An Audio Editor’s Picks: Home-From-School Listens for Middle Grade & YA Listeners

by Emily Parliman, Editor

Whether your teen is attending classes online or taking a break from classes altogether, it’s smart to enrich any downtime with supplementary content. We’ve assembled a list of audiobook recommendations to help bridge the weeks between classes. On our list you’ll find engaging nonfiction that has tie-ins to common school syllabi, can’t-go-wrong classics, frequently “required reading,” and fast-paced historical fiction.

From National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin comes a fascinating look at the history and science of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. In spring of 1918, World War I was underway, and troops at Fort Riley, Kansas, found themselves felled by influenza, which turned into a pandemic that would impact the course of the war, and kill many millions more soldiers than warfare itself.

Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take listeners back to the creation of the Constitution and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced–then they offer possible solutions. Read by Mark Bramhall, Arthur Morey, Kimberly Farr, Erin Spencer, and Adenrele Ojo.

Author: Albert Marrin
Read By: Marc Cashman

Uprooted takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Albert Marrin’s sobering exploration of this monumental injustice shines as bright a light on current events as it does on the past.

Determined to reunite her family, Lyddie makes her way to the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts so she can work to pay off their debts. However, she discovers that her dreams of returning home may never come true.

Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia’s last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing.

Perfect for anyone fascinated by Netflix’s The Crown, or Wolf Hall, this is a pitch-perfect reimagining of the romance and tragedy of Henry VIII and his six wives, told from multiple points of view by some of your favorite authors and narrators.

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

In this very personal work acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

The story of women’s suffrage is epic. For over 70 years, heroic women risked their lives for the cause knowing they likely wouldn’t live to cast a vote. This under-explored history resonates now more than ever, and will remind readers that ordinary citizens and peaceful protest can affect lasting change in this country.

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today’s young readers what it means to fight nonviolently and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

In January 1741, Benedict Arnold was born. Little did anyone know that he would grow up to become the most infamous villain in American history. Fearless in the line of fire, General Arnold was America’s first action hero. But his thirst for recognition would ultimately be his undoing. Hopeless at political maneuvers Arnold saw his fame slipping away. And so, he came up with a plan that would guarantee his place in history…

Looking for listen-at-home recommendations for younger children? Click here for Home-From-School Listens for Elementary Kids.