Love for the ALA Media Awards

Robin’s Roundup February 1

Sadie

Odyssey Award SealFor more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. 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.

Best Children & Family Listening Audiobooks of 2018

Jacqueline Woodson, Rebel Girls, and More

2018 Best Children & Family Listening Audiobooks

2018 Best Children & Family Listening AudiobooksAudioFile’s 2018 Best Audiobooks list is out, and I am so excited to be talking about the Children’s category. I always love reading everyone’s “Best Of” lists at this time of year because 1) I love to see my favorites get some love, and 2) it introduces me to gems that I missed over the year. I hope this list does both for you as well. And I’m curious, what would be on your Best Children’s Audiobooks of 2018? Please leave a comment below to share your family’s favorites this year so I can discover even more gems! Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

Frankie Corzo on Merci Suárez Changes Gears

The Importance of Seeing Oneself Reflected in Stories

Frankie Corzo

Frankie Corzo takes AudioFile’s listeners Behind the Mic to share her connection to Meg Medina’s middle-grade novel MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS and what it meant for her to record it.

“As a little girl, I didn’t have these kinds of books to look up to . . .  Even as a woman in my 30s, I very much saw my family reflected in the story of this little girl.”—Narrator Frankie Corzo

Read more…

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Children’s Audiobooks to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

9 Picks for Young and Middle-Grade Listeners

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

Audiobooks are a great way to expose kids to a diverse range of people, experiences, and settings. Listening can expand their understanding of the multicultural world they live in, help them develop empathy for others, and present authentic stories that reflect and validate their own and their friends’ voices. These are some of my all-time favorite audiobooks with Latinx characters and/or narrators to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month.

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

FRIDA KAHLO AND HER ANIMALITOS
by Monica Brown, read by Adriana Sananes
Dreamscape, Ages 6+

Lively animal sounds and the soothing voice of Adriana Sananes make this a joyful listen for kids, highlighting the influential Mexican painter’s spirit, curiosity, and imagination. Pair this audiobook with images of Kahlo’s paintings so kids can see the actual animalitos that Frida loved. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

In Our Time: Immigration and the American Imagination of Itself

4 audiobooks to gain an understanding of current events

All the Agents and Saints

All the Agents and SaintsFrom time to time, we’ll be publishing blog posts about listening that can advance our understanding of current events. In this initial post in that vein, we’re talking about how the much-discussed topic of contemporary immigrants and immigration in the U.S. has been shaped by a history of national and popular beliefs about what it means to be an immigrant here and how immigration makes or breaks a culture some native-born Americans find comfortable.

Frankie Corzo reads Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s examination of cultural lives that straddle borders set by U.S. governments. As a Tejano, Griest discovers her own life has been impacted by the demarcation between Texas and Mexico that has cut between generations-long movements by family members. She also finds similarity in the experience of Mohawks whose home ranges were cut asunder by the border between Canada and the U.S. In Corzo’s performance of ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands, listeners are given the opportunity to hear appropriately accented quotations from Griest’s informants and family members. 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.

Robin’s Roundup: October 20 New Audiobook Reviews

Seasonal—spooky—listening from Joe Hill, and essays on feminism by Rebecca Solnit

Strange Weather

Strange WeatherTopical essays, historical portraits, and short story collections can all give listeners a useful introduction to an author, but also showcase the variety offered with the audio version. Author Joe Hill’s collection of four novellas, STRANGE WEATHER, is a great example.

Four top narrators—Wil Wheaton, Dennis Boutsikaris, Kate Mulgrew, and Stephen Lang—each take on one of Hill’s stories. One can binge the whole collection or dole out the listening one dark scenario at a time. AudioFile is hosting a conversation between Joe Hill and narrator Dennis Boutsikaris as part of our podcast series, The Download. Keep an eye out for more on this program. 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.