AudioFile Magazine picked their best audiobooks of 2013, and five Listening Library titles made the list! Whether you’re looking for an audiobook filled with humor, drama, action, or romance, these picks are sure to please young listeners. Check out AudioFile’s full list.
AudioFile raves about narrator Tara Sands: “[I]n Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses, Sands treats listeners to a lively, madcap adventure, taking on a variety of personalities with gusto. ‘Finishing an audiobook,’ she told us, ‘is as satisfying to me as finishing the run of a play.’ It’s satisfying for her listeners, too… In Caroline Lawrence’s P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man, Sands brings to life a spunky 12-year-old detective with Asperger’s in the Wild West, maintaining a careful balance between P.K.’s dedication to solving her case and her offbeat comic relief.”
Watch Tara Sands describe the audiobook in 35 seconds here.
AudioFile says: “This exuberant story, set in the 1890s, features the indomitable 12-year-old Mister Max, who solves mysteries to earn money after his parents go missing. Narrator Paul Boehmer depicts multiple characters of varying ages, classes, and accents, including Max’s Grammie–a feisty librarian… Boehmer also enhances Voigt’s superlative text, particularly the adjectives, which Boehmer makes sound just like they should, greatly adding to one’s listening pleasure. The conclusion leaves Max and listeners ready for the next installment in the search for his missing parents.”
Best Audiobooks for Young Adults
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
Read by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
You’ll fall in love with star-crossed misfits Eleanor and Park in this compelling coming-of-age story. AudioFile spoke with narrator Rebecca Lowman about working with the author: “Rebecca Lowman has become the voice of Rainbow Rowell’s characters in her celebrated YA novels Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. She tells us, ‘Honestly, I just love Rainbow Rowell’s voice so much, and I feel such a connection to it, that it’s a pure pleasure to read her work.’ One of Lowman’s great strengths is the way she reveals that vulnerability. ‘No matter who I’m playing, how tough they are—vulnerability is a part of them. Everyone who’s a human being is afraid, killable, and in some place feels very small.'”
This dark, contemporary fairy tale is a National Book Award Finalist and must-listen for fans of the Brothers Grimm. AudioFile says: “From the first word of this rich recording, Far Far Away envelops the listener. Both the production quality and the performance are superb. W. Morgan Sheppard’s voice embodies the haunting aspects of this dark tale. Sheppard’s narration is a vehicle of otherworldly transport that truly takes the listener far far away.”
Nominated for the 2013 National Book Award Longlist, this groundbreaking audiobook tells the based-on-true-events story of two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. AudioFile says: “Narrating his own work, David Levithan strikes a balance between elegy and hope–perfect for a story about generations. Though his performance is not polished, it is impassioned. This sincerity resonates and deepens the emotional weight of the intersecting stories, particularly the observations of the chorus. Characters are recognizable by personality and nuanced delivery, allowing the wide-ranging plot to unfold seamlessly.”