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Reading & Literacy

When teens struggle with reading, getting them to sit down and actually do it can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be a battle. Use these strategies to encourage your teen to read more.

1. Keep things real.

Make explicit connections between the ability to read and future options in life. If your teen is thinking about college or a career path, have open, honest discussions about the ways reading might be necessary for success. Find role models who struggled with dyslexia— but who persevered and came out on top. Just be careful to discuss, not preach. Encourage your child to brainstorm with you and to generate some of the ideas you discuss.

2. Let your teen choose.

The best way to encourage kids to read is to allow them to read what they find engaging, whether it’s comic books, cookbooks, or romance novels about vampires or zombies. The books they’re drawn to might not be your favourites, but don’t discourage those preferences. Reading is reading. Avoid any urge to censor their choices.

3. Model reading.

The best way to create a culture of reading in your home is to read as much as possible. The more kids see their parents reading, the more likely they are to follow suit. This doesn’t change once they enter high school. Teens are even more resistant to any message that implies do as I say, not as I do.

4. Discuss what your child reads.

Talk in meaningful ways about what your child reads. Ask questions and encourage debate. Create an environment of deep discussion and critical thinking. Talking frequently about what kids are reading can help in more ways than one. For example, kids who have dyslexia or ADHD may prefer talking about a story to reading it. Help kids stay motivated by having them read short passages and then discussing them.

5. Resist the urge to criticize.

When teens are reluctant readers, you want to prevent them from shutting down about reading altogether. And that means keeping negative opinions about what they read to yourself. If you don’t like the vampire stories your teen likes, don’t voice that criticism. If you think magazines are inferior to novels, don’t share that opinion while your teen is reading a magazine. Be tolerant and encourage kids to read, whatever form that takes.

6. Find a compelling series.

Readers who get hooked on the first book in a series can follow the same characters or themes through many more books. For teens with learning and thinking differences, starting a new book can be daunting. But the familiarity of a series can make it easier to understand the text and can reduce the negative feelings associated with starting a new reading task. Find the right characters or themes, and even reluctant readers will be eager to pick up the next book in the series.

7. Connect reading to your teen’s passion.

By high school, struggling readers may have lost the motivation to work on reading skills. But you can encourage them to stay engaged by looking for ways to connect reading to subjects that are relevant to them. For example, if your teen is a reluctant reader who wants to work with animals, make it clear how important reading will be to learn more about veterinary science.

8. Help them find places to discuss books.

As well as speaking together about reading, help them find their own spaces to talk about books, such as Goodread or #BookTok on TikTok. If they feel comfortable doing so, encourage your child to speak to their friends or peers about what they are reading. Support them to find spaces such as book groups in your local library where they can get reading recommendations from other young people, and chat about their reading.

9. Be patient; the right book is out there!

Remember that the right book is out there. Whether its graphic novels, non-fiction, choose your own adventure books, how-to books, magazines or something else, there really is something for everyone in the world of books. Be patient, don't force it, and your children will find something that interests them.

 Audiobooks

Where to find free audiobooks:

  • Spotify. This music streaming giant hosts a number of audiobooks on their service and have even entered the game by producing their own series of high-quality, professional audiobooks.
  • LibriVox.
  • Audible.
  • Lit2Go.
  • Audiobooks.com.
  • BBC Sounds.
  • Rakuten Kobo.
  • Open Culture.

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (narrated by Adenrele Ojo, 14 hours 55 minutes). Political thriller, Supreme Court, biomedical & ethical issues.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo, 7 hours 26 minutes). Teenage motherhood, cooking, food, friendship, inspiring teachers, complex families.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (narrated by Adjoa Andoh, 8 hours 5 minutes). Infertility/impotence, pressures on women, 1980’s Nigeria, folktales, grief.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie (narrated by Adjoa Andoh, 6 hours 55 minutes). Fanatical religious belief, coming of age, abuse, family, Nigeria.

Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander (narrated by Imogen Church, 11 hours 3 minutes). Grief, secrets, marriage, posthumous time capsule with photos and tape recordings.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (narrated by Indira Varma, Himesh Patel, Antonio Aakeel, 9 hours 40 minutes). Mystery, kidnapping, corruption/indifference, city life & poverty in India.

The Jane Austen BBC Radio Drama Collection by Jane Austen (narrated by David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julie McKenzie, 14 hours 27 minutes).

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (narrated by Joan Walker, 9 hours 12 minutes). Grumpy old man, suicidal plans, neighbours/local communities, Sweden, heartwarming.

Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr (narrated by Karen Peakes, 23 hours 3 minutes). Historical fiction, Palestine, three generations of women.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (narrated by Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Elizabeth Evans & Tristan Morris, 15 hours 4 minutes). Epic fantasy, heist, action-adventure, misfit teens.

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron (narrated by Rafe Spall, 4 hours 40 minutes). Mental health, grief, swimming.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (narrated by Aidan Kelly, 7 hours 58 minutes). American West, US Civil War & campaigns against Native Americans, homosexuality, Irish famine, brutality

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (narrated by Isabella Star LaBlanc, 14 hours 13 minutes). Ojibwe culture, trauma, murder, thriller, community, FBI, drugs/addiction, friendship, romance, hockey, coming-of-age.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (narrated by Stephen Hogan, 21 hours 21 minutes). 20th century Ireland, homosexuality, Catholic Church, out of wedlock birth.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (narrated by Weruche Opia, 4 hours 30 minutes). Black comedy, deception, loyalty, murder, Nigeria.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (narrated by Thandie Newton, 19 hours 10 minutes)

World War Z by Max Brooks (narrated by Ragland, Farley, Pilkington, Woodward, Thorpe, Sims, Slade  13 hours 56 minutes). Zombies, mock oral history, dystopian, horror.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (narrated by William Roberts, 9 hours 43 minutes). Non-fiction, Appalachian Trail, humorous, travel.

Junk by Melvin Burgess (narrated by Katrina Baylis, 8 hours 8 minutes). Drugs (especially heroin), addiction, teenagers, love, sex.

Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland (narrated by Imogen Church, 9 hours 3 minutes). Bookshops, introvert, coming to terms with the past.

Playing the Enemy by John Carlin (narrated by Saul Reichlan, 9 hours 50 minutes). Non-fiction, Rugby World Cup in South Africa, post-Apartheid reconciliation, Nelson Mandela.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (narrated by Nicky Diss, Sarah Feathers, Esther Wane, Jent Skeslien Charles, 11 hours 53 minutes). World War II, Nazi-occupied Paris, women in war, libraries, betrayal, romance.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (narrated by Hugh Fraser). Murder mystery, secrets, mass murder, isolated island, Christie’s best?

Stolen by Lucy Christopher (narrated by Emily Gray, 8 hours 35 minutes). Thriller, kidnapping, captivity, relationships, Australian Outback.

Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (narrated by Anthony Rey Perez, 4 hours 32 minutes). Impact of immigration policies, family, Mexican-Americans, Spanish.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (narrated by Adjoa Andoh, 12 hours 6 minutes). Child marriage, housemaid, exploitation, strength of character, pigeon English, Nigeria.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (narrated by Karen White, 12 hours 29 minutes). Non-fiction, interviews, North Korea, defectors, famine, oppression, resilience.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (narrated by Richard Armitage, 36 hours 30 minutes)

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (narrated by Emily Card and Emma Bering, 15 hours 3 minutes). Time-slip, grief, redemption, New York, Paris, French Revolution

Room by Emma Donoghue (narrated by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren, Robert Petkoff, 10 hours 45 minutes). Abduction, rape, maternal love, psychological trauma.

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle (narrated by Patrick Moy, 6 hours 43 minutes). Island life, fantasy adventure, sibling rivalry, grandfather, grief.

The Rabbit Girls by Anna Ellory (narrated by Gemma Arterton & Simon Callow, 12 hours 22 minutes). Berlin Wall, domestic violence, Holocaust, resilience.

