The Best Back-to-School Audiobooks for Young Listeners

Get the youngster in your life excited about the new school year with these back-to-school favorites!

Going back to school—or starting for the very first time—can be anxiety inducing, exhilarating, freeing, and an all-around big moment for kids under any circumstances. This year, the specifics of back-to-school may vary, but the feelings will inevitably remain the same: new year, fresh notebooks, budding friendships, intriguing teachers, and that pit-of-the-stomach excitement of walking into the unknown. 

We hope this carefully selected group of audiobooks will help your little (or maybe not-so-little) ones feel reassured, confident, and maybe even a bit giddy about diving into this strange new school year.

Best Elementary Grade Back-to School Audiobooks

Tomorrow I'll Be Kind

This heartwarming audiobook teaches children everyday lessons that all of us (adults included!) sometimes forget in the blur of our busy lives. A follow-up to the very popular Tomorrow I’ll be Brave, this snack-size audiobook has a simple central message: learn to be grateful, helpful, and kind. Narrator Robin Miles delivers the story with a gentle, easy tone that reflects the tenderness of the story.

A Happy Start to School

A Happy Start to School is a playful audiobook with an important goal: to help kids prepare socially and emotionally for their first day of school. Author and narrator Amba Brown has studied positive psychology and is an active member of the International Positive Psychology Association. Brown is passionate about alleviating the anxieties of youth, and has put her passion to work in A Happy Start to School, which is based in what she calls the science of happiness. If a child in your life needs some support and encouragement before starting school, this audiobook may prove to be the perfect listen.

The King of Kindergarten

From Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes comes the story of a confident little boy who can’t wait to take on kindergarten. This fun and empowering listen takes little ones through some of the most important moments of the school day: from making friends to learning about the importance of sharing. The hero’s enthusiasm and confidence are contagious, making this a great choice for any soon-to-be kindergartener who could use a boost of excitement about heading off to school!

Tomorrow I'll Be Kind

This heartwarming audiobook teaches children everyday lessons that all of us (adults included!) sometimes forget in the blur of our busy lives. A follow-up to the very popular Tomorrow I’ll be Brave, this snack-size audiobook has a simple central message: learn to be grateful, helpful, and kind. Narrator Robin Miles delivers the story with a gentle, easy tone that reflects the tenderness of the story.

A Happy Start to School

A Happy Start to School is a playful audiobook with an important goal: to help kids prepare socially and emotionally for their first day of school. Author and narrator Amba Brown has studied positive psychology and is an active member of the International Positive Psychology Association. Brown is passionate about alleviating the anxieties of youth, and has put her passion to work in A Happy Start to School, which is based in what she calls the science of happiness. If a child in your life needs some support and encouragement before starting school, this audiobook may prove to be the perfect listen.

The King of Kindergarten

From Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes comes the story of a confident little boy who can’t wait to take on kindergarten. This fun and empowering listen takes little ones through some of the most important moments of the school day: from making friends to learning about the importance of sharing. The hero’s enthusiasm and confidence are contagious, making this a great choice for any soon-to-be kindergartener who could use a boost of excitement about heading off to school!

Best Middle Grade Back to School Audiobooks

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja

This hilarious and heart-warming audiobook is sure to keep kids entertained while getting them excited for their first day back at school. The particular ninja telling his story, Chase Cooper, is starting the year at a brand new school—but that doesn’t stop him from chronicling his journey from scrawny 4th grader to full-fledged 6th grade ninja! Narrator Josh Hurley’s energetic tone perfectly matches the thrilling adventure our hero takes us on.

Wonder

Anyone who has listened to Wonder likely won’t be surprised to hear the novel has made it’s way to the coveted New York Times Best Seller list. This story of a smart, silly, friendly boy starting the 5th grade while looking decidedly different from the other kids in his class has captured the hearts of millions. Author R. J. Palacio has called Wonder a meditation on kindness—and to be sure, listeners of any age will gain empathy and compassion from this powerful story about a young boy who looks different, but is brave enough to stand out.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Little Leaders tells the story of 40 groundbreaking Black women who have broken barriers and changed the world in the process. Among some of these incredible women are abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. If you aim to educate and inspire the young ones in your life, this audiobook chalk full of real-life role models is a great choice.

The Day You Begin

National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson does not disappoint with this heartfelt story centered around finding connection by gaining the courage to reach out to others. Narrated by the author herself, this uplifting audiobook is worth returning to again and again to show kids that we are all uniquely wonderful.

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja

This hilarious and heart-warming audiobook is sure to keep kids entertained while getting them excited for their first day back at school. The particular ninja telling his story, Chase Cooper, is starting the year at a brand new school—but that doesn’t stop him from chronicling his journey from scrawny 4th grader to full-fledged 6th grade ninja! Narrator Josh Hurley’s energetic tone perfectly matches the thrilling adventure our hero takes us on.

Wonder

Anyone who has listened to Wonder likely won’t be surprised to hear the novel has made it’s way to the coveted New York Times Best Seller list. This story of a smart, silly, friendly boy starting the 5th grade while looking decidedly different from the other kids in his class has captured the hearts of millions. Author R. J. Palacio has called Wonder a meditation on kindness—and to be sure, listeners of any age will gain empathy and compassion from this powerful story about a young boy who looks different, but is brave enough to stand out.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Little Leaders tells the story of 40 groundbreaking Black women who have broken barriers and changed the world in the process. Among some of these incredible women are abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. If you aim to educate and inspire the young ones in your life, this audiobook chalk full of real-life role models is a great choice.

The Day You Begin

National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson does not disappoint with this heartfelt story centered around finding connection by gaining the courage to reach out to others. Narrated by the author herself, this uplifting audiobook is worth returning to again and again to show kids that we are all uniquely wonderful.

Best Junior High Back-to-School Audiobooks

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