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Find more Odyssey Winner and Honor Audiobooks
The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production, jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children and the Young Adult Library Services Association, and sponsored by Booklist, is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults that is available in English in the United States. The winner and honorees were announced on January 25, 2021 during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting.
Odyssey Award Winner
Kent State. By Deborah Wiles. Read by a full cast. Produced by Paul R. Grange, 2020. 2hr. Scholastic, CD, $19.99 (9781338636345). Gr. 7–10.
Kent State uses alternating voices to convey the experiences behind the shootings at Kent State on May 4, 1970, with one goal: to ask us to listen. Original music by Jim Pearce and vivid sound effects combine with the narration to create an immersive, thought-provoking, and immediate experience for any listener. “The variety of perspectives, along with an excellently produced soundscape, invites audiences to critical examine a tragic, historic event with distinct relevance today,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Maryanne Olson.
Odyssey Award Honorees
Clap When You Land. By Elizabeth Acevedo. Read by the author and Melania-Luisa Marte. 2020. 5.5hr. Produced by Caitlin Garing for Harper, DD, $29.99 (9780063011816). Gr. 8–12.
Clap When You Land is a novel in verse about two sisters who learn about each other after their father’s death. In alternating chapters, the lyrical and expressive tones of these spoken-word performers are beautifully balanced. Listeners experience the pain and joy of the sisters as they reconcile and share their family stories.
Fighting Words. By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Read by Bahni Turpin. 2020. 6.5. Produced by Karen Dziekonski for Listening Library, DD, $50 (9780593214992). Gr. 5–8.
This expertly delivered audiobook is raw, engaging, and powerful. Turpin’s skillful narration of this middle grade story about two sisters surviving and healing from sexual abuse conveys complicated emotions through the dynamic first-person voice of Della, the younger sister.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Read by the authors. 2020. 4hr. Produced by Robert Van Kolken for Hachette, DD, $24.98 (9781549184253). Gr. 7–12.
This compelling remix of Kendi’s academic work sets a new standard for nonfiction audio production. In sections framed by dynamic music, Reynolds delivers a conversational and riveting performance about the history of racism and antiracism that connects contemporary listeners to the past.
When Stars Are Scattered. By Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. Read by a full cast. 2020. 4hr. Produced by Kelly Gildea and Julie Wilson for Listening Library, DD, $38 (9780593162590). Gr. 6–8.
Intimately experience the challenges, hopes, and dreams of Omar; his younger brother, Hassan; and other children in a Somalian Refugee camp in Kenya. Based on a true story, this audio adaptation of the original graphic novel is a masterful collage of voices and ambient sound effects.
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