Ordinary People by Diana Evans (narrated by Jennifer Saayeng, 11 hours 46 minutes). Middle-aged angst, parenthood, grief, friendship, relationships, race, London.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (narrated by Anna-Marie Nabirye, 11 hours 7 minutes). 12 narratives, 100 years, relationships, race, black women, identity, Britain.

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (translated by Michael Hofmann, narrated by John Telfer, 20 hours 16 minutes). Nazis, resistance, betrayal, World War II, based on real events, translated

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (narrated by Peter Firth, 15 hours 19 minutes). Historical Fiction, World War I, Western Front, romance.

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (narrated by Alana Kerr Collins, 6 hours 10 minutes). Ireland, dolphins, romance, rivalry.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (narrated by Richard Flanagan, 15 hours 5 minutes). Historical fiction, flashbacks, loyalty, World War II, POWs of Japanese, Burma Railway, brutality, Australia.

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (narrated by Gareth Locke, 4 hours 27 minutes). Refugee camp, Australia, friendship, cruelty, discovery.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (narrated by Neil Gaiman, 7 hours 43 minutes); Death vs life, community,  mystery, ghosts & ghouls, friendship. Coraline* by Neil Gaiman (narrated by Dawn French, 3 hours 34 minutes). Horror, mystery, heroism.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (narrated by Bianca Amato, 19 hours 10 minutes). Historical fiction, Queen Elizabeth, execution, dwarf;A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory (narrated by Adjoa Andoh, 17 hours 25 minutes). Bristol, merchants, sugar, slave trade, ambition, 18th century polite society.

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin (narrated by Niall Buggy, 8 hours 4 minutes). Reflections on meaning of life, five toasts, relationships, family, Ireland.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (narrated by Dominic Hoffman, 13 hours 11 minutes). Epic historical fiction, seven generations, Gold Coast of Africa, slavery, US South, missionaries, conflict, love.

Midnight Library by Matt Haig (narrated by Carey Mulligan, 8 hours 49 minutes). Meaning of life, choices, regrets, possibilities. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (narrated by Mark Meadows, 10 hours 37 minutes). Living forever, History, meaning of life, wisdom

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (narrated by Polly Stone, 17 hours 19 minutes). Historical fiction, World War II, sisters, resistance, France.

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (narrated by Jamie Parker, 14 hours 52 minutes).

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (narrated by David Rintoul, 16 hours 4 minutes); Historical fiction, Dreyfus Affair, anti-Semitism, late 19th century France, investigation, integrity. Imperium by Robert Harris (narrated by Bill Wallis, 13 hours 51 minutes). Historical fiction, ancient Rome, Cicero, treachery, politics.

After the Fire by Will Hill (narrated by Amy Finegan, 13 hours 7 minutes). Cult, manipulation, psychological trauma, before & after.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (narrated by Cathleen McCaroon, 11 hours 36 minutes). Timetabled life, kindness, childhood trauma, heartwarming.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi, 10 hours 23 minutes); Sherlock & Holmes, mystery, London. I Know What You Did Last Wednesday* by Anthony Horowitz (narrated by Nickolas Grace, 1 hour 37 minutes). Mystery, school reunion, remote island, murder.

Close to Home by Cara Hunter (narrated by Emma Cunniffe and Lee Ingleby, 9 hours 34 minutes). Crime thriller, child disappearance, investigation, Oxford.

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (narrated by Bahni Turpin, 8 hours 21 minutes). Impact of slavery on enslaved people and white ‘masters’, wet nurse, relationships.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (narrated by Joe Barrett, 27 hours 19 minutes). Destiny, accidents, religious belief, friendship, Vietnam War, strange voice (clearly communicated in audiobook format!)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe and Lilit Thwaites (narrated by Marisa Calin, 13 hours 39 minutes). Holocaust, reading, resistance.

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell (narrated by Karina Fernandez, 13 hours 25 minutes). Hidden secrets, family drama.

