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Middle Grade & YA Audiobooks by Black Authors

A list of audiobooks for middle graders and young adults, featuring Black authors.

Playlist Tags: genre: Young Adult audience: middle grade audience: young adult topic: antiracism topic: black authors topic: black lives matter

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King and the Dragonflies

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

King and the Dragonflies

“Kingston (King) James and his parents are grieving the loss of Khalid-- King's older brother. When Khalid was alive and the two shared a bedroom, he would talk in his sleep, telling his younger brother stories about the universe and its magic. King continues to see Khalid in his dreams, and is convinced Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly. The Louisiana bayou provides the backdrop for both a colorful landscape and a tense, fearful place where racism festers. When King's former friend, Sandy, who is white, and the son of the racist police chief, goes missing, King ends up helping hide Sandy from his abusive father. Woven seamlessly into this wise story is King's slow awakening of his sexuality, brought to the fore by his renewed friendship with Sandy, who is known to be gay. Callender's writing is so authentic and their characters are so tenderly portrayed by Ron Butler's superb narration I mourned its conclusion. The whole package is a crowning achievement.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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Ace of Spades

By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Narrated by: Tapiwa Mugweni & Jeanette Illidge
Length: 13 hours 48 minutes

This program includes an author's note read by the author.

Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.

All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do....

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Amari and the Night Brothers

Supernatural Investigations: Book #1

By B. B. Alston
Narrated by: Imani Parks
Length: 11 hours 11 minutes

If you enjoyed The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle, then you’ll love Amari and the Night Brothers.

“This book was fun! As a reference point, I would say it's a Spy Kids/Men in Black/Percy Jackson/Harry Potter hybrid but honestly, it's in a class all of it's own. Amari was a wonderful main character. She is super smart and caring and despite the absolute terribleness of her peers, prevails by learning to trust herself and use her talents to stand out. There was lots of blatant and unpunished racism, classism, and and brutal meanness coming from the majority of Amari's classmates, both in the non-supernatural world and in the Bureau. On their first day, all trainees have to touch a magical orb and one of their already present abilities gets magnified and becomes a special ability (ie general luckiness becomes unnatural/always happens luckiness). When Amari is bestowed with an illegal ability, she becomes the target of both racism and a form of intense otherism in the supernatural world. I also loved her friendship with Elsie, who was the last of weredragons (like werewolves but for dragons!) and suffered her own share of bullies and otherism for being a bit dorky and for not having shifted to her dragon form yet. The audiobook edition of this novel was well done. Imani Parks gives a perfect voice to Amari and the other young main characters. This is a great read for juvenile readers (anywhere from advanced an advance 8/9 years to teens) and is fun and exciting for adults as well so would also be a great read-aloud book for guardians with younger readers. I would recommend for avid Percy Jackson and Harry Potter fans, those that enjoy spy or adventure books, and even those who enjoy fairy tale epics.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Rise to the Sun

By Leah Johnson
Narrated by: Lexi Underwood & Alaska Jackson
Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Rise to the Sun

“Leah Johnson is officially an auto-buy for me. I honest to goodness could not stop marking this book, nor did I realize just how much I needed it. From the off, Toni and Olivia's journeys were some sort of catharsis, healing my soul even after only two chapters. By the end, my eyes were run over and my cheeks were salty. This one's for the musicians. This one's for everyone who's been missing the way live music grabs you and won't let go. This one's for the lonely-hearted and those who've been told they're too big. And believe me when I say, you're going to want to shed tears while listening too.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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Blackout

By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J Beckles & Bahni Turpin
Length: 6 hours 55 minutes

Blackout

“From six of the most incredible YA writers in the game comes a unique set of intertwining stories that exemplify the beauty of young black love. A heatwave has caused a major blackout in New York City and six unlikely couples find themselves stuck together in different parts of the city. With six distinctive voices, they all managed to harmoniously come together to create a single story that is altogether breathtaking. This is the young adult romance book that I never knew I needed. ”

Cellar Door Books image Elisa, Cellar Door Books
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White Smoke

By Tiffany D. Jackson
Narrated by: Marcella Cox
Length: 8 hours 56 minutes

The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California...

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Beasts of Prey

By Ayana Gray
Narrated by: Keylor Leigh, Tovah Ott & Ronald Peet
Length: 15 hours 41 minutes

“Rich in magic and mythos, Beasts of Prey is a feast for all the senses.” —Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful
 
In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the creature menacing their home—and uncover ancient deadly secrets.


