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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Audiobook reviews: 5-star MG novels for family listening

by Susan Chapek

Today I'll piggyback on the recent post in which Kitty Griffin suggests two "musts" for selecting audiobooks.

The audiobooks on this list meet both of her criteria, and I found them all on my neighborhood library shelf. 

I'd recommend any of them for a family car trip with middle graders as the youngest passengers. I chose novels I consider new classics—honored books that some kids might postpone reading on the page ("too serious; too long; too literary"). But for a read-aloud? They're the audio equivalent of page-turners. And that would go for most adult listeners, too. 

I list them in order of original print edition publication date.

The versions I recommend are performed by narrators on my personal 5-star list. 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor; Random House/Listening Library edition narrated by Lynne Thigpen) 

The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin; Recorded Books edition narrated by Jeff Woodman) 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (Christopher Paul Curtis; Random House/Listening Library edition narrated by LeVar Burton) 

When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead; Random House/Listening Library edition narrated by Cynthia Holloway)

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