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Five Excellent Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers

AudioFile Magazine for The Children’s Book Review

The Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers

AudioFile’s Editors have five excellent audiobooks for middle-grade readers this month, including YA superstar Angie Thomas’s debut fantasy that marks the start of a new favorite series. Read on to find incredible historical fiction, lively fantasy listening, and moving contemporary stories.

Story by Angie Thomas

Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt

Harper Audio | 9.5 hrs. | Ages 8+ | AudioFile Earphones Award

Magic flows as Joniece Abbott-Pratt brings to life Nic Blake’s 12th birthday—the day Nic’s father promised to instruct her in using her Manifestor gift. Abbott-Pratt expresses Nic’s brilliance, her humor, and the loneliness even her new hellhound can’t relieve. Surprising events launch Nic on a quest to recapture a stolen artifact to prove her father’s innocence. Abbott-Pratt skillfully portrays real and supernatural characters throughout. She enhances descriptive passages, along with the folklore that grounds this outstanding start to a new series that will have listeners clamoring for more. Review »

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Lasagna Means I Love You: Audiobook Cover

Story by Kate O’Shaughnessy

Read by Annie Q

Listening Library | 7.75 hrs. | Ages 8+ | AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Annie Q’s youthful exuberance reflects 11-year-old Mo Gallagher’s newfound passion for collecting family recipes and her hope for a new home. The death of her beloved grandmother has resulted in Mo’s placement into foster care. As Mo grows a website and adjusts to the many changes in her life, Annie Q’s delivery reflects her buoyant tone and resilient spirit—as well as her anger and disappointment. Annie Q provides verisimilitude to the people from many cultures who reach out to Mo with recipes. Recipe downloads enhance this production for listeners who love to cook. Review »

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The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams: Audiobook Cover

Story by Daniel Nayeri

Read by Daniel Nayeri

Listening Library | 4.5 hrs. | Ages 8+

Daniel Nayeri’s dreamy narration pairs perfectly with his fantastical novel. Traveling merchant Samir saves Monkey from being stoned to death. As repayment, Monkey helps Samir sell his wares while traveling the Silk Road. Samir will spin any lie in order to make a sale, and this won’t be the last time he saves Monkey’s life, either. Nayeri expertly narrates a story that smoothly weaves thrilling action and deep moments of character revelation, and his performance is dynamic and clear. The audiobook contains so much vivid color that listeners will feel as if they are traveling along with the master and apprentice. Truly a masterpiece of middle-grade fiction. Review »

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The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine: Audiobook Cover

Three narrators combine talents in this compelling novel. Gebauer is convincing as Matthew, a teen stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When his mother insists he help his 100-year-old great-grandmother, Nadiya, sort through old boxes, an old photo prompts Nadiya to share her painful history. As Nadiya’s story unfolds, listeners learn about two girls during a deadly famine in 1930s Ukraine: Mila, portrayed by Vilinsky as smug and self-assured, and no-nonsense Helena, portrayed by Fikhman. Russian and Ukrainian accents help set the scene. Review »

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Invisible Audiobook Cover

Story by Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein

Read by Andrés Hinspeter-Seda, Noah Rico, Lisset Díaz, Sarah Tie, Christian Barillas, and a Full Cast

Scholastic Audiobooks | 1.5 hrs. | Ages 10+

Five very different students find commonality in a superb audio adaptation of this graphic novel. While the full cast and production are all outstanding, the narrators portraying the diverse students give especially animated performances, conveying unique personalities and moving flawlessly between English and Spanish. All of them find a common purpose in helping a homeless woman and her daughter, each in their own way. This is an immersive language experience for middle schoolers. Review »

Listeners who are curious about how graphic novels are transformed into audiobooks will be especially interested in this recent article on the making of INVISIBLE.

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This list of audiobooks was curated by AudioFile. AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit audiofilemagazine.com, Twitter @AudioFileMag, Facebook @audiofilemagazine, and Instagram @AudioFileBehindTheMicPodcast.

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Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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