For immediate release | February 12, 2018

HarperAudio wins 2018 Odyssey Award for 'The Hate U Give'

DENVER — HarperAudio, producer of the audiobook, “The Hate U Give,” has won the 2018 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The award announcement was made today during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Feb. 9–13, in Denver.

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.

“The Hate U Give” written by Angie Thomas and narrated by Bahni Turpin follows 16 year-old Starr Carter as she grapples with the effects of systemic racism and the murder of her friend Khalil. Bahni Turpin’s narration immerses listeners in this powerful story compelling them to question, understand, and empathize.

“Bahni Turpin’s powerful narration of this timely novel will inspire listeners to find their own voices,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Joan Schroeder Kindig.

The Odyssey Committee selected five Honor Audiobooks:

“The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage” written by Philip Pullman, narrated by Michael Sheen and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. This is a fantastic tale of a young boy named Malcom and his daemon, who live a simple life until the day Malcolm discovers a secret message. Blending a haunting and literary story with the deep, rhythmic voice of Michael Sheen, this audiobook is a mesmerizing and vivid tale.

“A Boy Called Christmas” written by Matt Haig, narrated by Stephen Fry and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. “A Boy Called Christmas,” is a whimsical and charming origin story of Father Christmas. Stephen Fry’s narration of the story adds a delightful dimension to this adventurous tale. Fry’s reading is pitch perfect, deadpan in the quirkiest of times, and beautifully paced.

“Long Way Down” written by Jason Reynolds, narrated by the author and produced by Simon & Schuster Audio. “Long Way Down” is the story of a haunting 60-second elevator ride that changes the life of 15-year-old Will as he encounters people from his past. Jason Reynolds reads his riveting free verse novel with authority, authenticity, and emotion.

“Trombone Shorty” written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, narrated by Dion Graham and produced by Live Oak Media. A luminous performance from Dion Graham animates Trombone Shorty, capturing the joy and wonder of young Troy Andrews discovering his love for and talents with music. The soundbed that plays throughout gives the listener the added experience of hearing the ambiance of New Orleans and Trombone Shorty’s music.

“The Wizards of Once” written by Cressida Cowell, narrated by David Tennant and produced by Hachette Audio. A wizard, a warrior princess, and a forbidden magical object come together in this rip-roaring adventure. David Tennant transports listeners to a faraway land with his clearly unique voices, along with sound effects and songs.

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 2018 Odyssey Award Committee are Chair Joan Schroeder Kindig, James Madison University, Charlottesville, Va.; Lucia Acosta, Princeton, N.J.; Sarah Bean Thompson, Springfield-Greene County Library, Springfield, Mo.; Eti Berland, Lincolnwood Public Library District, Lincolnwood, Ill.; Elizabeth A. Burns, N.J. State Library, Talking Book & Braille Center, Trenton, N.J.; Jennifer Marie Kendall, Prescott (Ariz.) Public Library; Karen Kessel, Apalachicola, Fla.; Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School, Greensburg, Pa.; and Darla R. Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.

For information on the Odyssey Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

About the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,


Macey Morales

Deputy Director

American Library Association

Public Awareness Office