Narrator Allyson Johnson on Mildred D. Taylor’s Unforgettable Series

Allyson Johnson narrator video

In the video below, Allyson Johnson talks about the delights and challenges of narrating a long-running historical fiction series. With ALL THE DAYS PAST, ALL THE DAYS TO COME, the Logan family saga that began with ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY comes to an end, and Allyson puts the story into historical context for listeners. Author Mildred D. Taylor was honored with the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement this year, a well-deserved honor. Hear more about the audiobook from Allyson herself.

“It’s a beautifully evocative story.”—Narrator Allyson Johnson

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Audiobooks & ALA Awards

Robin’s Roundup Jan 31

Hey Kiddo Narrators
Hey Kiddo Narrators
Narrators Zoe Krosoczka, Jaiden Meltzer, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka

We’re in the midst of winter award season with the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars getting a lot of focus. But in our AudioFile world, the American Library Association youth media awards—just announced January 27—and the upcoming Audie Awards—finalist announcements coming next Monday, February 3—are holding our attention. The 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults went to HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, the graphic memoir by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, performed by an ensemble of actors. Our Q&A with Krosoczka gives a real behind the scenes look at the production, and we have a Behind the Mic podcast episode about the audiobook as well. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Robin’s Roundup: February 2 New Audiobook Reviews

Sound Out Black History

Black Detroit

Each February we’re pleased to find a crop of new audiobooks that chronicle Black History  and celebrate lives of African Americans. Two important history titles in our reviews this week look at the city of Detroit: BLACK DETROIT: A People’s History of Self-Determination by Herb Boyd, which looks at the rich cultural tapestry of the city, and DAWN OF DETROIT: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits by Tiya Miles, professor of History and  African-American Studies at the University of Michigan. She looks at the  entwined African American and Native American communities in the 18th century. Before jumping into this 10-hour immersion, The New York Times review has some interesting background.  Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Audiobooks and Literacy: Literacy Fitness Program

It’s time to wake up your listening skills

Sister Outsider

If you are an educated adult who likes to read, this post may surprise you. Our literacy skills, as research has shown repeatedly and in international as well as American studies, aren’t stable across our adult life spans.

Sister Outsider

Kids’ “summer slide” has been well publicized, but less well known is evidence that adult literacy requires practice in order to persist through life, and not just seasonally. No matter your level of education, advancing age can lead to deterioration of literacy skill sets. Even bookworms can lose their literacy edge if their reading habits stop requiring or inspiring the need to reflect, question critically, or acquire new information. Unfortunately, this becomes the case with many adults in middle age.

These “literacy losses” are actually critical thinking losses. Once we have basic literacy skills (typically achieved in third grade), literacy isn’t about decoding individual words but collecting and absorbing meaning from whole paragraphs, texts, and complex directions. Adult losses in these skill areas impact our abilities to sort information, follow technical directions, and experience empathy. From a practical perspective, these losses mean we feel unsure about where stated fact ends and opinion begins, we may struggle to make sense of the programmable thermostat, and our world may shrink to include only those who share our cultural identity. Read more…

Francisca Goldsmith
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.