We were thrilled to join librarians at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta in January to celebrate the year’s best in books and audiobooks! View our photo album on Facebook here. We are excited to share our new 2017 Odyssey Award Winner with you! Plus, be sure to offer young patrons these other fabulous award winners in the audio format. Find audio clips, reviews, and more fun content to share below.
Odyssey Award Winner
The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.
ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN
By Gavriel Savit
Read by Allan Corduner
Produced by Orli Moscowitz
In the shadow of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Anna finds herself alone and follows a tall, mysterious stranger. Together, they embark on a journey of survival and self-discovery. Told in elegant language, this heartbreaking story explores a child’s coming-of-age in a war-torn landscape where nothing is as it seems. Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities.
Librarians React: Click here to see reactions to the big Odyssey announcement.
“Allan Corduner’s deep voice pairs well with the graceful, intelligent prose in this mesmerizing account of a girl whose life in Krakow, Poland, is altered forever by the encroaching horror of WWII.”—AudioFile Earphones Award
“As he did narrating The Book Thief, British actor Corduner turns in a masterful performance…”—Booklist, starred audio review
“The story is beautifully told, and, despite the often dark subject matter, Allan Corduner’s voice is soothing…could be used as part of a historical unit to discuss different points of view.”—School Library Journal
ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN is also available in hardcover and ebook from Knopf Books for Young Readers. Paperback on sale March 2017.Newbery Honor
Awarded to the authors of the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children.
THE INQUISITOR’S TALE
By Adam Gidwitz
Read by the Author with Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, and Arthur Morey
Features medieval music performed by Benjamin Bagby of Sequentia
Informed by six years of research, and reminiscent of “The Canterbury Tales,” Adam Gidwitz has written a brand-new illuminated manuscript, a sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious epic about three magical friends on the run in 1242 France and their encounters with a dragon, a holy dog, and cheese.
Author Essay and Animated Video: Click here to read a guest post about the audio by Adam Gidwitz and WATCH the audiobook trailer.
“The production concludes with an excellent author’s note read by Gidwitz and Benjamin Bagby’s stellar performance of medieval music, which enhance the historical verisimilitude of the production.”—Booklist, starred audio review
“Mixing history and adventure, religion and humor, Gidwitz breathes new life into the Middle Ages and makes this time period accessible and exciting for middle grade listeners.”—School Library Journal, starred audio review
THE INQUISITOR’S TALE is also available in hardcover and ebook from Dutton Books for Young Readers.
By Lauren Wolk
Read by Emily Rankin
Set in rural Pennsylvania during World War II, this compelling story of consequences addresses complex issues of bullying, PTSD, and discrimination. At the center of this atmospheric novel, articulating themes of self-reliance, hope, and justice, is our heroine Annabelle who struggles to confront her tormentor and her own conscience.
“Award-winning narrator Rankin skillfully lures listeners back to 1943 and a rural Pennsylvania farm community in this evocative coming-of-age story…”—Booklist, starred audio review
“Emily Rankin’s narration is spot-on as reflective and pensive Annabelle, her well-grounded parents, and the other characters…This vivid tale of prejudice and bullying is a perfect addition to school or public libraries.”—School Library Journal
WOLF HOLLOW is also available in hardcover and ebook from Dutton Books for Young Readers.
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA
By Julie Berry
Read by Jayne Entwistle, Fiona Hardingham, and Allan Corduner
with a Note read by the Author
This beautiful historical epic tells the tale of Dolssa, an accused heretic on the run, and the three sisters who find and help her during the time of the Inquisition. Through recollections and testimonies, Dolssa’s layered story unfolds across time periods with rich language and historical detail. *Bonus PDF included with a glossary
“This lush and compelling book is enhanced by brilliant narration by Jayne Entwistle, Allen Corduner, and Fiona Hardingham. Lucky listeners will be haunted by their voices long after the book concludes.”—School Library Journal, starred audio review
Fun Fact: Narrator Jayne Entwistle won an Odyssey Honor in 2015 for narrating Julie Berry’s previous audiobook, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. Entwistle also won the Odyssey Award in 2016 and of course, Allan Corduner is this year’s Odyssey-winning narrator.
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA is also available in hardcover and ebook from Viking Books for Young Readers. Paperbook coming April 2017.
