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Staff Picks for Young Adults

The Wild Rumpus staff's favorite audiobooks for young adults.

Playlist Tags: Wild Rumpus Books genre: Young Adult audience: ya

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Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Clap When You Land

“When a plane bound for the Dominican Republic crashes shortly after takeoff, two girls grieve the loss of their father. Camino lives in the Dominican Republic with her aunt and dreams of studying in New York City, where her father lives. Yahaira, a skilled chess player, lives in New York with her parents. Unbeknownst to them, they share a father who maintained two separate families. Camino and Yahaira struggle to understand the complicated man they knew as their father while beginning to develop a familial bond of their own. Elizabeth Acevedo returns to poetry as she takes a close look at grief, betrayal, and family.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Ann, Blue Willow Bookshop
Audiobook details

Black Girl Unlimited

The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard

By Echo Brown
Narrated by: Echo Brown
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes

This program is read by the author

"Just brilliant."—Kirkus Reviews

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me...
Read more »

Audiobook details

Punching the Air

By Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
Narrated by: Ethan Herrise
Length: 4 hours 28 minutes

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo. 

The story that I thought

was my life

didn’t start on the day

I was born 

Amal... Read more »

Audiobook details

The Voting Booth

By Brandy Colbert
Narrated by: Robin Eller & Cary Hite
Length: 6 hours 5 minutes

The Voting Booth

“Marva is stoked to vote in her first election. She's driven, focused, passionate about civic involvement and unapologetic. Duke is only voting out of honor to his older brother's memory. When Duke learns he isn't at the right polling place, Marva has to step in to help. As their whirlwind day takes off from there, the two strangers learn more about themselves and each other than they bargained for. A sweet story that isn't afraid to comment on current social issues, this is a great listen for those who enjoy audiobooks!”

Parnassus Books image Chelsea, Parnassus Books
Audiobook details

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

By Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

“Sia's mother was deported by ICE to Mexico, a country her mother was brought from as a baby. In a desperate attempt to return to her family, Sia's mother entered the desert, but she didn't make it out. That was three years ago. Sia is just trying to get through the rest of high school, mostly by having private ceremonies on the edge of the desert, with ancient cacti and her grandmother's ghost to keep her company, or by tending to her little garden of native corn plants. But then a strange boy moves to town, and strange lights begin appearing in the sky...This beautiful book blends heartbreak, imagination, and extraterrestrial life so well.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
Audiobook details

Raybearer

The Raybearer Series: Book #1

By Jordan Ifueko
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 13 hours 48 minutes

Raybearer

“Immerse yourself in a rich fantasy world with wishes to cheat death, struggles for power, and hopes to find love. Jordan Ifueko has given us the start of a series where peace may not be as it seems and who you are vs. who the world tells you to be can have life-threatening and history-shaping consequences. One of my favorite aspects is the chants, prayers, and songs that are essential to the story and the narrator rhythmically enriches the reading.”

Once Upon A Time image Jessica, Once Upon A Time
Audiobook details

Children of Blood and Bone

Legacy of Orisha: Book #1

By Tomi Adeyemi
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 17 hours 44 minutes

Children of Blood and Bone

“A sprawling fantasy teeming with deep and meaningful magic. One of the things I like most about this debut is that it raises very real and important issues of our time through multiple character's perspectives. No character is one-dimensional, and every character must learn from failure and introspection to become who they were meant to be.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Kelly, Mysterious Galaxy Books
Audiobook details

This Is My America

By Kim Johnson
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

If you enjoyed The Hate U Give, then you’ll love This Is My America.

“This is My America depicts the effects of police brutality and corrupt prosecution practices in America. Although there are similar Young Adult books tackling racism and police brutality, This is My America distinguishes itself by focusing on the emotional, physical, and financial impact of mass incarceration on the Black family. Johnson shows how the KKK is not a piece of history long-gone, but is an organization continuing to hunt down and torture Americans of color. Johnson explores generational trauma and the danger of being complicit mainly from the perspective of Tracy’s Black family, but also touches on the generational trauma of being a raised to be a racist and the danger of being complicit in that role. These parallel stories of the white and Black family are thought provoking, without centering the white narrative. Along with the personal struggles explored throughout the book, the plot includes a mystery element as Tracy investigates who the real murderers are.

This book narrated by Bahni Turpin, one of my favorite narrators! Turpin brings such life to each of the characters in her narrations, and this book was no different. I would recommend this book (especially the audiobook!) to young adults and adults that can handle content including police encounters, off the page murder, off the page lynching, racism, Black trauma, hate crimes, and police shooting.”

Beausoleil Books image Endya, Beausoleil Books
Audiobook details

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By Adib Khorram
Narrated by: Michael Levi Harris
Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award


“Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I’d live in this book forever if I could.”
—Becky Albertalli, award-winning author o Read more »f...
Audiobook details

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

By Junauda Petrus
Narrated by: Junauda Petrus, Bahni Turpin & JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.


Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found ou Read more »t...
Audiobook details

Frankly in Love

By David Yoon
Narrated by: Raymond J. Lee
Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Frankly in Love

“ I loved everything about this book! The writing is so playful and sweet, allowing the author to touch on issues of race, sexuality, bias, familial strife and 2nd generation immigrant conflict with grace and love. Frank is a character I hope my teens strive to be like, he is confident, intelligent, hard working, sweet and strong. Listening to him fall in love was a treat, he is a character I will miss long after the last pages are finished...”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Audiobook details

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