By December 20, 2008 14 Comments Read More →

Mock Odyssey Award – Cast your vote!

Last year at this time, I was tethered to my headphones, constantly listening to the best audiobooks of the year as chair of the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. This year, I can indulge in the speculation about which titles will be under discussion behind locked doors in Denver. And I can’t wait for the thrill of sitting in the audience as the winner & honor titles are announced in the Youth Media Awards press conference! Kudos to this year’s chair, Pam Spencer Holley, and her stalwart 2009 Odyssey committee members for their dedication to the cause. As Sylvia Vardell stated in her article chronicling the adventures of the 2008 Odyssey committee, our listening total was nearly 2,000 hours, with each member listening nonstop for more than five full-time workweeks. Add to that our “critical listening” of the final nominees, and the total was increased by 130 hours. And you can’t speed-read an audiobook!

I’d like to start the speculation on this year’s Odyssey medalists by asking readers to leave a reply with your picks for winner & honor titles. The Odyssey criteria can be found here, highlighting the qualities needed by the best audiobook for listeners ages 0-18. What better place to start the Odyssey conversation than on Booklist Online, as Booklist Magazine is the sponsor of the Odyssey Award? I will hold off on my picks for now, but you can find my favorites of the year in my Audiobooker’s Choice parts One, Two, & Three. But I am sure there are titles that are your favorites that are still on my to-listen list! What audiobook do you think should be awarded the Odyssey seal?

Cast your vote below!



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

14 Comments on "Mock Odyssey Award – Cast your vote!"

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  1.' Jessica says:

    Once Upon a Time in the North, by Philip Pullman and a full cast. It was really excellent, of the quality and performance I’ve come to expect after the His Dark Materials audiobooks. But the story really grabbed on this too – really an excellent all ages listen, the western themes of the story for adults and nothing objectionable for kids.

  2.' Lynn Rutan says:

    Oh it is so hard to choose! I think my favorites so far are Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Once Upon a Time in the North. The full cast recording of Fairest perfectly captured the joy of singing shared by the citizens of Ayortha and enhanced the calamity of a new queen with a terrible voice 😉 All the voices were perfectly matched to the book characters. This recording took a wonderful book and made it an unforgettable experience. Neil Gaiman’s narration of his own book is also outstanding for me. He does a wonderful job of making each character distinct, including using a wide variety of accents. Once Upon a Time in the North, another full cast recording, took me instantly to Pullman’s world. The voices of well loved characters felt perfectly suited to me. I wanted more more more when this exquisite audio finished.

  3.' Ellen says:

    The Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, and published by Listen and Live Audio is my choice. It continues the adventures, and misadventures, of Jacky Faber as she is forced to learn how to be a fine lady, while being separated from her true love, Jaimy.

  4.' Geri Dosalua says:

    Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, narrated by Gerard Doyle. Gerard Doyle is a fantastic narrator, second only to Jim Dale. He really makes this third adventure of Shade Slayer and Saphira come to life.

  5. If “Curse of the Blue Tattoo” doesn’t win, it’ll be a crime! 🙂

  6.' Beatrice says:

    Arte Johnson reads “The Willoughbys”…perfectly avuncular! “The Hunger Games”: An exciting reality show for your ears! “The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs”: A horror story made ever more horrifying when read in ordinary, everyday tones.

  7.' Teri Lesesne says:

    ELIJAH OF BUXTON is one of my favorites from this year along with NATION and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. I second the CURSE OF THE BLUE TATTOO and would add SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: PLAYING WITH FIRE as a personal favorite. FAIREST was also a wonderful listening experiene. So may audios….


  8.' Mary Ann says:

    I truly enjoyed listening to Savvy by Ingrid Law. Lily Blau is new to narrating audiobooks, and she did an amazing job – really bringing Mib’s voice and thoughts to life. The audiobook also worked well with the author’s poetic language.

  9. Mary says:

    Oooh Teri, I loved Playing with Fire, too. I really tried to narrow my Audiobooker list – and there are plenty of really good titles that aren’t on my very personal list – including those that I didn’t have time to listen to, like Savvy, Mary Ann. So many audiobooks, so little time – all too true!

  10. Mary says:

    Oh, and Alfred… I just have to say that Curse of the Blue Tattoo is every bit as wonderful as the first book in the series, Odyssey Honor title Bloody Jack – produced by Listen and Live Audio. Oh hey, aren’t you the co-founder and president of Listen and Live? What a small world 😉


  11.' Linda says:

    Two of my personal favorites worthy of the award – The Graveyard by Neil Gaiman (Talent with a capital “T”) and… The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas read by Emily Bauer.

  12. Mary says:

    Hi Linda!
    I finished listening to The Possibilities of Sainthood just this afternoon. Very enjoyable!


  13.' Lee Catalano says:

    Hello Mary … I’ve only listened to audiobooks for teens, but here are my faves: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian … not just read but LIVED by Sherman Alexie, Fairest … which just MUST be listened to, and The Graveyard Book. Special mention to Bloody Jack #2 and #3 — Katherine Kellgren’s performances are even better than the original, I think!

  14.' Patti Tj says:

    I agree that The Graveyard Book is wonderfully read by the author. I also thought the humor and and nuances of language in Pratchet’s Nation came through so well in the audio.

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