Audiobooks can be a great way for the whole family to enjoy a story together! Children’s Library Assistant Nancy Huff says “One of the best things about recordings is the ability to multitask. Have some laundry to fold? Listen to a recording at the same time and before you know it you can check the laundry off of the to do list…There are also many benefits for struggling readers. Audiobooks provides increased comprehension and word exposure. It builds vocabulary. Audiobooks give struggling readers independence and decreases printed word identification anxiety. This allows the reader the opportunity to bridge the gap of previous reading experience. I can’t wait to continue my audiobook adventure.”
The American Library Association has compiled a list of some of the best audiobooks for a wide range of children under 14 from the past year. The whole list can be found on their website here, but we’ve compiled some highlights that you can borrow on Hoopla for free with your library card today.
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, read by Zehra Jane Naqvi
In 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle.
But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use ‘ahimsa’-non-violent resistance-to stand up to the British government. First the family must trade in their fine foreign-made clothes for homespun cotton, so Anjali has to give up her prettiest belongings. Then her mother decides to reach out to the Dalit community, the ‘untouchables’ of society. Anjali is forced to get over her past prejudices as her family becomes increasingly involved in the movement.
When Anjali’s mother is jailed, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work, ensuring that her little part of the independence movement is completed.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks, read by Bahni Turpin
Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed. Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.
But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.
Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, read by Daxton Edwards
“On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases and a cooler full of snacks. He says there’s nothing like going down home.”
Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do?
In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multigenerational family.
HotDog! by Anh Do, read by Aaron Lockman, James Herrera, Casey Turner
The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach, read by Matt Braver, Sisi Aisha Johnson