A good book read by a talented narrator is a beautiful thing, but a good book performed by a full cast of talented narrators can bring a whole new dimension to the listening experience. Here are a few examples where the full cast really elevates the audiobook, recommended from our friends at AudioFile.

New Kid (Harper Audio) by Jerry Craft, read by Jesus Del Orden, Nile Bullock, Robin Miles, Guy Lockard, Peyton Lusk, Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Phoebe Strole, Marc Thompson
(Ages 8+)

Jordan is anxious about starting seventh grade at an upscale private school where he is one of only a few kids of color. From the start, listeners can tell this is not a traditional audiobook, which is fitting because it’s based on a graphic novel. But what is lost without the illustrations is made up for by immersive sound effects, music, and a dramatic reading by a full cast.

The Next Great Paulie Fink (Hachette Audioby Ali Benjamin, read by Cassandra Morris, Zach Villa, Cameron Bowen, Adam McArthur
(Ages 8+)

When legendary prankster Paulie Fink doesn’t return for seventh grade, his classmates miss him so much that they hold a contest to name the next great Paulie Fink. The new girl, Caitlyn, acts as organizer and judge. Four narrators bring to life an unusual rural school in Vermont as they tell their hilarious stories about the infamous Paulie.

Maximillian Fly (Harper Audioby Angie Sage, read by Fred Berman, Tavia Gilbert, Sean Welsh Brown, Jennifer Nittoso, Josh Hurley
(Ages 8+)

Gentle homebody Maximillian Fly looks like a human-sized cockroach in his bleak dystopian world. When he harbors two fugitive children, his quiet life takes an adventurous turn. All of the narrators in the ensemble cast contribute to the richness of the story’s characters and help listeners keep track of the story’s different perspectives.

To Night Owl From Dog Fish (Listening Library) by Holly Goldberg Sloan, Meg Wolitzer, read by Imani Parks, Cassandra Morris, and a Full Cast.
(Ages 10+)

In a story composed entirely of emails and letters, narrators Imani Parks and Cassandra Morris capture the indignation and then increasing enthusiasm of two 12-year-old girls, Avery and Bett, who are thrown together when their fathers enter a relationship. Other narrators from the ensemble vividly portray several other memorable characters, including Avery’s high-strung father and Bett’s lively grandmother.

It Wasn’t Me (Listening Library) by Dana Alison Levy, read by Robbie Daymond, Ramon de Ocampo, Emily Woo Zeller, Jorjeana Marie, Adenrele Ojo, JB Adkins, Caz Harleaux
(Ages 10+)

Seven narrators portray a diverse cast of characters in this seventh-grade version of The Breakfast Club. When Theo’s photography project is mysteriously vandalized at school, he and the five suspects must come to school over vacation for “Justice Circle.” Robbie Daymond portrays Theo with authenticity and heart. “Status reports” read in the voices of the teacher and each suspect help reveal their deeper personalities.

Sadie (Macmillan Audio) by Courtney Summers, read by Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and a Full Cast
(Ages 14+)
AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Winner of the 2019 Odyssey Award and the 2019 Audie Award for Young Adult, Sadie is a tense story of abuse and revenge narrated by a cast of more than 30 voices. The multiple voices bring a whole new dimension to the listening experience, amplifying the power of this unforgettable audiobook.

See the article on AudioFile’s blog