Star of the North by D.B. John (narrated by Linda Park, 15 hours 5 minutes). North Korea, disappearance, CIA, thriller

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (narrated by Eisa Davis, Sean Crisden,  8 hours 59 minutes). Wrongful conviction, relationships, systematic racism.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (narrated by Peter Kenny, 10 hours 59 minutes). Humour, crime, flashbacks, 20th century history.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (narrated by Adam Kay, 6 hours 17 minutes). Memoir about the experiences of a junior doctor. Nonfiction, medical training, junior doctors, overwork, humorous medical situations.

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly (narrated by Alison Reid, 11 hours 46 minutes). Psychological thriller, guilt, obsession.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (narrated by Jenna Lamia, 9 hours 54 minutes). Coming-of-age, racism, abuse, American South, bee-keeping, family drama, grief.

Orphan, Monster, Spy by Matt Killeen (narrated by Rebecca Hamilton, 10 hours 8 minutes). Historical fiction, thriller, Nazis, anti-Semitism, deception, school story, action-adventure.

Reading With Patrick by Michelle Kuo (narrated by Michelle Kuo, 8 hours 29 minutes). Non-fiction, power of literature to overcome obstacles, racism, inequality, teaching.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (narrated by Rupert Degas, 7 hours 9 minutes). Dark fantasy, detective, magical creatures, action-adventure.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (narrated by Sissy Spacek, 12 hours 17 minutes); Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (narrated by Reese Witherspoon, 6 hours 57 minutes)

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (narrated by Art Malik, 8 hours 37 minutes). Refugees, Syria, harrowing, inspiring.

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (narrated by Pippa Bennet-Warner, 3 hours 53 minutes). Family, foster care, autism, trauma, birds.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (narrated by JD Jackson, 9 hours 25 minutes). Texas Ranger, African-Americans, crime investigation, racism, family drama.

The Railway Man by Eric Lomax (narrated by Bill Paterson, 8 hours 24 minutes). Memoir, World War II, Burma Railway, POWS of Japanese, torture, trauma.

Stop the Train and Pull Out All the Stops* by Geraldine McCaughrean. American West, railroads, community, protest, Visser family favourite!

The Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (narrated by David Thorpe, 18 hours 46 minutes). Historical fiction, 14th century, Plague, thriller, deception. The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland (narrated by David Thorpe, 17 hours 45 minutes). Historical fiction, 14th century, religion, superstition, women, witchcraft, murder.

Bookworm by Lucy Mangan (narrated by Lucy Mangan, 7 hours 27 minutes). Non-fiction, childhood reading, children’s literature, emotional connections to books.

The Passengers by John Marrs (narrated by Atherton, McMillan, Corbett, Bateman, Tomlinson, Khan, 11 hours 40 minutes). Thriller, self-drive cars, dystopian. Or The Good Samaritan by John Marrs (narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden, Charlotte Cold, Matthew Lloyd Davies, Tim Campbell, 11 hours 13 mintues). Psychological thriller, suicide, psychopath, grief.

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Simon Mawer (narrated by Anna Bentinck, 11 hours 32 minutes). Historical fiction, World War II, occupied France, resistance, spies, women in war.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (narrated by David Thorpe, 11 hours 31 minutes); Circe by Madeline Miller (narrated by Perdita Weeks, 12 hours 8 minutes). Greek heroes, mythology, homosexuality, love, destiny, war, grief.

The Monster Collection by Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Shelley (narrated by Richard Armitage, Dan Stevens, Greg Wise, 30 hours 33 minutes)

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (narrated by Caroline Lee, 15 hours 34 minutes). Memory loss, family, estrangement, motherhood.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (narrated by Richard Armitage, 7 hours 26 minutes). Historical fiction (based on real events), Holocaust, harrowing, love.

Beloved by Toni Morrison (narrated by Toni Morrison, 12 hours 3 minutes). Slavery, motherhood, harrowing, ghosts, redemption.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (narrated by Hall, Bentinck, Crossley, Treagar, Lindsay, Wincott, 16 hours 37 minutes). Carer, quadriplegic, love, euthanasia.  The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes (narrated by Nicolette McKenzie, 15 hours 35 minutes). Historical fiction, Australia, war brides.

