Listen, laugh, and learn

perkins_nuts to you audio

Some stories can be at their funniest — and most poignant — when read aloud. The following audiobooks, recommended for intermediate and middle-school listeners, offer lots of laughs and lots to learn. Lynne Rae Perkins’s Nuts to You tells the wacky story of a trio of industrious young squirrels saving their respective colonies from the […]

Have you heard?

alexander_crossover audiobook

Audiobook versions of these intermediate and middle-school books — two in verse, one incorporating archival materials, and one light family story — give listeners a whole new way to immerse themselves in their engrossing tales. The Crossover‘s protagonist, Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell, is a star basketball player along with his twin brother JB. JB’s romance […]

Holistic healing, YA-style?

save_life

Serendipitously, these two audiobooks were next to each other on a cart. I’d take the song.

Philip Pullman’s “The Collectors”

pullman_collectors

It’s been quite some time since fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series have had any new… well, material… to sate us. After the trilogy — The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass — concluded in 2000, Pullman briefly returned to the universe in Lyra’s Oxford (2003) and Once Upon a […]

Atmospheric audiobooks

stroud_screaming staircase audiobook

These audiobooks offer intrepid listeners stories of supernatural and psychological suspense, all with vividly evoked settings. In the world of Jonathan Stroud’s The Screaming Staircase (first book in the Lockwood & Co. series), ghost-busting firms employ psychically sensitive children to neutralize supernatural pests infesting London. Lucy Carlyle joins an indie agency — consisting of Lucy, […]

Caught in Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web

I teach ESL to adults and have often used children’s books as educational tools with these students who are trying to master English. I’ve read picture books to lower level classes, but the year I taught Advanced Conversation, I knew I needed something different. Having taught lower level classes, I can say that in comparison […]

Audiobook Week roundup

earbuds

We’ve been talking about all things audiobook this week on the blog, with reviews of recommended audiobooks, discussion of what works (and what doesn’t) in audio adaptations, and a sneak peek at the upcoming From Norvelt to Nowhere audiobook. Here are all of the posts in one handy place. Introducing Audiobook Week! Adapting visual elements […]

Jack Gantos: voice talent

Jack Gantos reading From Norvelt to Nowhere.

A few weeks ago we received an email at the office from a Macmillan Audio publicist on behalf of children’s author, Magazine contributor, and all-around friend-of-The-Horn-Book Jack Gantos. Sir Jack (honorific mine) would be in Boston at Soundscape Studio recording the audio for his upcoming book From Norvelt to Nowhere (Farrar, Sept. 2013), sequel to […]

Five questions for Mary Burkey

Mary Burkey head shot med

Mary Burkey is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). A longtime champion of All Things Audio, she is a librarian, columnist for Booklist (“Voices in My Head”), blogger, and Horn Book guest reviewer. Who better to answer Martha and Cindy’s group-effort Five Questions for Out of the […]

An unwelcome trend in audiobooks

audiobooks

Correct me if I’m wrong, but lately I’ve been seeing (or in this case I guess, hearing) an unwelcome trend in audiobooks. To me, the first responsibility of an audiobook is to provide a successful translation from print to audio. A listener needs, at the very least, to be able to follow the plot. And […]