SAN DIEGO – Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, producer of the audiobook, “The True Meaning of Smekday,” has won the 2011 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The award announcement was made today during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 7 – 11 in San Diego.
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. The award is jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of the ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.
In “The True Meaning of Smekday,” written by Adam Rex, narrated by Bahni Turpin and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, Turpin gives an unforgettable performance, seamlessly slipping into the voices of wiseacre eighth-grader, Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, and her alien Boov companion as they embark on a rollicking road trip to track down Tip’s missing mother and save the planet. A laugh-out-loud presentation of Adam Rex’s popular satire.
“After listening to hundreds of hours of audiobooks, the committee and I are so pleased to recommend these innovative productions, featuring outstanding narrators and exhibiting technical excellence,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Sarah M. McCarville.
The Odyssey Committee selected four Honor Audiobooks.
“Alchemy and Meggy Swann,” written by Karen Cushman, narrated by Katherine Kellgren and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group. Kellgren is well-matched to this historical novel about feisty heroine Meggy Swann. Through her ability to sing in character, honk like a goose and capture the voices of a variety of Londoners, Kellgren transports audiences to Meggy’s Elizabethan world.
“The Knife of Never Letting Go,” written by Patrick Ness, narrated by Nick Podehl and produced by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, an imprint of Brilliance Audio. In a futuristic settlement on New World, the thoughts of men and animals can be heard by all. On the brink of manhood, Todd discovers a secret so dark he must flee for his life. Podehl’s gripping narration of this disquieting work of dystopian fiction is masterful.
“Revolution,” written by Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group. In a story told across continents and centuries, Card and Bering portray both an edgy Brooklyn teen mourning the death of her younger brother and an eighteenth-century Parisian girl, caregiver to the doomed dauphin. The narrators’ dramatic, forceful performances meld two emotional and wrenching plot lines.
“will grayson, will grayson”, written by John Green and David Levithan, narrated by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl and produced by Brilliance Audio. A Facebook misdirect and a poorly forged I.D. bring two teens with the same name together. What connects them is Tiny Cooper, a gay football player who explores his heartache by writing a fabulous musical. Podehl and Andrews take us from riotous moments to tearful revelations in this groundbreaking production.
Audiobooks constitute a fast growing area of usage in libraries. The award is named after the epic poem titled, “The Odyssey,” that was told and retold in the oral tradition and eventually ascribed by the poet Homer on the tales of Ulysses as he returns to his kingdom after the Trojan War. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.
Members of the 2011 Odyssey Award Committee are: Chair Sarah M. McCarville, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library; Catherine M. Andronik, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, Conn.; Stephanie D. Bange, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio; Mary Clark, Greenwich (Conn.) Country Day School; Bradley Debrick, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kan.; Kristin Brand Heathcock, Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, Fla.; Patricia McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, Pa.; Alison Ann O’Reilly, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, New York; Ellen Rix Spring, Rockland (Maine) District Middle School; and Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Booklist consultant, Chicago.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc
For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists
For information on the Odyssey Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma