Not sure how to get your teen to devour paperbacks like you do? It’s alright, not everyone is a born reader. But if you wish to inculcate in your child a never-ending love for stories that tantalizes the brain, warms the heart and soothes the soul. In that case audiobooks are the perfect way to start. They provide hassle free reading experiences that allow you to get fully absorbed in the story, without feeling tedious. Here, we have curated a list of 10 best audiobooks for teens. These audiobooks span different genres and tackle different themes that we feel would make enjoyable and illuminating reads (or listens!) for your teen. All of these are available on Audible, unless otherwise specified.
10 Best audiobooks for teens:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
- Aristiotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire-Saenz
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
- Origin by Dan Brown
- Jaya by Devdutta Pattanaik
- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
To begin with the obvious, Harry Potter is the most beloved and widely read children’s fantasy book. It revolves around the magical adventures of the titular character, Harry Potter and his friends in the wizarding world. With brilliance of imagination coupled with sensitivity to the themes of bravery, love, friendship and loyalty, this is the perfect audiobook for fresh teens. It will keep them engrossed, emulate in them a passion for books and keep them wanting more, long after the last page has been turned. Really, there’s nothing more to say – the books speak for themselves.
Aristiotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire-Saenz
This poignant coming-of-age story tackles themes of friendship, love and identity. Also it feels like a breath of fresh air on a humid afternoon. This is a character driven story about Ari, our conflict-ridden protagonist who meets Dante and the friendship that blossoms between them. Their bond is heartwarming, their characterization is immaculate and the prose is breathtaking. This is also a great book to initiate your teen into the LGBTQA+ space and normalize non-heterosexual relationships.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Set in France and Germany during the Second World War. This Pulitzer prize winning novel-turned-audiobook is the moving story of the protagonists Marie-Laure and Werner. Marie-Laure is a blind girl in Paris whose father makes her a miniature of the Paris neighbourhood. Werner is an orphaned boy in Germany whose life takes a a turn as he discovers a broken radio in the mines, which leads him to the Hitler Youth. As the war rages on, circumstances force Marie-Laure and her father to flee Paris and take refuge in a small island called Saint Malo . Fate colludes to bring the two together and what ensues is a saga of heartbreak, empathy and trauma. It’s the perfect audiobook to introduce your teen to some heartrending historical fiction.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
In this classic allegory for the Russian Revolution. Orwell remarks on the fallacies of Communism and examines how the old oppressed become new tyrants in a vicious cycle of corruption. This story also talks about how the repressive and ideological state apparatus is used to create a compelled amnesia. Amnesia wherein the victims believe in their luckiness. However, Orwell deals with these themes with ease and simplicity, reducing them to the microcosm of an animal farm. A political read that can be generalized to various aspects of our lives. This audiobook is an enlightening read for people of all ages, but especially for teens.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
This is the heartwarming story of a 15 year old mathematics prodigy with a behavioral difficulty. She witnesses the death of his neighbour’s dog Wellington, and decides to investigate the murder. In the process, he steps into the outside world, faces challenges like never before and discovers himself. The book records these experiences and has a particular, moving tone to it. This makes it a must read for all adolescents.
Origin by Dan Brown
Origin is suspenseful book In Brown’s Robert Langdon series. It merges mystery, history, science, religion and architecture to create a gripping tale. This story follows our protagonist through several countries and places. Along the journey he deciphers the ultimate mystery of the universe – its origin. This audiobook is thoroughly well researched and so packed with interesting info. It has truckloads of knowledge for your teen, and what’s more – it’s also absolutely un-put-downable!
Jaya by Devdutta Pattanaik
This audiobook is a retelling of the epic Mahabharata by Devdutta Pattanaik. He is a master-artist – weaving the complex story with finesse and adding colour to it by integrating indigenous folklore into it. Pattanaik also adds his personal insights and philosophies into his books, which enriches them a thousandfold. In a time that makes it seem ‘cooler’ to read western literature than delve into our roots and embrace our traditions, this audiobook’s a great place to get your teen acquainted with Indian culture.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
This is an epistolary novel told through letters that Lauren writes to various fictional characters. It follows her journey of coming to terms with her sister May’s mysterious recent death. The letter writing begins as an assignment for her school. However, she quickly discovers it to be an outlet for her emotions and a way to make sense of her thoughts in the letters. This is a beautiful coming-of-age story that deals with friendship, first love and family bonds in a dexterous, subtly wonderful way. It is sure to tug at your teen’s heartstrings.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
This critically acclaimed novel told in twin perspectives is the story of 15 year old Kafka. She runs away from home and the old man Nakata who earns money finding lost cats. This quirky story takes haphazard turns as Kafka tries to find his mother and sister and crosses paths with Nakata. Imbued with the wonders of magical realism, this audiobook is a great way to get started with Japanese literature in general and Murakami in particular.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Perhaps the best entry point to delve into classics. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her complicated romance with her new neighbour Mr Darcy. Moreover, it also deals with her sisters’ romances and the familial situation. Apart from being a light, breezy read, it is also a wonderful novel of manners, which reflects with pin pricked accuracy and unflinching truth the society and culture of the early 19th century. And what’s more – the audiobook dramatizes the prose and offers insight into the language of that period.