2019 Best Children & Teen Audiobooks

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

Of all the audiobooks I have listened to this year (almost 100!), the ones on AudioFile’s 2019 Best Audiobooks list definitely rise to the top. In the Children’s and YA categories, there is something for every listener from age 4 through adult. They are all beautifully written, and the performances make each story a joy to listen to. To echo Elizabeth Acevedo in her interview with AudioFile, these audiobooks make me feel “like these are my homies talking to me in my ear and telling me these amazing tales.” 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.

Kids’ Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

Kids' Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

Kids' Audiobooks for Native American Heritage Month

All Native American children deserve stories that respect who they are and who their ancestors were. While they still represent only a small minority of titles published, these recent audiobooks for children present authentic portrayals of American Indians. To honor their #ownvoices for Native American Heritage Month, this list features audiobooks written and/or narrated by Native Americans. For more recommendations of children’s books about Indigenous peoples, Dr. Debbie Reese’s blog is an excellent resource. 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.

Listening on a Summer Day

Robin’s Roundup July 19

Juniper Listening

Summer is full of activities for many of us—summer work schedules, family trips and get togethers, travels and adventures, projects that require good weather. For me, summer is prime listening time. I do more traveling, so I have more audiobook time in the car, and I also love to keep a story going while I cook or garden. (My wireless headphones have made garden-time listening so much more satisfying because I don’t get tangled up with headset cords!) A lazy hammock for reading just never seems to materialize, but my summer pace does offer plenty of listening opportunities. Kate Atkinson and Jason Isaacs just introduced me to Jackson Brodie in the new BIG SKY. I also love to have a listening partner. Whether it’s a young companion like my grandson (his current favorite remains TROMBONE SHORTY), or sharing a retelling of Greek myths with husband, Rob (we recently enjoyed listening to GREEK MYTHOLOGY EXPLAINED). 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.

Put This Voice in Your Ears: Golden Voice Narrator Dion Graham

Dion Graham

Dion GrahamIn the midst of this month’s celebration of AudioFile’s Golden Voice narrators — voice actors who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in the art of translating books from page to audio — I have a question. Whose voice is in your ears right now? Might it be the warm, seductive tones of Dion Graham? If it is, well, you lucky thing.

Today’s Audio Adventures feature the versatile actor whose hundreds of audiobooks encompass everything from adult science to young adult novels. A Golden Voice since 2007, Graham has won numerous AudioFile Earphones and Best of the Year awards, as well as the ALA’s Odyssey Award and Audie Awards for non-fiction, memoir, and young listeners. He’s also a screen actor, and a voice-over artist who, much to my nephew’s delight, can be heard in the 2018 video game World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

5 Audiobooks by Golden Voice Narrator Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin (l) and Johnny Heller

I love June: not only does it bring us the first days of summer but it’s also officially Audiobook Month. This year, June is extra special because here at AudioFile, we’re celebrating the narrators whom we’ve honored as Golden Voices, a lifetime achievement award given to voice actors who have demonstrated excellence in the art of transporting stories from the printed page to headphones and car speakers for grateful listeners like me.

Today I’m happy to feature one of the newest AudioFile Golden Voices: Bahni Turpin. Bahni has narrated more than 200 audiobooks, spanning the entire range of genres from sweet children’s stories to intense thrillers to thought-provoking nonfiction. 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.

6 Tips for Listening to Audiobooks with Kids

Audiobook Listening for Kids

Audiobook Listening for KidsReading with our ears can have educational benefits at all ages, but my favorite benefit of listening to audiobooks with kids is the priceless connection of experiencing a good story together. If your family has never listened to an audiobook, getting started can feel daunting, so here are some tips to get you up and running. 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.

8 Kids’ Audiobooks About Brave Women Who Fought for Change

Inspiration for Young Listeners

Roses and Radicals

Heroes

2019 marks the centennial of Congress approving the 19th Amendment, which gave many women the right to vote—a change that was brought about by a brave group of activists. The audiobooks in this list celebrate female activists—from more than 100 years ago all the way up to today. These inspirational true stories show ALL young listeners the importance of, and the power that comes from, speaking up for the rights of all people.

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET
by Lesa Cline-Ransome, read by SiSi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, Bahni Turpin
Live Oak Media, Ages 4-6

Four African-American women narrate in turn to describe Harriet Tubman’s voice rising in protest as a suffragist, as General Tubman, as a Union spy, and as an enslaved child when her father taught her to read the stars. Sounds of horse-drawn carriages, marching soldiers, spirituals, and rushing rivers help listeners imagine the many roles that Tubman played over her lifetime. 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.

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.

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.

A Feast of Listening for the Holidays

Robin’s Roundup December 21

Twain's Feast

One of my favorite times to listen is while I’m cooking, and during the holidays I’m spending more time with my sleeves rolled up. This is when I wish I had a voice-controlled speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Pushing pause when your hands are gummy always presents a problem!

Any audiobook choice will do, but if  you’re in the mood to hear about food while you are preparing food, here are some possible choices.

Twain's Feast
A Chef's Christmas

Nick Offerman hosts a lively audio program based on food writer Andrew Beahrs’ book TWAIN’S FEAST. It’s much more than a straight narrative with Offerman reading from Twain’s letters and comments, and an actual eight-course meal is prepared with chef Tyler Anderson. If you haven’t fully planned your menus—this program may give you some ideas!  Hearing Anthony Bourdain read his short story, A CHEF’S CHRISTMAS is a bit bittersweet, but we’re reminded of the late chef/writer/television personality’s ability as a storyteller. It’s great to hear Bourdain and may even lead you to his 2010 memoir MEDIUM RAW. 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.