Summertime—with no pesky homework to worry about—can bring plenty of opportunities to enjoy audiobooks. They’re perfect for enticing reluctant readers who might not otherwise think a book will appeal to them, and they even support acquisition of new vocabulary and help offset summer slide while school is not in session. Since children’s listening comprehension often surpasses their reading abilities, the audio format also makes books accessible to kids who aren’t ready to pick up the original texts and read them independently. The narrators’ skillful performances also enhance their interest for older kids and adults, making them ideal for family road trips. Be sure to check out these recent and upcoming titles.

Sisters of the Lost Marsh by Lucy Strange (Scholastic Audio, 6 hours and 9 minutes): This atmospheric tale rooted in the otherworldly landscape and history of a remote, rural region of southeast England is not only beautifully narrated by the author herself, she also composed the captivating music that enriches the audio version.

The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri (Listening Library, 4 hours and 29 minutes): While listeners must get their hands on a physical copy to enjoy Daniel Miyares’ luminous illustrations, the author’s narration adds tremendous charm and character to this Silk Road adventure that’s full of colorful characters and their hilarious, nail-biting hijinks.

Felice and the Wailing Woman by Diana López (Listening Library, 7 hours and 27 minutes): La Llorona, the tragic and terrifying figure from Mexican folklore who has haunted the imaginations of generations of children, is freshly reimagined in this touching story of loss, healing, and courage narrated by Elena Rey with heart and warmth.

The Notorious Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud (Listening Library, 12 hours and 17 minutes): This title is the second book in the Scarlett and Browne science-fiction series that is being adapted for the screen; Doctor Who actor Sophie Aldred’s dry narration is the perfect accompaniment to Stroud’s trademark rousing action and humor.

Absolutely, Positively Natty by Lisa Greenwald (HarperAudio, 5 hours and 37 minutes): Greenwald offers readers a challenging and emotionally intelligent story that explores the toll of toxic positivity as a tween learns healthier coping strategies; Caroline Sorunke’s smooth narration hits just the right note of reassurance for listeners through the protagonist’s ups and downs.

When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhhà Lai (HarperAudio, 2 hours and 17 minutes): This much-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s award-winning Inside Out & Back Again is narrated by Brigid Mai Khanh Leahy, who reads this lyrical verse novel with tenderness and care; the listening experience is enriched by hearing the Vietnamese words sprinkled throughout.

Muzoon: A Syrian Refugee Speaks Out by Muzoon Almellehan with Wendy Pearlman (Listening Library, 5 hours and 53 minutes): Arabic-speaking British Jordanian actor Lara Sawalha evocatively gives voice to the words of the remarkable young refugee and activist at the heart of this memoir; Almellehan’s story moves from her beloved Syrian homeland to an eventual settlement in England.

Lei and the Fire Goddess by Malia Maunakea (Listening Library, 7 hours and 51 minutes): This action-packed fantasy centers a girl who reconnects with her Native heritage while visiting her grandmother in Hawai‘i, where she has too-close-for-comfort encounters with fire goddess Pele; narrator Jennifer Robideau immerses listeners in the beautiful rhythms of island speech.

The Braid Girls by Sherri Winston (Dreamscape Media, 5 hours and 37 minutes): The audio version of a character-driven book that has three distinctly drawn protagonists is fittingly narrated by Erin Ruth Walker, Tyla Collier, and Jade Wheeler, who together bring the girls’ hair-braiding business struggles and nuanced personal growth to life.

Laura Simeon is a young readers’ editor.