Jazz wins first-ever Odyssey Award

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations




For Immediate Release,

January 14, 2008

Jazz wins first-ever Odyssey Award

PHILADELPHIA - Live Oak Media, producer of the audiobook, “Jazz,” has won the first-ever Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The award announcement was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11-16, 2008.

“Jazz,” a production of Live Oak Media, takes the readalong to new heights as James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas perform the work of Walter Dean Myers. Original music accompanies each poem's performance, resulting in a rhythmic representation of mood and tone. Separate tracks for the selections and lively inclusion of a glossary and timeline create a dynamic audiobook; part poetry, part nonfiction, and wholly authentic.

The Odyssey Award for Excellence recognizes the oral tradition exemplified by Homer's epic poem. The Odyssey Award pays tribute to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

Each of the five Odyssey Honor citation titles displays exemplary production qualities. Such qualities range from the authentic dialects of “Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy,” produced by Listen & Live Audio; to the dynamic performance of “Dooby Dooby Moo,” produced by Scholastic/Weston Woods; from the masterful characterization in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” produced by Listening Library; to the mood-enhancing musical sound effects of “Skulduggery Pleasant,” produced by HarperChildren's Audio and the accurate accents of “Treasure Island,” produced by Listening Library.

“This inaugural award recognizes audiobooks as a true literary genre,” said Chair Mary Burkey. “Our award winner and honor choices represent the breadth and range of the format, in productions that embrace the medium. These exceptional titles allow the listener to experience the author's voice through the narration of gifted performers.”

The Odyssey Award for Excellence 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 ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist.

Members of the 2008 Odyssey Award Committee are: Chair Mary Burkey, Olentangy Local Schools, Columbus, Ohio; Jerene D. Battisti, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sharon B. Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wis.; Natalie Hoyle, Lemont-Bromberek School District 113A, Lemont, Ill.; Teri S. Lesesne, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; Merri Lindgren, CCBC, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Connie C. Rockman, children's literature consultant, Stratford, Conn.; Sylvia Vardell, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas; and Booklist consultant Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Chicago, Ill.