Spring is finally here and you can always count on an audiobook as a great little getaway, and AudioFile Magazine is here to help with their Best YA Audiobooks for Spring Listening. For more audiobook reviews, recommendations and blog posts and check out AudioFile Magazine.com or follow @AudioFileMag
STAMPED Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi
Read by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi [Intro.] | Earphones Award Winner
Jason Reynolds wrote and narrates this vital and compelling young adult remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From The Beginning. Even with such an intense subject, Reynolds writes and speaks directly to younger listeners in an engaging and open style. His rich voice and strong pacing make him especially good at emphasizing key points and carrying listeners through difficult concepts. Reynolds compels listeners to be critical thinkers and to take action.
FURIOUS THING by Jenny Downham
Read by Jenny Downham | Earphones Award Winner
Some authors excel at narrating their own work. Jenny Downham can be counted among them. Her latest teen novel features Lexi, a 15-year-old whose anger issues are coming to a head as she struggles for perfection, hoping to be accepted by her mother’s demanding fiancé. In this haunting story, Lexi’s frustrations with her shortcomings are realistically portrayed, both by the words on the page and by Downham’s performance. Beautifully performed, this audiobook is certain to evoke deep emotions.
NIGHT SPINNERby Addie Thorley
Read by Natalie Naudus | Earphones Award Winner
Narrator Natalie Naudus delivers an emotionally engrossing performance in this Hunchback retelling with a magical twist. After losing control of her night-spinning powers and murdering an entire caravan, Enebish, maimed, with her powers blocked, and overwhelmed by guilt, eagerly agrees to an opportunity to capture a war criminal and to be reinstated as a warrior. Naudus’s precise pacing escalates the intensity, and listeners will be captivated from start to finish.
SHADOWSHAPER LEGACY Shadowshaper Cypher, Book 3 by Daniel José Older
Read by Anika Noni Rose | Earphones Award Winner
Anika Noni Rose narrates the glorious conclusion to the epic Shadowshaper Cypher trilogy. Sierra and her Shadowshaper crew face danger from all sides now that the existing and emerging Houses know that the Deck of Worlds is in play. Rose imbues all of the evils that Sierra and her crew face—whether supernatural or banally human—with menace and just the touch of scorn they deserve.
A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope by Patrice Caldwell [Ed.]
Read by York Whitaker | Earphones Award Winner
Here, one of the foremost #ownvoices authors creates strong black heroines in tales of “black culture, strength, beauty, bravery, resistance, magic, and hope.” York Whitaker’s fluid narrations showcase the versatility of stories with settings that range from contemporary America to the Caribbean and that feature diverse characters. This magnificent collection embraces a range of racial, gender, and cultural issues.
THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGHby Candace Fleming
Read by Kirsten Potter |Earphones Award Winner
From its opening, which features a chilling description of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh’s speech at an America First rally, Kirsten Potter expertly narrates this nonfiction. Following Lindbergh’s life from his birth in Detroit and his childhood in Minnesota and Washington, DC, through his travels and the controversies surrounding him in adulthood, Potter delivers a strong, lively performance. An engaging story, both in content and in production, this work will keep both young and adult listeners thoroughly engaged.