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The Top 109 Audiobook Titles of 2016

AudiobookerThe American Library Association recognized the top audiobook titles for kids, teens, and adults at the 2017 Midwinter meeting in Atlanta. The following are must-haves for library collections and sure-fire suggestions for fans, newbies, and everyone in-between.

The Association for Library Service to Children’s list of 27 audiobooks and musical recordings consists of quality titles aimed at children 14 and younger “that notable children's recordings NCRdemonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways.” (If you’d like to add even more audios to your to-listen list, here’s the full roster of nominations discussed during deliberations.)

YALSAThe Young Adult Library Services Association’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee recognized 30 audiobooks as the best fiction and nonfiction for listeners ages 12–18—including plenty of titles that would appeal to adult audio fans—from those released in the past two years. Check out the full list of 2017 honorees, and expand your listening with the nominees included in this discussion list.

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production, given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for odyssey-medalchildren and/or young adults available in English in the United States, is jointly administered by both ALSC & YALSA and sponsored by Booklist. This coveted award, now celebrating its tenth year, went to Anna and the Swallow Man, written by Gavriel Savit, read by Allan Corduner, and produced by Listening Library. The committee also chose three honor titles.

ListenListFinally, the ALA’s Reference and User Services Association selected 12 audiobook titles for adults for their annual Listen List. An added bonus: each of the 12 winners comes with three listen-alike audios, making 48 great audio titles across genres—perfect for boosting Listeners’ Advisory skills. I was honored to chair this year’s committee, and I tip my headphones to the stalwart members who donned their earbuds and listened to 1,919 hours of audiobooks, evaluated over 200 titles, and debated 45 nominations as we narrowed the field to the final twelve winners.

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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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