A History of the World in 21 Women by Jenni Murray (narrated by Jenni Murray, 8 hours 44 minutes). Non-fiction, women who transformed history.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (narrated by Humphrey Bower, 12 hours 28 minutes); The Ask and the Answer** by Patrick Ness (narrated by Humphrey Bower, 13 hours 44 minutes); Monsters of Men** by Patrick Ness (narrated by Humphrey Bower, 15 hours 32 minutes). Chaos Walking trilogy, dystopian, gender, thought noise, violence, terrorism, prejudice, redemption.

Us by David Nicholls (narrated by Justin Salinger, 12 hours 40 minutes). Middle-age, marriage, travel, parenthood. Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (narrated by Rory Kinnear, 13 hours 5 minutes). First love, defiance, acting, Romeo and Juliet.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (narrated by Ariadne Meyers, Kirby Heyborne 11 hours 4 minutes). Grief, depression, mental illness, love.

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama (narrated by Barack Obama, 7 hours 8 minutes); The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (narrated by Barack Obama, 6 hours 10 minutes)

Becoming by Michelle Obama (narrated by Michelle Obama, 19 hours 3 minutes)

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain by John O’Farrell (narrated by John O’Farrell, 16 hours minutes). Non-fiction, light-hearted take on key events/people in British history.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (narrated by Daisy Donovan, 10 hours 31 minutes). Shakespeare, Agnes, motherhood, twins, grief.

Wonder by RJ Palacio (narrated by Kate Rudd, Nick Podehl, Diana Steele, 8 hours 5 minutes). Facial abnormality, school, bullying, friendship, family, courage.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (narrated by Tom Hanks, 9 hours 53 minutes). Siblings, complex families, possessions, estrangement.

The Super-Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson (narrated by Josh Berry, 4 hours 13 minutes). Journeys, humour, friendship, crazy adventures, grief.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (narrated by Noma Dumezweni, Jeff Harding, Jennifer Woodward, 16 hours 41 minutes). Birth, death, racism, white supremacy, law, trial, redemption. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (narrated by Lowman, Revasch, Mazur, Deakins, 15 hours 11 minutes). Elephants, grief, psychic, disappearance, mystery.

The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett (narrated by Stephen Briggs, 4 hours 24 minutes); Mort: Discworld, Book 4 by Terry Pratchett (narrated by Tony Robinson, 3 hours 2 minutes). Fantasy, humour, action-adventure.

Grimm Tales for Young and Old by Phillip Pullman (narrated by Samuel West, 10 hours 24 minutes); Northern Lights** by Philip Pullman (narrated by Philip Pullman & full cast, 10 hours 45 minutes); The Subtle Knife** & Amber Spyglass** are also excellent.

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts (narrated by January LaVoy, 15 hours 22 minutes). Mass shooting, trauma, survivors’ guilt, sculptures, revenge, hit list, love.

Divergent by Veronica Roth (narrated by Emma Galvin, 11 hours 11 minutes)  & sequels. Dystopian, action-adventure, family, innate talents, factions, love.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (narrated by Stephen Fry, 9 hours 33 minutes) + the rest of the Harry Potter series, all narrated Stephen Fry.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (narrated by Aysha Kala, 12 hours 26 minutes). Twins, India, castes, unrequited love, separation, politics, gender, guilt, grief.

A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Oseki (narrated by Ruth Oseki, 14 hours, 43 minutes). Japanese-American, depression, diaries, tsunami, return narrative, kamikaze.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (narrated by Michael Kramer, 24 hours 59 minutes). Epic adventure, magic, evil and exploitation, heroism.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (narrated by Tania Rodrigues, 7 hours 54 minutes) – British/Muslim identity, radicalisation, cynical politicians, based on Greek tragedy Antigone

The Mandibles: A Family 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver (narrated by George Newbern, 13 hours 45 minutes). Dystopian, family drama, inherited riches, economic meltdown.

