Musselman Interview

An insider’s look at Odyssey-winner The True Meaning of Smekday. I had the opportunity to talk with one of the very best in the audiobook business, Random House Audio’s director of studio productions Dan Musselman, after the 2011 Odyssey Award winners were announced by the American Library Association. The task of Sarah McCarville’s Odyssey committee of expert listeners was to choose ONE best audiobook out of all the titles produced for children from birth up to & including age 18. After narrowing the field to 429 (!) eligible titles, they selected Musselman’s Random House Audio/Listening Library production of The True Meaning of Smekday, written by Adam Rex and narrated by Bahni Turpin, as the winner.  I was thrilled to hear the announcement of the winner, as Smekday is on my list of all-time favorite audiobooks (as you can tell from my starred review review here). So I was curious to hear what Dan – who has produced over 3,000 audiobooks in his career – would share about his reaction to the Odyssey Award. Read the whole interview here for a fascinating look inside the audiobook studio.

If you’re looking for a great family listening audiobook for your Spring Break car trip, get you hands on Smekday. You’ll laugh your way down the highway – and have some food for thought to trigger thoughtful conversation. And be sure you have all the Odyssey titles in your library collection, including this year’s Odyssey Honor titles:  Revolution, which Musselman coproduced with Orli Moscowitz, Alchemy and Meggy Swann (both from Listening Library), and Brilliance Audio’s The Knife of Never Letting Go and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

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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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