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 Daniel José Older on the Power of Writing and the Spoken Word

Talking with Daniel José Older

Talking with Daniel José Older

We were thrilled to feature this interview with Daniel José Older in our February/March 2020 issue of AudioFile Magazine. AudioFile contributor Jessie Grearson spoke with Older about his writing and his audiobooks, including his latest book for adult listeners, THE BOOK OF LOST SAINTS, and the conclusion to his bestselling teen fantasy series. Read the full interview below.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Daniel José Older always knew he wanted to tell stories—it just took a while to settle on a medium. “For a good period, I was more involved with music, but with a focus on storytelling. Even when I was mostly doing music, I was still always writing. I was all over the map. I did screenplays, poems, articles. But I wasn’t getting any traction; I didn’t know how to publish.”

The idea of writing a novel was “partially inspired by just not wanting to deal with wrangling musicians to rehearsals all the time. I found myself deeply attracted to the idea of being able to sit and work on something by myself, to finish it myself, on my own time—and not dealing with anyone else. So that’s what I did. And it worked!” Read more…

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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 the Studio with Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Odyssey Award Winner HEY, KIDDO

In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
Author and narrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka (top) and Jeanne Birdsall

I was thrilled to talk with author Jarrett J. Krosoczka about the process of adapting his acclaimed graphic memoir, HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction, into a full-cast audiobook. And I was even more excited when earlier this week HEY, KIDDO won the American Library Association’s 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults. There are so many things to love about this audiobook, but for me the most remarkable aspect was the casting. Krosoczka tapped members of his own family to narrate the true story, and the result is unforgettable. Below, read my Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 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.

7 Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Heartwarming Audiobooks about Friendship and Family

Seven Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Seven Listen-Alikes for Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Many readers and listeners loved Meg Medina’s MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS. The audiobook, read by Frankie Corzo, was one of AudioFile’s Best of 2018, and the book won the 2019 Newbery Medal. There is lots to love about the confident, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suárez, and I was cheering for her as she navigated difficult changes in her close-knit extended family and school life. Curious listeners can watch our video to hear Frankie Corzo’s own insights into what it meant for her to narrate this story.

If you’re looking for more heartwarming audiobooks about friendship and family for ages 8 and up, here are a few of my favorite recommendations. 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.

Narrator Thom Rivera on All The Crooked Saints

SYNC Free Audiobooks for Teens

Thom Rivera

AudioFile is delighted to feature Maggie Stiefvater’s ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS as part of our free summer audiobook program SYNC Audiobooks for Teens. In 1962, a disc jockey fleeing fame and a teenage hitchhiker with a hole in his heart arrive in Bicho Raro, a tiny desert town where a family of Mexican-American saints offers miracles to those who need them. Narrator Thom Rivera shares what he loves about the world that Stiefvater created.

“In Bicho Raro, miracles are never what you’d expect.”—Narrator Thom Rivera

Read more…

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Transforming a Graphic Novel Into an Audiobook

In the studio with the producers of ILLEGAL

Illegal Audiobook Cast Recording

IllegalAudioFile spoke with Dreamscape Media publisher Tammy Faxel and Deyan Audio’s Khai Dattoli and Bryan Lincoln about adapting and producing Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin’s graphic novel ILLEGAL for audio.

AudioFile: What was it about ILLEGAL that made you interested in adapting it as an audiobook? Why is it an important title for young listeners?

Tammy Faxel: It was a powerful and moving graphic novel that uniquely told the difficult story faced by so many immigrants. This is such a huge issue in the world right, now and I felt an audiobook would help children understand the real plight that so many are facing every day–that an audiobook of this amazing novel would reach children in a way that would make the issue more relatable and real-life through the multi-voice narration. Read more…

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SYNC Audiobooks for Teens Celebrates its 10th Season

Robin’s Roundup April 26

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens

SYNC Free Audiobooks for Teens

We opened SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens’s 10th season this week! The lineup of teen titles this year seems like the best ever, including everything from Shakespeare’s OTHELLO to BECOMING KAREEM by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The diversity of titles clearly reflects the interests of teen listeners. This is confirmed by our many colleagues in the school media and library fields who help promote the program and get the word out to their teens. 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.

7 Kids’ Audiobooks About Autism

Family Listens for Autism Awareness Month

A Boy Called Bat

A Boy Called BatAs the step-parent of an autistic boy, I understand firsthand the challenges—and joys—of living with someone on the autism spectrum, and I often worry that neurotypical people will not recognize his kind heart and amazing mind. These audiobooks show autism from many different perspectives and offer opportunities for families to listen together and learn about understanding and accepting the neurodiversity of all people. 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.