For immediate release | January 22, 2024

2024 Odyssey Awards for Excellence in Audiobook Production for Children and Young Adults announced

BALTIMORE — “El Deafo,” has won the 2024 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production for Children. It was produced by Matie Argiropoulos, Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio. Winner of the Audiobook Production for Young Adults is “Promise Boys,” produced by Steve Wagner, Macmillan Young Listeners, a Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt & Co. The awards were announced today during the American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19-22 in Baltimore.

The Odyssey Awards are given to the producer of the best audiobooks produced for children (0-14) and young adults (12-18) available in English in the United States during the preceding eligibility year. One winner may be selected for each age category with a single honor list comprising titles for both age categories. 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.

“El Deafo” was written by Cece Bell and narrated by a full cast. Young Cece Bell contracts meningitis and loses her hearing. As she begins to use listening devices, her insecurity and frustration lead her to develop a superhero personality, El Deafo, instilling the confidence she needs. This production features a dynamic full-cast narration and a unique array of sound effects.

“Using innovative techniques to communicate the experiences of a Deaf person, from lip reading to internal dialogue, El Deafo breaks new ground in audiobook production,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Kirby McCurtis.

“Promise Boys” was written by Nick Brooks and narrated by a full cast. When Principal Moore, head of Urban Promise Prep, is found dead, students J. B., Ramón and Trey become suspects. The trio joins forces to prove their innocence in a system that seeks to bury them. This twisting mystery will keep listeners guessing until the end.

“Boasting a cast whose performances will captivate teen audiences, ‘Promise Boys’ combines talented voice work with impressive sound design to produce an immersive mystery,” said McCurtis.

Five Honor Audiobooks also were named:

  • “Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods,” is written by Grace Lin, narrated by Lisa Ling and produced by Hachette Audio. “Chinese Menu” provides a culinary buffet for the budding epicurean. Each dish is introduced with a folktale leading into the history and evolution of the dish as seen in American Chinese restaurants today. Ling adds a taste of Chinese language to this nonfiction title, creating an unforgettable listening experience.

  • “Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir” is written by Pedro Martín, narrated by a full cast, and produced by Diane McKiernan and Olivia Langen for Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. Shipoopi! When the Martins pile into their Winnebago to trek down to Mexico and pick up Abuelito, can they avoid total disaster? Join Pedro and a dynamic cast of characters on a laugh-out- loud family road trip punctuated by a soundtrack of lively music, mishaps and heartwarming moments.

  • “Once There Was” is written by Kiyash Monsef, narrated by Nikki Massoud and produced by Allison Llight for Simon & Schuster Audio. When her father is killed, Marjan discovers the truth: he was a veterinarian for fantastical creatures. Now she must continue his work, unearthing the truth behind his murder. Embark on a lyrical journey narrated by Nikki Massoud where the Iranian myths of childhood are real and magic binds us all.

  • “Sisters of the Lost Marsh” is written and narrated by Lucy Strange, and produced by Paul R. Paul R. Gagne for Scholastic Audio. A spellbinding narrative from Lucy Strange, “Sisters of the Lost Marsh” features a full cast of characters narrated exquisitely by the author. Strange’s crisp recitation and lilting melodies brings Willa’s quest to life as she searches for her sister Grace, following her mysterious disappearance from the Full Moon Fayre.

  • “Stateless” is written by Elizabeth Wein, narrated by Moira Quirk and produced by Elece Green and Dennis Kao for Hachette Audiobooks. Stella North, the lone female pilot in a cross-country air race, witnesses a murder in this thrilling historical mystery set in late 1930’s Europe. Elizabeth Wein’s breathtaking aero-adventure is skillfully narrated by Moira Quirk, whose panoply of accents brings a diverse authenticity to Wein’s detailed and intense narrative.

Audiobooks constitute a fast-growing area of usage in libraries. The award is named after the epic poem titled, “The Odyssey,” which 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 2024 Odyssey Award Committee are Chair Kirby McCurtis, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon; Ariel Birdoff, Mosaic Preparatory Academy, New York; Cassie Chenoweth, Cobb County Public Library System, Marietta, Georgia; Claire Covington, Old Dominion University, Staunton, Virginia; Loren Hinton, Pioneer Library System, Norman, Oklahoma; Joe Prince, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Virginia; Josie Snow, Ruby Sisson Memorial Library, Pagosa Springs, Colorado; Raychelle J. Steele, Westerville Public Library, Ohio; Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Wellesley Free Library, Norwood, Massachusetts; Leigh Verburg, Kent District Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kristin Williamson, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City; and Jean M. Jansen, Villa Park Public Library, Illinois (award administrative assistant).

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

About the Association for Library Service to Children

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

The mission of the YALSA is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources, go to or contact the YALSA office at e-mail:

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

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