Image of Headphones on Chalkboard for Back to School
It’s Elementary: Awesome Audiobooks for Back-to-School Listening

Whether the young listener in your life is gearing up for back-to-school or looking for some action and info-packed stories, now is a great time to share audiobooks with kids that will have them looking forward to the school year to come.

Discover biographies that celebrate extraordinary people (Ruby Bridges!), explore history with a sense of humor (seriously, what was King George’s problem?), and address social anxiety with storylines that build empathy. Classroom jitters, making new friends, learning to find your voice and sticking up for what’s right: these audiobooks address issues of self-esteem and belonging while creating genuine excitement for the future.

The She Persisted chapter book series on audio spotlights women who stood up, spoke up, and rose up against the odds. In She Persisted: Ruby Bridges, young listeners will learn about the amazing life of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges—and how she persisted.

RBG’s Brave & Brilliant Women is a collection of biographies of brave and brilliant Jewish female role models—selected in collaboration with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and including an introduction written by the iconic Supreme Court justice herself—that provides young people with a roster of inspirational role models who will appeal to young people of all ages and all faiths.

Author: Allison Varnes
Read By: Emily Eiden

Charlotte Andrews is perfectly fine being quiet—in fact, she prefers it. When she doesn’t speak, people can’t make fun of her stutter. But when she witnesses bullying on the school bus and doesn’t say anything, her silence comes between her and her best friend. Say It Out Loud is an empowering audiobook about finding your voice, facing your fears, and standing up for what’s right.

Fallout is New York Times bestselling author Steve Sheinkin’s follow-up to his award-winning book Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, taking listeners on a terrifying journey into the Cold War and our mutual assured destruction.

Heartbreak and hope exist together in When Stars Are Scattered, a full cast audiobook about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by Omar Mohamed to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

“The audiobook edition of Omar Mohamed’s autobiography, originally a graphic novel account co-authored with Victoria Jamieson, offers listeners an experience of perfection in its storytelling, format shifting, and performance.”—Booklist, starred review

There are some penguin problems on the fifth-grade field trip in this fifth installment of the Kate the Chemist fiction series that shows kids that everyone can be a scientist! Perfect for fans of the Girls Who Code series.

From rising country star Jimmie Allen, My Voice is a Trumpet is a lyrical celebration of the many types of voices that can effect change. Coming at a time when issues of social justice are at the forefront of our society, this is the perfect audiobook to teach children in and out of the classroom that they’re not too young to express what they believe in and that all voices are valuable. The perfect companion for little listeners going back to school!

Author: Kristin Mahoney
Read By: Tara Sands

Perfectionist Elfie Oster learns the value of “unperfection” in Elfie Unperfect, a funny look at middle school life. Sometimes when everything goes spectacularly wrong, you figure out what truly matters—and what doesn’t. So really, this terrible, horrible, surprisingly hilarious year may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to Elfie.

Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood in Black Boy Joy, stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors—including Jason Reynolds (the Track series), Jerry Craft (New Kid), and Kwame Mbalia (the Tristan Strong series)!

Ash and her friends are reporters that have stumbled on a big lead: Van Ness Media, the educational company that provides their school’s software, has been gathering data from all the kids at school. But why? Listen to The Renegade Reporters and follow Ash and her friends as they learn the truth…and report it.

What do the most famous traitor in history, hundreds of naked soldiers, and a salmon lunch have in common? They’re all part of the amazing story of the American Revolution. In King George: What Was His Problem? New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Honor recipient Steve Sheinkin gives young listeners a fun and funny American history lesson they’ll never forget.

Author: Kelly Yang
Read By: Sunny Lu

Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. In Front Desk, Mia Tang must juggle her job, her dreams to be a writer, and a big family secret. It will take all of her courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year.

“[Sunny] Lu captures [Mia’s] qualities of cheer, ingenuity, and resilience.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Author: Gary Paulsen
Read By: Peter Coyote

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present.

“In a straightforward and compelling narration, Peter Coyote captures Brian’s terror, anguish and exultation as he learns to survive alone in the wilderness.”—AudioFile

Looking for more great audiobooks for back-to-school and anytime listening? Browse our Family Listening Collection.