There’s no... Read more »

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Paradise on Fire

By Jewell Parker Rhodes
Narrated by: Tyla Collier
Length: 4 hours 8 minutes

From award-winning and bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change
 
Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now, years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness... Read more »

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A Sitting in St. James

By Rita Williams-Garcia
Narrated by: Machelle Williams
Length: 13 hours 20 minutes

A tour-de-force from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia, this story of an antebellum plantation—and the enduring legacies of slavery upon every person who lives there—is essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism.

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit...

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Marcus Makes a Movie

By Kevin Hart
Narrated by: Kevin Hart
Length: 3 hours 8 minutes

Marcus Makes a Movie

“This book is a must-listen to because it is read by Kevin Hart. I just cant imagine it being the same reading it. It is a wonderful way to learn about writing and although it is about writing a screen play I think aspiring authors can learn from the importance of revision revision revision and listening to other people opinion about your writing. I recommend it not only for young people but also for teachers. Fun and educational WOW!”

HearthFire Books and Treats image Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats
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A Soft Place to Land

By Janae Marks
Narrated by: Imani Parks
Length: 6 hours 7 minutes

In this compelling and heartfelt mystery story, Janae Marks—author of the critically acclaimed bestselling From the Desk of Zoe Washington—follows a young girl reshaping her meaning of home. Perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.

“Joyful. A book that kids will love.” —Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You...

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Clean Getaway

By Nic Stone
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 3 hours 56 minutes

Clean Getaway

“A fast-paced read that has as many funny twists and turns as G-ma's driving! Part historical fiction, part road adventure, Nic Stone's first middle grade novel is perfect for a read aloud!”

Brain Lair Books image Jessica, Brain Lair Books
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The Black Flamingo

By Dean Atta
Narrated by: Dean Atta
Length: 3 hours 40 minutes

The Black Flamingo

“This beautiful novel in verse has a tender, loving lens on the toxic directions we're sometimes forced to grow in before we are able to come into our own. In that way, it reminds me of Moonlight. The epilogue is beautiful and stands on its own—I want to print it out and pin it up in every middle and high school.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

By Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Narrated by: Channie Waites & Brittany Pressley
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

“I loved the dual narration and the way these two young women bond during a very traumatic night, and the way their characters really seem to grow. I've read whole series that showed less character development in 20 some odd books! Segal and Jones are the perfect pair, and I can't remember reading a novel written by two authors that flowed and gelled as much as this one - the chemistry between the writers adds to the chemistry of the story. This is a total binge-read or binge-listen (I recommend both)! ”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore
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SLAY

By Brittney Morris
Narrated by: Kiersey Clemons
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

SLAY

“Whoa. This is hardcore awesome. I hate to use popular books to compare, but it definitely is Ready Player One meets Hate U Give. And my favorite thing, there isn’t a specific heavy-handed message (at least in my opinion) which is the reason I don’t read too many popular books like this one. It asked some hard questions and left some of the decisions about the ‘correct’ answers for your own pondering. And the Libro.fm narration is great! A handful of narrators that made it feel rounded out and enthusiastic.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Leah, Bright Side Bookshop
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Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 54 minutes

New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. 
 
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African... Read more »

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All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Narrated by: Guy Lockard & Keith Nobbs
Length: 6 hours 35 minutes

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

In this New York Times bestselling novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided... Read more »

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning

By Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Jason Reynolds
Length: 4 hours 11 minutes

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

“If I had to choose one book to help start young people talking about race, I would pick this one. In fact, you need to read this book. Everyone should. Not only is it extremely approachable, it is also incredibly informative and inclusive. Most of the audiobook is read by Jason Reynolds, and I could not have picked a better narrator. Though it is targeted toward young adults, this book is great for adults as well. Already upon finishing, there are several books I now want to read to further my knowledge on this subject, many of which were overwhelming to me before. ”

Rediscovered Books image Kalli, Rediscovered Books
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Black Enough

By Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coleen Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson & Rita Williams-Garcia
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin & Ron Butler
Length: 11 hours 14 minutes

Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. A selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List.

Black is...sisters...

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Ghost Boys

By Jewell Parker Rhodes
Narrated by: Miles Harvey
Length: 2 hours 51 minutes

A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better.

Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he... Read more »

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