Audio Books Your Teenager Will Love

September 14, 2010

Getting your child to read a book can be a tough sell.  It takes a certain amount of dedication and attention to sit and read for pleasure, and considering that they spend more and more time with their noses in textbooks, studying for class, it’s no wonder they want to give their eyes and their minds a rest.  But there are other ways to impart literature, improve vocabulary and comprehension, and get your child on board with books, and audio versions are the best alternative to the regular fare.  After all, the consumption of literature is supposed to be a fun activity, not a chore.  So if your teens simply can’t suffer more reading than they’ve already got on their plate, here are a few audio books they can put on their MP3 player and absorb as they surf YouTube or update their Facebook.

1.       How to Build a House. Written by Dana Reinhardt and read by Caitlin Greer.  This book follows one summer in the life of 17-year-old Harper Evans.  Her parents are divorced and her world is turned upside down.  But instead of sticking around to suffer the ripple effect, she decides to do something useful with her time by volunteering to head to a small Tennessee town to build houses in the aftermath of a devastating tornado.

2.       Bucking the Sarge. Written by Christopher Paul Curtis and read by Michael Boatman.  15-year-old Luther leads a strange life in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.  He’s under the thumb of his mother, aptly called “Sarge”, who runs a number of group homes for elderly men (which Luther must help with), along with a shady loan-sharking business.  Luther dreams of a life away from the slums in which he can pursue an Ivy League education, and he might just pull it off if he can find a way to evade his shrewd and manipulative mother.

3.       A Great and Terrible Beauty. Written by Libba Bray and read by Jo Wyatt.  This is the first in a series of three books that follow 16-year-old Gemma Doyle as she returns to England from India and is shoved into the restrictive lifestyle of a girl’s finishing school.  Complicating matters is her budding talent for magic, friends who insist on being a part of her spirit world, and a mysterious past that will come back to haunt her.

4.       Princess Diaries. Written by Meg Cabot and read by Anne Hathaway.  Lovers of the Disney movie already know the story of 14-year-old Mia and her struggle to grow up and fit in after discovering her regal ancestry.  But the literary version is even better than the film, especially when narrated in Hathaway’s animated voice.

5.       Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood.  Written by Alire Sáenz and read by Robert Ramirez.  This recipient of the YASLA Selected Audio Books for Young Adults Award has a lot to offer on the issues of violence and tolerance as it follows the experiences of Sammy Santos and Juliana Rios as they strive to live a normal life amidst discrimination in a small New Mexico town during the 1960s.

6.       On the Road. Written by Jack Kerouac and read by Matt Dillon.  This literary classic has appealed to generations of teens with its hipster lingo and road-trip storyline.  Listeners will follow Sal Paradise on a cross-country jaunt that speaks to the freedom-loving wanderer in all of us, as well as a desire to see new places and meet new people.  And with Dillon’s roughly expressive voice at the helm, the syncopated rhythms of Kerouac’s deftly written masterpiece are sure to resonate with any teen.

Sarah Danielson writes for Invoice Finance website in the UK. Learn more about how factoring can help save your business time and money.

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