For immediate release | January 23, 2012

Listening Library wins 2012 Odyssey Award for 'Rotters'

DALLAS – Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., producer of the audiobook, “Rotters,” has won the 2012 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The award announcement was made today during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 20 – 24 in Dallas.

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 Rotters,”written byDaniel Kraus, narrated by Kirby Heyborne and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc, Heyborne’s versatile character voicing animates the strange tale of Joey, a 16-year-old whose mother has died. His struggle begins as he is dropped into the isolated world of his father, a grave robber. The exquisite timing pulls us through the chilling story of the destruction and rebuilding of Joey’s personality.

Odyssey Award Committee Chair, Lizette D. Hannegan, said, “Kirby Heyborne performs this visceral, grotesque and tender story with authentic emotion. The themes will appeal to teens, making this audio a gripping listening experience.”

The Odyssey Committee selected four Odyssey Award Honor audiobooks:

Ghetto Cowboy,” written by G. Neri, narrated by JD Jackson and produced by Brilliance Audio.

Twelve-year-old Cole grows from near-delinquent to responsible teen and passionate horseman as he helps his father and the cowboys save their endangered stables in inner-city Philadelphia. Neri’s captivating tale, inspired by real-life black urban cowboys, resonates in Jackson’s rich baritone performance.

“Okay for Now,” written by Gary D. Schmidt, narrated by Lincoln Hoppe and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc.

Doug’s miserable life includes a new town and a dysfunctional family until the works of Audubon help him see that his life might just be “okay.” Narrator Hoppe wears this audiobook like Doug’s beloved baseball jacket and his empathetic performance echoes long after the last word.

The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Steve Westand Fiona Hardingham and produced by Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Audiobooks.

The stakes are high for Sean and Puck in their islands’ annual race of savage water horses. Narrators West and Hardingham’s lyrical narration evokes the atmosphere of a rugged island culture forever bound to fearsome mythical creatures.

“Young Fredle,” written by Cynthia Voigt, narrated by Wendy Carter and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc.

Carter captures all the curiosity, fear and delight of young Fredle, as listeners follow the mouse’s adventures both inside and outside the house. Voigt’s gentle and heartwarming story features cats, dogs, raccoons and owls, all brought to fine characterization through Carter’s spectacular performance.

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 2012 Odyssey Award Committee are: Chair Lizette D. Hannegan, Easton, Md.; Carrie Scott Banks, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Kate Capps, Olathe (Kan.) Public Library – Indian Creek Branch; Viola Dyas, Oakland, Calif.; Cathy Lichtman, Plymouth (Mich.) District Library; Barbara Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.; Jennifer R. Sommer, Wright Memorial Public Library, Dayton, Ohio; Beatriz Pascual Wallace, Seattle Public Library; and Sue-Ellen Beauregard, consultant, Booklist Magazine, 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 4,000 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

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

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



Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

American Library Association