By December 1, 2008 9 Comments Read More →

Audiobooker’s Choice: Great Youth Audiobooks of 2008

2008 was a year of easy listening for me. In the previous five years, I had served on either the Notable Children’s Recording Committee or the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Committee. Those years were spent listening to every single youth audiobook: all headphones, all the time. But in 2008, I have had the luxury of picking and choosing titles that I actually (gasp!) wanted to hear. Below, you’ll find Part One (A-C) of my extremely personal choices for great audiobook listening for children & young adults (and grown-ups who love a good story). Full disclosure: many audiobook producers provide me with evaluation copies shipped straight to my doorstep, so in my year of easy listening, those titles found their way to my iPod first. But you’ll also find titles I sought out and begged, borrowed, or purchased online. Check back on Wednesday & Friday for the rest of my top titles. Happy Listening!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. By Sherman Alexie. Narrated by Sherman Alexie. Recorded Books.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox. By Mary Pearson. Narrated by Jenna Lamia. Macmillan Audiobooks.

Airhead. By Meg Cabot, Narrated by Stina Nielsen. Recorded Books.

The Art of Racing in the Rain. By Garth Stein. Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch. Recorded Books.

Book of a Thousand Days. By Shannon Hale, Narrated by Chelsea Mixon & the Full Cast Family. Full Cast Audio.

The Burn Journals. By Brent Runyon. Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch. Recorded Books.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: an Enola Holmes Mystery. By Nancy Springer. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Recorded Books.

The Compound. By S. A. Bodeen. Narrated by Christopher Lane. Brilliance Audio.

The Cricket in Times Square. By George Selden. Narrated by Tony Shalhoub. Macmillan Audiobooks.

The Crossroads. Narrated by Chris Grabenstein. Narrated by J. J. Myers. Random House/Listening Library.

Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. By L. A. Meyer. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Listen & Live Audio.



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

9 Comments on "Audiobooker’s Choice: Great Youth Audiobooks of 2008"

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  1.' Sue-Ellen says:

    It’s so much fun to read your favorites. Two of these are among the 13 youth audio titles on 2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice list to be published in the January 1 & 15 issue. And two of those 13 Ed choice titles are music CDs. I’d love to hear other audio fans’ bests as well.

  2.' Lee Catalano says:

    Hey Mary … I’m looking forward to D-Z. Check out the final list of nominations for YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. It looks like we’ve got some faves in common! I’ve got The Graveyard Book in my ears right now and am so enjoying the author’s reading.

  3. Mary says:

    Hi Lee!

    Great minds think alike! You can see that The Graveyard Book is on Audiobooker’s Choice Part Two. I think I’ll hold off taking a look at the final Amazing Audiobook nominations until I post Part Three – then I can really be surprised by which titles are on both lists!

  4.' Susan says:

    I book talk in the schools around town and will find this blog very handy! However, although I’m a huge fan of The Art of Racing in the Rain, I am puzzled why this book is considered a teen read.

  5. Mary says:

    I think The Art of Racing in the Rain is a great adult cross-over title for High School readers. Glad you found my blog, Susan – we are practically neighbors!

  6.' greencard says:

    Is there any information about this subject in other languages?

  7.' Ed Spicer says:


    As much as I love Alexie’s work (I especially appreciate his poetry), I was taken out of the story by his reading. Still enjoyable, but I kept wishing for a different reader.


  8. Mary says:

    Greencard, Audiofile Magazine has a great listing of Spanish language audiobooks here:


  9. Mary says:

    Ed, Thanks so much for leaving your comments on your listening! I think the reason that I so enjoyed Alexie’s reading was that I had heard him speak at a conference BEFORE listening to The Absolutely True Diary… and so hearing his reading made his personal story all the more affecting.


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