Odyssey Awards part 1
One of the good things (are there any others?) about an hour commute each day is I get to listen to a lot of audiobooks. I generally prefer adult books, but I recently resolved to try more YA and children’s books and thought audio would be a good way to delve into them. Not wanting to be disappointed, I decided to start out with the best: this year’s ALA Odyssey Award winner and honor books. I’m obviously not the only one with this idea and ended up on a long waiting list at my local library for the winning audiobook – H. O. R. S. E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination written by Christopher Myers and narrated by Dion Graham and Christopher Myers and one of the honor books, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place written by Julie Berry, and narrated by Jayne Entwistle. So this will have to be part 1 of my Odyssey Award post in which I tell you about the other 2 honor books that have made my daily drive more enjoyable.
A few times I’ve given up on an audiobook because I found the narrator’s voice too unpleasant to enjoy and now will often choose audiobooks based on the narrator. I have definitely found a new favorite: Cassandra Morris the narrator of A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. Morris’ lovely child-like voice is perfect for 12-year-old Felicity Pickle, the protagonist with the magic power of physically seeing words. In fact, a line from the book could also describe Morris’ voice, “My mama’s story voice is like nothing I ever heard. Like something between a summer breeze and a lullaby.” This book seems like it was meant to be read aloud. The story itself is delightfully written with the many quirky characters from the mysterious town for Midnight Gulch. The exquisite use of written language combined with the charming narration made for a truly enjoyable audiobook experience. (9780545706797. 2013. Gr. 4 – 7)
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! written and narrated by Tim Federle is the sequel to his debut Better Nate than Never and has 13 year old Nate living in New York City with his aunt Heidi so he can be in the Broadway play E.T.: The Musical. Federle’s narration is spot on and he obviously understands the various situations in which Nate finds himself. Being from a small town, Nate feels like an outsider and struggling with bullies, body image, a changing singing voice, and temperamental theater people, are only a few of his problems. Nate is a fun character that kids can relate to in this entertaining coming of age story. Hard work, perseverance and being a nice guy does payoff in the end. I also like the behind the scene look at the making of a Broadway musical. This audiobook is just good fun. (9781442446939. 2014. Gr. 5 – 8)