuster, 2015. 8 hours, 30 minutes; 7 discs. 978-1-5082-1400-7. The sequel to Tricks, this audiobook follows the five teens who have been victimized by the sex trade as they try to face their demons and attempt to change their lives. Multiple narrators give voice to a dark, raw listen that offers a glimmer of hope.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke, read by Michael Crouch, Alicyn Packard, and Caitlin Davies. Listening Library, 2016. 5 hours, 40 minutes; 5 discs. 978-0-3995-6472-7. In this twisty tale of manipulations, Midnight finds himself caught between two girls - one who is lost, the other who creates her own story. Crouch, Packard and Davies work together beautifully in this atmospheric mystery, bringing depth to each of the characters.