AudioFile

April/May 2020

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt, read by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting (see review on page 27), round out the Odyssey Honors. Inaugurated in 2008, the award has impressively raised the profile of audiobooks among the many other ALA awards. The Pura Belpré Awards that celebrate the Latino cultural experience included Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, another AudioFile 2019 Best Audiobook by Carlos Hernandez and read by Anthony Rey Perez. In the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature, we're pleased to see David Yoon's Frankly in Love. The audiobook performed by Raymond J. Lee was another 2019 Best. There are many audiobooks that listeners can delve right into, but one of the best things about these ALA awards is that many of the other titles are now being snapped up by publish- ers to become audiobooks. Among many, one that we're looking forward to is an audiobook of The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson—the 2020 Caldecott Medal winner. whose performance we celebrate in All the Days, recorded six audiobooks in the series, and they make for dynamic family listening. Back to the Odyssey Honor audio- books—we're delighted that Traci Sorell's We Are Grateful: Otshaliheliga was recognized this year. An AudioFile 2019 Best Audiobook, Live Oak Media's lovely production celebrating Cherokee culture is a great addition to any family library. Grateful was also honored as an American Indian Youth Literature honor title. Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly, read by Abigail Revasch, an insightful look at deaf culture for mid- dle-school listeners, is another Odyssey Honor audiobook. We're Not from Here, a funny sci-fi adventure by the author of the Tapper Twins and read by Dani Martinek, and the sweet novel in verse Audiobooks and Literacy Audiobooks & ALA Awards By Robin Whitten 68 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com Every year, we're excited to see the American Library Association Youth Media Awards— announced this past January—and especially to celebrate the audiobook winners and audiobook versions of print winners. The 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults went to Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, the graphic memoir by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, performed by an ensemble of actors. Another graphic novel, New Kid by Jerry Craft, took the top honor for the Newbery Medal. The full-cast audio edition was published last year, and we highlighted it along with several other full-cast productions for kids. New Kid was also honored with the Coretta Scott King (author) Award. We were delighted to see that two honor books in this King category, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia and read by Amir Abdullah, and Jason Reynolds's Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, both received Earphones Awards for their audio versions. We've raved about Look Both Ways and the impressive ensem- ble cast that performs his 10 stories. Reynolds's long-standing involvement with his audiobooks and his recent appointment as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature are a gift to audio listeners—see our interview on page 24. The Coretta Scott King– Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Mildred D. Taylor, another author whose audio- books have long been at the top of our lists. Taylor's Logan family saga began with Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (the 1977 Newbery Medal winner) and con- cludes with her newest All the Days Past, All the Days to Come (see our review on page 29). Narrator Allyson Johnson, The Odyssey Award has impressively raised the profile of audiobooks among the many other ALA awards.

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