By January 24, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Odyssey, Notable Recordings, Amazing Audiobooks

The year’s best listening named by the American Library Association’s youth divisions in a just-completed conference in Dallas. Yes, the total list of award-winners announced yesterday has plenty of great titles, too. But there are three committees that focus on the unique attributes of audiobook production and narration when selecting the best.

ALSC, the Association for Library Service to Children, evaluates titles for children from ages birth through fourteen, and includes music in the Notable Children’s Recording list. Check out the list of 28 titles available here: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncr

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, selects audiobooks for listeners ages twelve through eighteen for their list. You can see this year’s list of 30 titles here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/audiobooks/2012

And the Big Kahuna is the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The Odyssey committee, comprised of both ALSC and YALSA members, collaborate to name one winner and honor titles as the most distinguished examples of sound literature, for listeners ages birth through eighteen. This year’s winner is Rotters, written by Daniel Kraus, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, and produced by Odyssey-winner Listening Library. Mesmerizing, horrifying, yet grounded in solid reality – Rotters is utterly amazing. You can read my starred review here, and my “Talking With” interview with Dan about his reactions to revisiting his work as an audio production here. Liz Hannegan & her stalwart committee members -who listened to over 500 submissions (yes, you read that right!!) – shared a happy moment with Booklist consultant Sue-Ellen Beauregard and author Kraus right after the award announcement in the photo above.

There were four Odyssey Honor titles:

Ghetto Cowboy, written by G. Neri, narrated by JD Jackson and produced by Brilliance Audio.

Okay for Now, written by Gary D. Schmidt, narrated by Lincoln Hoppe and produced by Listening Library.

The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Steve Westand Fiona Hardingham and produced by Scholastic Audiobooks.

Young Fredle, written by Cynthia Voigt, narrated by Wendy Carter and produced by Listening Library.

So get your headphones warmed up and start listening – if you manage one title a week, that’s more that a year’s worth of great audiobooks!

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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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