HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-85 Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers
5 Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers

5 Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers

Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers
AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review

Middle-grade readers looking for a new favorite audiobook will find a lot to love in this list. The five audiobooks below offer a range of listening experiences, from an impressive historical novel chronicling the lives of an African American family from the 1920s to the 1960s, to a Newbery Award-winning fantasy incorporating Korean mythology into a tale about family and facing your fears. And graphic novel fans will rejoice that the companion to NEW KID is out on audio. AudioFile Editors have chosen these audiobooks with outstanding narrations to entertain listeners and their families.

Loretta Little Looks Back

Story by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Read by Dashawn Barnes, Deborah Wilson, and Ralph Harris

Ages 8+ | Hachette Audio | Length: 5 hrs. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Author Andrea Davis Pinkney creates something extraordinary in this monologue novel using the oral history tradition to explore the effects of racism and segregation through generations. The Littles of Ruleville, Mississippi—Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B.—know hardship and oppression in their bones, but they also know joy and love. Dashawn Barnes, Deborah Wilson, and Ralph Harris narrate this production with fire and spirit, inhabiting the characters like actors on a stage. The narrators offer both a stirring set of performances and a map to guide those who follow in their footsteps.  Review »

Buy the Audiobook

Buy on Audible

Listen to a Sample

When You Trap a Tiger

Story by Tae Keller

Read by Greta Jung

Ages 8+ | Listening Library | Length: 7.5 hrs.

The Newbery Award-winning novel is a delight to listen to on audio. Narrator Greta Jung is outstanding at capturing both the youthful and adult voices in this chapter book for tweens. Listeners will empathize with the shy Korean-American girl who wants to disappear at the sign of any conflict. Lily’s quiet personality alternates with the sassiness of her older sister, Sam, who will entertain young listeners with her bristling retorts to adults. A lively, confident narrator is exactly what listeners need for a story that bends into Korean mythology as Lily realizes she is being followed by a tiger only she can see—and needs to find her courage to rescue her grandmother. Review »

Buy the Book

Buy on Audible

Listen to a Sample

The Sea in Winter

Story by Christine Day

Read by Kimberly Woods

Ages 8+ | Harper Audio | Length: 4.5 hrs.

Narrator Kimberly Woods’s soft voice draws out the roiling emotions in an audiobook about recovery, loss, and hope. Maisie is a 12-year-old Makah and Piscataway girl whose identity has revolved around ballet for years, but now she’s injured and facing an uncertain future. Woods’s youthful voice embodies Maisie, whose anger and anxieties are beginning to overwhelm her despite the loving support of her family. Young listeners who are facing loss will find this quiet audiobook provides comfort and catharsis, as well as a role model for learning to express strong emotions and to ask for help. Review »

Buy the Book

Buy on AudibleBuy on Bookshop

Listen to a Sample

Class Act

Story by Jerry Craft

Read by Nile Bullock, Jesus Del Orden, Guy Lockard, Marc Thompson, Peyton Lusk, Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Jordan Cobb, A.J Beckles, Robin Miles, Ron Butler, Miles Harvey, Kim Mai Guest, Kyla Garcia, Soneela Nankani

Ages 10+ | Harper Audio | Length: 2 hrs.

Listeners will delight in being back with their friends from the 2020 Newbery Award-winning graphic novel NEW KID. Jordan, narrated by Jesus Del Orden, is excited but nervous to be back in school. His friend Drew, narrated by Nile Bullock, has an easy time connecting with Jordan, but they both continue to feel uncomfortable about how they are treated by their mostly wealthy white classmates and teachers. Subtle sound effects and lively voices from a full cast help listeners imagine the bustling hallways as Drew and Jordan navigate the minefield of racist microaggressions, colorism, crushes, and rocky friendships. Review »

Buy the Book

Buy on AudibleBuy on Bookshop

Listen to a Sample

Maya and the Rising Dark

Story by Rena Barron

Read by Soneela Nankani

Ages 8+ | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Length: 7.5 hrs. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Soneela Nankani delivers an animated performance in this audiobook about a girl’s search for her father, who is missing in the Dark world. Maya has just learned that her father is an Orisha tasked with maintaining the veil between the human world and the Dark. As a half-Orisha, Maya must figure out how to use her newfound powers and brave the Dark to rescue her father. Added sound effects of intense winds and Nankani’s emotional connection and pace will delight listeners of all ages. Review » https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/178800/

Buy the Book

Buy on AudibleBuy on Bookshop

Listen to a Sample

The article Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers 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.

For more articles like Best New Audiobooks for Middle-Grade Readers, follow along with The Children’s Book Review content tagged with Audiobooks and AudioFile.

How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

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.

No Comments

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.