By January 30, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Opinions, please!

Well, the American Library Association conference and the award ceremonies are over. The cheers as the second annual Odyssey Awards were announced are a fond memory, and we’ve had a chance to read the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings and YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks lists.

So now it’s Super Bowl Weekend, and a perfect time for some Monday Morning Quarterbacking! What do you think of the Odyssey selections? Any favorites from the past year missing from the lists? Leave your comment and let your opinions be known!

I was surprised when a title that I was completely unfamiliar was announced as one of the Odyssey Honor titles: Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale, written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy, produced by Peachtree Publishers. When I checked the Peachtree website, this seems to be their only title that is an audiobook/picture book readalong. How awesome that the first & only audiobook of this small publisher was produced with the highest of standards! And how fantastic that the Odyssey Committee found this example of excellence in audiobook production from the community of print publishers, taking seriously their charge to seek out the best of the best. Hopefully, Peachtree will continue with audiobook production – perhaps with a favorite of mine, Deedy’s The Library Dragon!

When I compared the ALSC & YALSA lists to my Audiobooker’s Choice 1, 2, & 3 lists, there are a few titles that I especially wish had been recognized:

Book of a Thousand Days. By Shannon Hale, Narrated by Chelsea Mixon & the Full Cast Family. Full Cast Audio

Give Peas a Chance. By Morris Gleitzman. Narrated by Morris Gleitzman and Ruth Schoenheimer. Bolinda Audio.

King for Kids: Featuring Recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Clayborne Carson. Hachette Audio.

Masterpiece. By Elise Broach. Narrated by Jeremy Davidson. Macmillan Audio.

The Poet’s Corner: the One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family. By John Lithgow. Narrated by John Lithgow. Hachette Audio.

But hey! The longer the list, the less significant the honor. There were titles on the final ALSC & YALSA lists that I had not listened to – and on every committee, some favorites have to be cut to allow the starting players to take the field. So no Monday Morning Quarterback grumbling from me! I absolutely agree with the Odyssey Committee’s selections – truly the MVPs of the year’s audiobooks. How about you? What titles do you wish could have made the cut?

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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.

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