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
By Nicola Yoon
Read by Bahni Turpin, Raymond Lee and Dominic Hoffman
Also winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent and a National Book Award Finalist
Fate leads to love for Jamaican-American teen Natasha, who is fighting deportation. Told over the span of 12 hours, this intricately woven novel includes themes of diversity, immigration, first love and social and family issues creating an endearingly romantic listen.
“This trio of narrators turns the alternating voices in this story into a terrific audio.”—AudioFile Earphones Award
Perfect Pairing: Bahni Turpin also read Nicola Yoon’s previous audiobook, Everything, Everything. Check out photos of the author and narrator in the studio together.
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR is also available in hardcover and ebook from Delacorte Press.
Sibert Medal Honor
The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year.
By Albert Marrin
Read by Marc Cashman
Marrin fuses impeccable research and polemic brilliance in an examination and well-guided history of the racism and xenophobia that propelled Executive Order 9066, interning over 100,000 Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps.
“Marrin’s ambitious audiobook gives YA listeners historical context with which to understand this important chapter in history. Narrator Marc Cashman keeps the listener engaged throughout…letting listeners recognize the humanity on both sides.”—AudioFile
UPROOTED is also available in hardcover and ebook from Knopf Books for Young Readers.
The William C. Morris YA Debut Award honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
THE SERPENT KING
By Jeff Zentner
Read by Michael Crouch, Ariadne Meyers and Ethan Sawyer
Includes the song “Birds Fly South,” performed by the author and Elin Palmer
In a small southern town, senior year finds three misfit friends facing the prospect of their separate futures with both hope and dread. Dill fears he will never escape his snake-handling father’s poisonous legacy. However, Lydia, a fashion blogger, and Travis, a fantasy warrior, foresee hopeful futures.
“Three narrators deliver the alternating voices of three protagonists…All the narrators deliver nuanced, engaging depictions, which strengthen as the characters grow and their relationships evolve.”—AudioFile Earphones Award
THE SERPENT KING is also available in hardcover and ebook from Crown Books for Young Readers.
William C. Morris Honor
THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES
By Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Read by Jorjeana Marie, Erin Tripp, Karissa Vacker and Robbie Daymond
Life in 1970s Alaska proves difficult for teens, native and non-native alike. In four distinct voices, Ruth, Alyce, Dora, and Hank express the heartbreak and tragedy altering their lives forever—poverty, unwanted pregnancy, death, and abuse. However, when their lives intertwine like invisible threads, each may receive a chance for redemption.
“Narrated by four distinct voices, the audio production brings the teens’ stories into sharp focus.”—Booklist, starred audio review
Author Guest Post: Click here to find out how this special production was cast and why the author called the audio “a first of its kind collaboration.”
THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES is also available in hardcover and ebook from Wendy Lamb Books. Paperback coming February 2017.
YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18).
IN THE SHADOW OF LIBERTY
By Kenneth C. Davis
Read by the Author, with Frankie Faison, Keith David, JD Jackson, Adenrele Ojo, Adam Lazarre-White, Dion Graham, and Mark Bramhall
Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this audiobook helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy—that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles.
“With a full cast of talented narrators, listeners hear the deep emotion in individual stories…Using both primary and secondary sources, Davis creates a narrative that offers personal accounts of the lives often forgotten in conventional history lessons.”—AudioFile
WATCH THE AUDIOBOOK TRAILER to hear the many talented voices who help tell these important stories.
IN THE SHADOW OF LIBERTY is also available in hardcover and ebook from Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers.
The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD: THE HAMMER OF THOR
By Rick Riordan
Read by Kieran Culkin
In Magnus’s second adventure, Rick Riordan introduces readers to Alex Fierro, a gender fluid teen who has “startling eyes, an impressive sweater-vest, and a tendency to hit people.” Alex is a hero and represents the expansive possibilities of gender for future generations.
“Culkin heightens the story’s humor and dives into the action…This blend of fantasy and realistic fiction is another crowd-pleaser.”—AudioFile
MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD: THE HAMMER OF THOR is also available in hardcover and ebook from Disney Hyperion.
But wait, there’s more 2017 ALA Award news! Click here to view our gallery of YALSA Amazing Audiobooks and ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings.
Or view our full ALA Award Winner Featured Collection here.
View our adult RUSA Listen List winners here.
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