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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

“Put this book at the top of your listening list! Clap When You Land is a beautifully written and compellingly narrated story of two half-sisters who are unaware of each other's existence until their father dies in a plane crash. Elizabeth Acevedo not only writes with an exquisite voice, but she and Melania-Luisa Marte alternate narrating with voices that carry into the readers heart and soul. One of the best audio books I have listened to in a very long time.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's 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...

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Audiobook details

Punching the Air

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

New York Times and USA Today bestseller * Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor * Walter Award Winner * Goodreads Finalist for Best Teen Book of the Year * Time Magazine Best Book of the Year * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the...

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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

“Such a cool fantasy novel with an incredible magic system! Perfect for fans of "Children of Blood and Bone." I highly recommend listening to the audiobook to further immerse yourself in this beautiful world that Ifueko has created.”

An Unlikely Story image Coleen, An Unlikely Story
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 of... Read more »

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 out... Read more »

Audiobook details

Frankly in Love

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

Frankly in Love

“Frankly in Love is a breathtaking, sit-on-the-floor-sobbing, smile-till-your-face-hurts whirlwind of a novel. David Yoon’s writing is extraordinary: carefree and playful, yet deep and resonating. Embedded throughout are gems that encapsulate the humanity of being young, being in love, and discovering who you are and who you aren’t. Not only is this a compelling and engrossing story of love and growing up, it powerfully hits many notes regarding race, family, and biases. I know this will be a book that will continue to resonate with me for a long time, and I can’t wait to share it so that it will stick in other readers’ hearts, too.””

Belmont Books image Tildy, Belmont Books
Audiobook details