This annual award will be given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The selection committee may also select honor titles. The Odyssey Award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist.
The selection committee consists of nine members: four members appointed by ALSC; four members appointed by YALSA; a chair, whose appointment alternates between ALSC and YALSA divisions; and a consultant from the staff of Booklist magazine who works with audiobooks. The consultant may participate fully in all book discussions but may not participate in voting.
“Scowler” written by Daniel Kraus, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
When Ry’s abusive father escapes from prison, Ry summons The Unnamed Three from his childhood, including the hellish Scowler, in order to protect his family. In this gripping and horrific tale, Kirby Heyborne’s flawless narration features humming, clicks, and sounds that are not of this world.
“The nine members of the Odyssey committee were taken to other lands, times, and situations as they listened to hundreds of audiobooks and joyously chose the best,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Ellen Rix Spring.
2014 Honor Recordings
“Better Nate Than Ever,” written by Tim Federle, narrated by Tim Federle and produced by Simon and Schuster Audio.
Broadway wannabe Nate Foster ventures solo to the unknown territory of New York City on a quest for stardom. First-time novelist and Broadway veteran Tim Federle narrates his own work in a laugh-out-loud performance full of heart and self-discovery.
“Creepy Carrots!” written by Aaron Reynolds, narrated by James Naughton and produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
In this Caldecott Honor book, Jasper Rabbit has all the carrots he wants until the creepy carrots start following him around: when he comes home from Little League, while he brushes his teeth, and even hiding in the shed, until he comes up with the perfect plan to stop their stalking. James Naughton’s narration adds an eerie atmosphere to an enticing story.
“Eleanor & Park,” written by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Despite coming from disparate backgrounds, two teens find they have much in common as they explore music, comics, and acceptance in this story of first love. Narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra deliver poignant performances that touch the heart.
“Matilda,” written by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet and produced by Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
This beloved classic stars an exceptional girl who develops extraordinary powers that she uses to triumph over nasty parents, wretched friends, and a monstrous headmistress. Dahl’s cast of vivid characters is infused with life by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet’s dynamic performance.
Members of the 2014 Odyssey Award Committee are: Chair Ellen Rix Spring, RSU#13 School District, Rockland, Maine; Catherine M. Andronik, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, Conn.; Jane H. Claes, University of Houston, Clearlake, Texas; Dr. Eliza T. Dresang, University of Washington Information School, Seattle; Susan Fichtelberg, Public Library of Woodbridge, N.J.; Walter M. Mayes, Girls' Middle School, Palo Alto, Calif.; Hayley Elece McEwing, Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio; Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; Tracy Reid Sumler, Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library; and Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.