16 Amazing Middle Grade Listen-Alikes

Middle Grade Listen Alikes

Middle Grade Listen Alikes

What do you listen to when you’ve heard all of the Harry Potter and Rick Riordan audiobooks multiple times? We’ve paired up 16 excellent audiobooks for ages 8-12+, titles that share a theme, subject matter, or narrative style. Each of these “listen-alikes” is a great choice for middle graders looking for fresh listening. Read more…

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5 Questions with Narrator Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

Help me give a big welcome to award-winning narrator Tavia Gilbert, my guest for today’s Take 5 post. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Tavia’s work, and I especially appreciate her characterizations and the way she can draw me into a story. I can always count on Tavia to enhance the excitement of action scenes while also finding the emotional heart of the characters, no matter the genre.

Before I introduce you to some of Tavia’s more recent solo performances, I can’t help but mention two don’t-miss multi-cast audiobooks that feature her voice. If you’re looking for something to listen to with your family, then you simply must pick the latest audio edition of CHARLOTTE’S WEB, with its all-star cast. You’ll love the way Tavia voices the barnyard geese. For some needed escapist listening, give THE BOOK CHARMER a try. In this sweet, small-town story, Tavia highlights a young woman’s blossoming from guarded loner into loving aunt and friend. 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.

11 Kids’ Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

I am celebrating Women’s History Month this year with a bunch of new audiobooks celebrating female trailblazers. These are women who bravely spoke truth to power, who didn’t listen to their critics — internal or external — and who dared to achieve what seemed impossible. Listen and be inspiried by these women who blazed trails for themselves, for other women, and for all of us. 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.

Celebrating the 2020 Audie Awards

2020 Audie Awards table 17
2020 Audie Awards table 17
Celebrating the Audie Awards with Table 17!

The 2020 Audie Awards Gala last week in NYC was a glittery celebration of the APA’s annual awards given in 24 categories. Mo Rocca, “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent, author, and host of the Mobituaries podcast, emceed the sold-out event of publishers, authors, and audiobook narrators. Emily & I were surrounded by talent at Table 17 (above). 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.

Author Nic Stone and Narrator Dion Graham on the impact of DEAR MARTIN

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Author Nic Stone and narrator Dion Graham make a powerful team. Stone’s newest audiobook CLEAN GETAWAY came out this winter, and it’s another Earphones Award winner narrated by Dion Graham. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to revisit our conversation with the author and narrator duo. Host Jo Reed spoke with both Stone and Graham when their audiobook DEAR MARTIN first released. Stone’s moving young adult audiobook allows listeners to reflect on the trauma and impacts of racial profiling as her characters ask the questions we would in their situations. Listen to their conversation below.

“The best way to reach young people through literature is to reflect actual young people who mess up, who do good, who do bad, who have good things that they are a part of, who maybe have some things that they shouldn’t be a part of.”—Author Nic Stone

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Audiobook to Screen: Listen Before You See These 2020 Book-Based Movies for Kids and Teens

Book-based movies for kids

Book-based movies for kids

With movies and series based on classic children’s and young adult books like Little Women, His Dark Materials, Looking for Alaska, and Green Eggs and Ham currently in theaters and on streaming services, there are plenty of book-based movies for kids and teens, but even more are coming in 2020. Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, so I like to listen before watching to see how the movie compares with the pictures I form in my head while listening to the audiobook.  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.

5 New Multicast Audiobooks We’re Loving

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

Let’s talk about audiobooks performed by more than one narrator. You may ask, what kinds of audiobooks call for multiple voice actors? The first that come to my mind are audio editions of plays, which usually require a full cast of performers. The second are novels that have been turned into audiodramas, such as E.B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB.

Collections of short stories are a natural for multiple performers, and of course, fiction told from multiple viewpoints is another great choice for two or more narrators. Nonfiction can also benefit from a collaborative effort; THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY by Garret M. Graff is a particularly powerful example.

Today’s Take 5 celebrates some recent audiobooks that feature multiple narrators. As always, I recommend audiobooks from a variety of genres—I’m sure you’ll find at least one audiobook that fits your own listening style. 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.

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.

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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