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…

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.

Podcast Anniversary: Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

Robin’s Roundup September 13

Podcast Anniversary

Podcast Anniversary

We’re celebrating here—our one-year anniversary of AudioFile’s podcast! Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine has published more than 275 episodes talking about an audiobook or audiobooks every weekday. And boy, have we learned a lot! We know about writing recommendations of audiobooks—we’ve practiced that for more than 25 years—but talking about listening choices is wholly different. And it’s a lot of fun. Read more…

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

Good Omens and Good Audiobooks: The Best of Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman’s fantastic worlds are an absolute delight on audio, and listeners are especially lucky to get to experience his work this way. Not only is there so much to choose from across so many genres, but we often get multiple audio versions of a single book. And Gaiman is an expert interpreter of his own work—once you’ve listened to his nuanced narration, you’ll be able to conjure up his voice in your head anytime you read his words.

Where to start? Whether you’re a longtime fan of GOOD OMENS, Gaiman’s funny book about the apocalypse co-written with the late Terry Pratchett almost 30 years ago, or a new convert thanks to the sparkling new Amazon/BBC series, now is the perfect time to hear (or revisit) the audiobook. Read more…

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Halloween Staff Picks

Audiobooks to Send Shivers Up Your Spine

Halloween Audiobooks

Halloween Audiobooks

Happy Halloween! In honor of this holiday that’s all about candy and scaring each other with creepy stories, we’re sharing frightening audiobooks to get you in the Halloween mood. Listen as you get your house ready for the trick-or-treaters knocking on your door, or enjoy in your easy chair with a nice cup of hot cider after indulging in all of that candy yourself. Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Banned Books Week Staff Picks

Banning Books Silences Stories

Banned Books Week Logo

Banned Books Week 2018

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. This year, the Banned Books Week Coalition chose the theme “Banning Books Silences Stories” to remind everyone of the importance of speaking out against censorship. In the spirit of celebrating banned and challenged books, our staff picks below are pulled from the Coalition’s lists of books that have been challenged in schools and libraries around the country over the years. For the most recently challenged titles, check out the Top Ten Most Challenged Books for 2017. Read more…

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Robin’s Roundup: February 16 New Audiobook Reviews

Hello, universe, check out the spectacular listening in the Newbery and Odyssey Awards

Hello, Universe

Hello, UniverseIn the midst of awards season, I’m always looking out for those that specifically celebrate audiobooks, like the Spoken Word Grammy (Carrie Fisher’s THE PRINCESS DIARIST) and The Odyssey Award (THE HATE U GIVE). Also, I love finding the audiobook companion of books that are being celebrated—the American Library Association awards announced this week offer a wealth of great listening. The Newbery Award, for example, given for the year’s “most outstanding contribution to literature,” honored HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly. We’ve talked about and celebrated the audiobook for months—check out narrator Ramon de Ocampo in one of our Behind the Mic videos telling us how swept up he was in this book. It’s thrilling to know that it has received the great Newbery honor. You’ll be hearing more about one of the Newbery Honor titles, Jason Reynolds’s LONG WAY DOWN—we have an exciting interview with Jason about recording his audiobooks for our upcoming print issue. (Look for it April 1.)  Read more…

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

The Download: The extraordinary audiobook productions of Philip Pullman’s fantastic worlds

A conversation with the creative team behind The Golden Compass and The Book of Dust

The Golden Compass

It’s no secret that our AudioFile team loves Philip Pullman and the worlds he built in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy about Lyra Belacqua, the clever young protagonist we first met in THE GOLDEN COMPASS. We were thrilled by his most recent audiobook, THE BOOK OF DUST: La Belle Sauvage, the first in a new trilogy set in the same world. We brought together some of the creative team behind these audiobooks: Orli Moscowitz, Penguin Random House executive producer; Garrick Hagon, the director of the first trilogy and the voice of Lee Scoresby; and Tim Ditlow, the publisher of Listening Library who produced the unabridged multicast recording of the original.

“When I walked in the studio with Orli to watch the magic happen, the chemistry was a certain ingredient that I think we’ve all witnessed first-hand when we’ve seen a Broadway show, or a symphony orchestra.”—Tim Ditlow

Read more…

Jo Reed is a compulsive listener of audiobooks. She was the program director of the book and theater channel on XM Satellite Radio where she created, produced, and hosted This is Audible and Writers on Writing. She also created, produced, and hosted the literary show, On the Margin for WPFW, a public radio station in Washington DC where it ran for 18 years.

Robin’s Roundup: December 15 Best Audiobooks of the Year #3

Look at some Audiobook “Besties” for Kids & Teens

She Persisted

AudioFile Best of 2017If you are looking for audiobooks for Kids & Family listening or for a Teen in your life, our 2017 Best lists have great choices. Last week in my picks from the Nonfiction list, I singled out a couple of choices to inspire writers from John McPhee and Colum McCann. There’s a title for kids to add to this group—Jack Gantos’s WRITING RADAR: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories. Jack’s engaging style and involving ideas really connect with young writers.

Two audiobook choices on our list give another sort of inspiration. Chelsea Clinton’s SHE PERSISTED: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
aims at tiny feminists (ages 4-6), with mini-biographies of Nellie Bly, Helen Keller, Maria Tallchief, Sally Ride, and Sonia Sotomayor, among others. (Aren’t you curious who the other 8 women are?) Kwame Alexander’s THE PLAYBOOK: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life will appeal to audiences ages 10+. Kwame’s rules come from a variety of sources, particularly star athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Steph Curry, but the wisdom goes beyond the young athlete. Great family listening.

Read more…

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: 5 Iconic Audiobook Series

25 Years of Iconic Audiobooks—Part 1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneIn celebration of AudioFile’s first 25 years, we collected a list of 25 Iconic Audiobooks. We asked our reviewers and editors and heard your nominations on our social platforms for titles that stand out as truly memorable listening experiences. Our notion of  “iconic” is that they’re “widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence” and have withstood the test of time. Within our final cut of 25, there are 5 amazing series.

It’s impossible to talk about iconic audiobooks without several world-building fantasy series being on the list. HARRY POTTER and THE GOLDEN COMPASS are examples of the power of listening to audiobooks, though for different reasons. The entire HARRY POTTER series was masterfully narrated by the “bewitching, astonishing, brilliant, peerless” Jim Dale. He’s able to bring a whole cast of characters to life—134 characters in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX alone. His narration may mark a turning point in how listening to audiobooks was viewed. Read more…

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