The school season is in full force! We get it… It’s hard to encourage your kiddos to read when their schedule is already so demanding. Keep their passion for page-turning going with audiobooks!

Here are a few titles that are sure to entertain your little listener with wholesome stories featuring characters they can relate to.

 

The Braid Girls

Written by Sherri Winston, narrated by Erin Ruth Walker, Tyla Collier, and Jade Wheeler

A heartwarming middle-grade novel about friendship, sisterhood, and entrepreneurship.

Maggie, her best friend, and her new half-sister team up to create the ultimate hair-braiding business in their neighborhood, but the Braid Girls aren’t the only hairstylists on the scene when a rival starts up her own braiding business at summer camp.

A former journalist, Winston writes stories centering around issues such as self-esteem, anti-blackness, and generational trauma. She refers to The Braid Girls and another one of her books, Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution, as “hair lit”.

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Eco Girl

Written by Ken Wilson-Max, narrated by Jade Wheeler

In this thoughtful and tender celebration of family tradition, young listeners are introduced to the concept of environmental stewardship and the joy of reciprocity.

Eve loves living next to a forest because it means being close to her favorite baobab trees. She does her best to imitate them by practicing patience and feeding and sheltering birds. While Eve can’t become a tree, she can contribute to the forest’s beauty by nurturing her very own baobab seedling, like her dad and grandma before her.

Wilson-Max said the book was inspired by his childhood in Zimbabwe and his father’s love of trees. He hopes readers will understand how we rely on nature to live and how nature relies on us to take care of it.

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Merci Suárez Plays It Cool

Written by Meg Medina, narrated by Frankie Corzo

In the satisfying final book of the Merci Suárez trilogy, our titular character enters an eighth-grade year full of changes – friendships, responsibilities, and heartbreaking loss.

For Merci Suárez, eighth grade is a year filled with responsibility, independence, and opportunities to reinvent herself. Merci has always been fine with not being one of the popular kids like Avery Sanders, who will probably be the soccer captain. But then Avery starts talking to Merci more, and not just as a teammate. Does this mean they’re friends? Merci wants to play it cool, but with Edna always in her business, it’s only a matter of time before Merci has to decide where her loyalty stands.

Medina is a Cuban American author, a former teacher, and the 2023-2024 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Merci Suárez Changes Gears, her first book in the series, is a Newbery Medal winner.

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Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote

Written by Andrea Beaty, narrated by Marisa Blake

The bestselling chapter book series continues with the newest Questioneer, Sofia Valdez, who is put in charge of the class election for a new class pet.

Miss Lila Greer announces it’s time for Grade Two to get a class pet. The class narrows it down to two options: Team Turtle and Team Bird. Sofia is named Election Commissioner, in charge of overseeing a fair and honest election between the two teams. But when the votes are counted, there’s a tie, and one vote is missing. What has happened to the vanishing vote? It’s up to Sofia Valdez and the Questioneers to restore democracy!

Beaty said each of her Questioneers is defined by a specific characteristic like creativity, perseverance, or curiosity. Sofia, her Mexican-American protagonist, is “distinguished by her courage, care, and desire to help others.”

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You Are Life

Written and narrated by Bao Phi

From an award-winning Vietnamese American author comes a poem that celebrates the wonderful and complex identity of children of immigrants and refugees, reminding them that who they are is always enough and promising what they will never be: invisible.

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There are so many more children’s audiobooks to choose from! Check them all out here.