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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Audiobooks for Youth
As the boundaries blur among the fantasy, horror, and sf genres, it’s harder for listeners and librarians to tell the difference. Meet wizards, zombies, dragons, ghostly storytellers, and aliens in these audiobooks reviewed in Booklist between May 15, 2013, and May 1, 2014. The commonality among these 10 titles is that they’re all “great listens.”
The 5th Wave. By Rick Yancey. Read by Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole. 2013. 13hr. Dreamscape, CD, $59.99 (9781624068669). Gr. 9–12.
Another wave of aliens invade the U.S., and narrators Espinoza and Strole set a fast pace and ratchet up the tension of battles and alien encounters.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. By Holly Black. Read by Christine Lakin. 2013. 12hr. Hachette, CD, $25 (9781478924692). Gr. 9–12.
Lakin’s expressive, silky-toned vampires contrast with the wheedling of Tana’s ex-boyfriend, adding stress to the 17-year-old’s too-close encounter with vampires. Far Far Away. By Tom McNeal. Read by W. Morgan Sheppard. 2013. 11hr. Listening Library, CD, $55 (9780804121545). Gr. 7–10.
The ghostly presence of storyteller Jacob Grimm, with Sheppard’s expert portrayal of his guttural German-accented voice, provides a misfit boy with the friend he needs in a memorable listening experience. Fortunately, the Milk. By Neil Gaiman. Read by the author. 2013. 1hr. Harper, CD, $13.99 (9780062332080). Gr. 3–6.
Captivating comical energy drives Gaiman’s reading of his own nonsensical novella about encounters with a pirate queen, a time traveler, and space aliens on a father’s trip to the store to buy milk. In a Glass Grimmly. By Adam Gidwitz. Read by Johnny Heller. 2013. 6hr. Recorded Books, CD, $66.75 (9781470361969). Gr. 4–7.
With perfect timing, Heller offers a spirited and humorous reading of morbid or deranged folktales, as he replicates bellowing giants, song-spewing mermaids, and the lilting, comic voices of goblins. The Last Dragonslayer. By Jasper Fforde. Read by Elizabeth Jasicki. 2013. 7.5hr. Brilliance, CD, $49.97 (9781455858286). Gr. 7–10.
Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange learns she’s the last dragon slayer, and Jasicki populates her world with aging, bumbling magicians; idiotic, deep-voiced royalty; and the rumbles of a centuries-old dragon. Scowler. By Daniel Kraus. Read by Kirby Heyborne. 2013. 11.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $45 (9780385368377). Gr. 9–12.
Heyborne growls, yells, and whispers his way through the disturbing tale of an Iowa farm family terrorized when the father escapes from prison and returns home. The Time Machine. By H. G. Wells. Read by Derek Jacobi. 2013. 4hr. Listening Library, CD, $30 (9780804122283). Gr. 3–6.
Jacobi’s fireside storyteller manner captivates a room filled with listeners as the Time Traveler describes his marvelous invention in this science fiction classic. What Came from the Stars. By Gary D. Schmidt. Read by Graham Winton. 2013. 6.5hr. Recorded Books, CD, $66.75 (9781470339777). Gr. 6–9.
A necklace discovered in his lunch box links 12-year-old Tommy with a planet under siege in a tale peppered with unintelligible alien gibberish that spouts effortlessly from narrator Winton. Zombie Baseball Beatdown. By Paolo Bacigalupi. Read by Sunil Malhotra. 2013. 6hr. Listening Library, CD, $35 (9780804166782). Gr. 4–7.
Malhotra’s lively delivery propels the action of this madcap adventure when three boys discover the town’s meatpacking plant is churning out zombie cows.
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