Listen to These Mystery & Suspense Audiobooks with Your Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

What’s a grandmother to do? My 6-year-old grandson has become so enraptured with listening to Jim Dale’s reading of the HARRY POTTER series that he drew a lightning bolt on his forehead. He did a good job of it—and he did it with a permanent ink marker. Needless to say, his parents weren’t happy, and I had to try very hard not to laugh when this was revealed on our FaceTime call this week. I was just glad he didn’t decide to do it on his 4-year-old sister’s forehead as well. Ah, the power of audiobooks and children’s imaginations!

One of the greatest challenges I see parents facing with children home and in their care 24/7 is how to educate, engage, and entertain without having them glued to a screen. Audiobooks are a great solution, and the Harry Potter series is a great place to start. They can be downloaded for free from most public libraries now through their library apps, such as Overdrive or Libby. (For Harry Potter fans, you can now listen to J.K. Rowling’s THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD. This is a novella (a collection of five fairy tales) that grew out of the Harry Potter world of wizardry. The audiobook is narrated by a talented full cast.) Read more…

Ellen Quint
A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

7 Kids’ Audiobooks About Kindness and Caring

7 Audiobooks about Kindness and Caring

7 Audiobooks about Kindness and Caring

As we are all social distancing, we might not be able to visit others or invite them over for meals, but we can let people know that we care in lots of ways. Maybe write a letter or send a care package to an older relative. Or decorate your door or leave a thank you note for a delivery person, or even start a “wishtree” in your neighborhood. Or maybe most importantly, be patient with the people sharing your close quarters right now. We all could use a little extra kindness, so I hope these audiobooks provide a jumping-off point to help your family come up with new ways to be kind and care for others. 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 Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

On Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

If you ask an audiobook listener about their favorite audiobooks, odds are good that they’ll say they adored Jim Dale’s narration of the HARRY POTTER series. What many listeners may not know is that HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE was his introduction to audiobook narration. Jim came to audiobooks accidentally, and later in his career, and listeners are so lucky he did. Listen as Jo Reed and Jim Dale discuss his audiobook work and his extraordinary career in the entertainment industry.

“You’re now more intimate than ever. You’re just speaking to one person, listening to you, reading. And that’s a joy.”—Narrator Jim Dale

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Audiobook Casting: Beyond the Single Voice

Robin’s Roundup October 25

Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
PUSS IN BOOTS cast in action!

Audiobook publishers have been trying out new ideas in casting voices for several years. Some recent new releases showcase the creative ways producers are taking audiobooks beyond the single voice. A new full-cast production that pulls out all the stops—and in addition, wows listeners with original music and songs—is PUSS IN BOOTS. It’s headlined by none other that the marvelous Jim Dale, with nearly a dozen other narrators making the most of the reimagined, fractured fairy tale. PUSS has the same creative team as SPIN: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical, which was a 2019 Audie Finalist. 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.

Essential Children’s Audiobook Listening with Golden Voice Narrator Jim Dale

Jim Dale

Jim DaleThe incomparable Jim Dale has a voice and narrating style that make him instantly recognizable. He has received multiple awards during his career, including Grammys, Audies, and an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). He even held the Guinness World Record for Most Character Voices in an Audiobook. His recordings for kids are truly among the best of the best in family listening. While you can’t go wrong with any Jim Dale recording, these are my recommendations for essential listening with kids. 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.

Essential Listening: Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 21

Stars of the Audiobook Universe

Stars of the Audiobook UniverseCelebrating Audiobook Month in June has given us such a great opportunity to give special attention to the narrator luminaries of the audiobook world. Here at AudioFile, each day in June is dedicated to one of our Golden Voices. Starting with Derek Jacobi on June 1 up to today—”John Lee Day”—we’ve posted “essential listens” for each narrator on our Twitter stream, and on weekdays in June, we’ve devoted each podcast episode of Behind the Mic to a single narrator. Today, host Jo Reed and I chat about narrator John Lee and his skilled handling of British mysteries and unique style. Yesterday, we talked about Robin Miles and her amazing skills with different dialects. 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.

Audie Awards 2019: Audiobook of the Year & More Great Listening

Robin’s Roundup March 8

Host Tan France by Max Flatow
Host Tan France at the Audie Awards Gala

In the pink glow of stage lighting, the 2019 Audie Awards Gala, hosted by Tan France, Queer Eye fashion expert, dazzled a capacity crowd. The AudioFile editorial team—Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, Jo Reed, and me, along with numerous AudioFile reviewers, met and chatted with guests LeVar Burton, Euan Morton, Elizabeth Acevedo, and the dozens of narrators we write about every day. The 24th annual Audie Awards selected the best audiobooks in 24 categories, including Audiobook of the Year. This year the prestigious award went to Tomi Adeyemi’s CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, narrated by Bahni Turpin and published by Macmillan Audio. 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.

Great American Listening

Robin’s Roundup November 2

Great American Listening

Great American ListeningPBS has just concluded a national survey and an eight-part series that explored and celebrated the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels: THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. The final results just released put TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD definitively on top, with four finalists: the Outlander series, the Harry Potter series, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and the Lord of the Rings series. What strikes me with these favorites is that many of them offer spectacular listening. 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.

Not just Harry Potter—Jim Dale Celebrated for his Magic

Robin’s Roundup May 25

Tim Ditlow Robin Whitten Jim Dale

Audiobook listeners know Jim Dale—the voice of Harry Potter, of course, with seven audiobooks and a Guinness World Record for the 146 voices in just  HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS! But wait, there’s more . . . Jim’s career includes Broadway (Barnum), the British National Theatre, and 1960s British comedy Carry On, and he was the lyricist for Georgy Girl— you can see for yourself in this video created by Belock Design to celebrate a Lifetime Achievement Award given to Jim by Urban Stages.

Last week in the glorious setting of The Boathouse in Central Park, Jim was feted for his truly amazing career. Publisher Tim Ditlow (who brought Jim together with Harry Potter) and I were delighted to be among the guests. Think a moment about the magical casting of Jim to perform HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE in 1998, before American listeners and readers had ever met Harry. Tim deserves an award as well!

Tim Ditlow, Robin Whitten, and Jim Dale 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.

Five Audiobooks Celebrating Nature

Getting your nature fix through audiobooks

The Soul of an Octopus

I know I’m not alone in welcoming warmer weather. Like so many others in the Northern Hemisphere, I couldn’t be happier to finally see spring. I love opening the windows and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. Whether I’m on the beach or in the woods, in my garden or relaxing on my deck, I’m all about enjoying the natural environment.

When Mother Nature won’t cooperate, and I’m cooped up inside because of rain or cold, I can still get my nature fix thanks to audiobooks. Sometimes I’m looking for a novel set in a remote locale or an outdoor adventure story; other times I want to be inspired to be a better advocate for planet Earth.

Today, however, I want an upbeat nonfiction audiobook that will teach me more about plants and animals or help me to better appreciate the world around me. Today’s Take 5 recommendations meet these requirements and take us from ocean to farm to sky. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.