HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-85 Excellent Audiobooks for Kids Ages 8 and Up: From Silly to Serious to Out of This World

5 Excellent Audiobooks for Kids Ages 8 and Up: From Silly to Serious to Out of This World

AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review

Award-Winning Audiobooks for Ages 8 and Up

These middle-grade audiobooks run the gamut from silly to serious to out of this world. In each case, strong, empathetic performances from the narrators make the characters and stories relatable to a wide range of listeners. Kick-off summer listening with any of these excellent audiobooks.

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe

Story by Carlos Hernandez

Read by Anthony Rey Perez

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Anthony Rey Perez’s lively performance brings listeners right back to Miami’s Culeco Academy in this sequel that picks up where SAL AND GABI BREAK THE UNIVERSE left off. The universe is in trouble, and so is the school play that the Culeco students are putting on for parent-teacher night. Perez delivers the fast-paced action, warmly depicted families and friendships, and abundant and hilarious middle-grade humor as Sal and Gabi use all of their resources—in all of the universes—to save the day. Review »

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Ages 8-12 | Length: 11 hrs. | Publisher: Listening Library | May 05, 2020

The Secret Garden

Story by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Read by Alison Larkin

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Alison Larkin expertly introduces this classic Yorkshire story to a new generation. At the turn of the twentieth century, friendship and the power of nature and gardening completely transform two lonely, difficult children into caring, thriving individuals. Listeners will clearly envision the wild beauty of the moors and the spookiness of Misselthwaite Manor—and will sense the magic of the secret garden and the children coming back to life. Larkin sensitively delivers the dialogue that touches on colonialist attitudes toward India. Review »

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Ages 8-12 | Length: 9.25 hrs. | Publisher: Alison Larkin Presents | March 06, 2020

We Dream of Space

Written by Erin Entrada Kelly

Read by Ramon de Ocampo

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Ramon de Ocampo delves meaningfully into the separate lives of three siblings until they, finally, come together in unity. The story begins in January 1986 with the excitement of the CHALLENGER mission and ends with its tragedy. Bird, absorbed in all things science, lacks confidence in her appearance and finds comfort in imaginary conversations with CHALLENGER shuttle commander Judith Resnick. Her twin, Fitch, is as quick at playing video games as he is to fly off the handle in anger. Their brother, 13-year-old Cash, who is repeating the year with his two siblings, feels like a failure and hates school. Review »

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Ages 8-12 | Length: 6 hrs. | Publisher: Harper Audio | May 05, 2020

Leaving Lymon

Story by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Read by Dion Graham

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Dion Graham narrated the author’s companion book, FINDING LANGSTON. Now he delivers the story of a minor character from that work, Lymon, the boy who bullied Langston. Graham’s soft tones tell of Lymon’s early years in 1940s Mississippi; the nurturing he received from his grandfather, with whom he shared a love of music; and his visits with his father at Parchman Prison. Stark contrast comes with Graham’s portrayal of Lymon’s life with his estranged mother, stepbrothers, and abusive stepfather. One keenly feels Lymon’s transformation into a bully. By the end, though, Graham’s calm tones give listeners hope that love and music will heal Lymon. Review »

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Ages 8-12 | Length: 4.25 hrs. | Publisher: Dreamscape | April 21, 2020

The Good Hawk

Story by Joseph Elliott

Read by Gary Furlong, Fiona Hardingham

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

The first in a trilogy, this tale set in mythic Scotland features two engaging characters brought to life through Fiona Hardingham’s and Gary Furlong’s alternating narrations. A brave, fierce Hawk, Agatha is proud of her job patrolling the walls of her island home. However, some say she’s given the work to occupy her due to her Down syndrome-like disability. Ultimately, the unlikely heroes Agatha and Jaime embark on a perilous journey to save their people. Review »

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Ages 12+ | Length: 8.25 hrs. | Publisher: Brilliance Audio | January 21, 2020

The article5 Excellent Audiobooks for Ages 8 and Up: From Silly to Serious to Out of This World” 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, and Facebook @audiofilemagazine.

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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, and Facebook @audiofilemagazine.

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