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (narrated by Ben Onwukwe). Historical crime mystery, slavery & profits, abolitionist movement.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (narrated by Greg Tremblay, 10 hours 32 minutes) & sequels. Dystopian, no natural/accidental death, population control, art of killing, action-adventure.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute (narrated by Robin Bailey, 10 hours 18 minutes). Australia, World War II, Japanese brutality, love, Outback, entrepreneurship, women.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (narrated by Bill Wallis, 14 hours 4 minutes). Grumpy old man, loneliness, prejudice, rural Sussex life, humorous.

The Rosie Project by Gaeme Simsion (narrated by Dan O’Grady, 7 hours 30 minutes). Humorous, genetics, Autistic Spectrum, love.

Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust by Lyn Smith (narrated by Andrew Sachs, 5 hours 10 minutes). Non-fiction vignettes on expériences of victims of the Holocaust.

If Only They Didn’t Speak English by Jon Sopel (narrated by Jon Sopel, 9 hours 52 minutes). Non-fiction, BBC journalist, entertaining stories and insights into American life and politics.

With Our Blessing by Jo Spain (narrated by Aoife McMahon, 12 hours 50 minutes) or Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain (narrated by Michele Moran, 10 hours 54 minutes). Crime, psychological thriller

Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan (narrated by Will Damron, 17 hours 43 minutes). Historical fiction (based on true story), World War II, Italy, resistance, spy, love.

Elephant Moon by John Sweeney (narrated by Helen Johns, 10 hours 18 minutes). Historical fiction (based on true story), World War II, Burma, Japanese invasion, half-castes, jungle, elephants.

Mississippi Bridge by Mildred D Taylor (narrated by Danny Gerard, 53 minutes). 1930’s American South, racism, tragedy, Logan family series.

Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson (narrated by Laurence Boxhall, 1 hour 13 minutes). Grief, war memorial, friendship. Or The Goldfish Boy* by Lisa Thompson (narrated by Leon Williams, 6 hours 31 minutes). OCD, mental health, mystery

Jolly Wicked, Actually by Tony Thorne (narrated by John Telfer, 9 hours 43 minutes). Non-fiction, origins of 100 words that represent British culture/history, linguistics, language.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (narrated by Elijah Wood, 10 hours 10 minutes)

Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden (narrated by Jack Davenport, 6 hours 8 minutes). School for villains, humorous, action-adventure.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (narrated by Alice Walker, 7 hours 54 minutes). Strong Black females, sisters, domestic abuse, rape, racism, redemption, bi-sexual relationships, love, African history/traditions.

The 1000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford (narrated by Chris Coxon & Luke Johnson, 7 hours 24 minutes). History, friendship, adventure, meaning of life/death.

Educated by Tara Westover (narrated by Julia Whelen, 12 hours 10 minutes). Memoir, off-the-grid, family loyalty, abuse, radical beliefs, transformative power of education.

Partials by Dan Wells (narrated by Julia Whelan, 14 hours 6 minutes). Dystopian, Artificial Intelligence, part-human cyborgs, virus, action-adventure, love.

We Begin At the End by Chris Whitaker (narrated by George Newbern, 10 hours 29 minutes). Crime, revenge, redemption, thriller

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson (narrated by Bahni Turpin, 10 hours 50 minutes). Spy thriller, Cold War, FBI, race, Burkina Faso. Inspired by true events.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (narrated by Tigger Blaize, Zee Andrews, 9 hours 11 minutes). Transgender, secrets, friendship, bullies, family

Why Don’t Students Like School by Daniel Willingham (narrated by Paul Costanzo, 9 hours 12 minutes). Non-fiction, cognitive psychology, education, how students learn.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young (narrated by Dan Stevens, 10 hours 48 minutes). Historical fiction, World War I, Western Front, class, love, disfigurement, nursing.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (narrated by Archie Panjabi, Malala Yousafzai, 9 hours 53 minutes). Memoir, rights for girls & women, education, violence, Taliban, inspiring.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (narrated by Daniel Philpott, 17 hours 33 minutes). Cemetery of lost books, Barcelona, crime thriller, love, gothic.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (narrated by Allan Corduner, 13 hours 55 minutes). Historical fiction, Nazis, World War II, Holocaust, books, death, resistance. 

 

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