To compile our 2013 list of best audiobooks, we asked some audio-savvy school and public librarians for their recommendations. The following selections have been chosen for their outstanding text, narration, sound quality, and how well the audio enhances listeners’ appreciation of the written work.
This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams-Garcia’s sequel to her Coretta Scott King award-winning One Crazy Summer, offers offering insight into the African-American experience of the 1960s as seen through a young girl’s eyes. Sisi Aisha Johnson’s narration of the audiobook is spot-on. Check out the starred review.
Turn Turn Turn, the first collaboration between Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell of “handmade music” yields five traditional and 10 original songs in bluegrass, folk, blues, and acoustic pop musical styles. Read the starred review of this outstanding CD.
The Los Angeles kindie-pop group Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band are back with their most unique album to date, Fantastico!, performed all in Spanish. Read the starred review.
Dean Jones has never sounded as fresh, funky, and fun as he does on his new CD, When the World Was New, his third solo recording, loosely centered on evolution and human nature. Read the starred review.
A Latina teen is the target of bullying in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina. In the audiobook version, Roxanne Hernandez’s narration is spot-on. Check out the starred review.
Through the voice of 10-year-old , an emancipated slave in post-Civil War Louisiana, Jewell Parker Rhodes’s novel introduces a dark and little-known period of American history. Bahni Turpin magically brings all the characters to life in the audiobook version.
Three friends who want to leave high school and move on describe their anguish in Emma Cameron’s novel, Out of This Place, written in verse. Three narrators tell the story from alternating points of view in this audiobook version. Read this starred review
Enter the Follett Challenge for a chance to receive up to $60,000. The American Library Association received a grant to establish a Center for the Future of Libraries. Apply for a Día Family Book Club Mini-Grant.
Documentary filmmaker Marian Marzynski revisits his Polish roots to tell the story of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of those who were children during World War II in Never Forget to Lie. Read the starred review.
Joss is bored with his simple job of delivering pies for the Supreme Overlord of the Universe (his dad). Soon, however, something goes badly wrong, and it’ds Joss’s responsibility to rebuild Earth in WendyMass’s Pi in the Sky
The brown bear’s hat is missing, and he almost gives up all hope of ever finding it in the DVD version of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.
Defiant Requiem is a powerful film that presents first-hand accounts by survivors who sang in the Thereseinstadt concentration camp and highlights the efforts of conductor Murry Sidlin to bring the Requiem back to Terezin six decades later with a full orchestra and his chorus. Check out the starred review of this moving DVD.
Set in dystopian Chicago, Veronica Roth’s novel, Divergent, is read in a youthful voice by Emma Galvin. Be sure to check out the starred review of the audiobook.
The annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is accepting original works in 28 categories. Terri Soutor, former vice president at Lerner Publishing Group, a sister company to Brain Hive and a key player in the formation of the company, has been named Brain Hive’s president. Storybots founders Gregg and Evan Spiridellis launch Educade, a portal of free, ready to use lesson plans paired with learning tools. The International Reading Association has announced some of the renowned authors speaking at its 59th Annual Conference in May. Krup has announced a teacher’s lounge makeover contest.
November is Picture Book Month. Five winners and five finalists of the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards were announced September 17. Apply for the Stony Brook Southampton (NY) MFA in Children’s Literature Fellows program. Kids in grades 2–5 can enter the LEGO Essay Contest.
Publisher Kane Miller is cosponsoring a nonfiction writing contest for budding poets. Educators can enter the “Pin It to Win It” MathMovesU sweepstakes via Pinterest. From September 17, 2013 through March 24, 2014, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is featuring the artwork from Carle’s new picture book, Friends. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced the finalists for its seven major children’s book awards.