Audiobooks: Four Styles of Narration


by Kristi Beavin Earlier columns have dealt with selecting appropriate titles (May/June 1995 issue) and with the importance of carefully matching those selections with specific voices (January/February 1996) in audiobook production. While these are two of the most important factors in producing a successful audiobook, another — reading style — is also critical. While some […]

Audiobook Week on Out of the Box


We’re celebrating audiobooks all week long, with reviews of recommended audiobooks, discussion of what works (and what doesn’t) in audio adaptations, and even a sneak peek at the upcoming From Norvelt to Nowhere audiobook. We kick things off today with reviews of audio adaptations of two heavily visual books. Elissa finds Listening Library’s take on […]

Countdown audiobook review


Countdown by Deborah Wiles; read by Emma Galvin Middle School     Listening Library     Rev. 5/10 6 CDs     7.3 hrs.     978-0-3078-7967-7     $40.00 Eleven-year-old Air Force brat Franny Chapman stars in Wiles’s documentary novel about shifting friendships, first crushes, and family loyalty, set during the volatile days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In this audio version, […]

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole audiobook review

black hole is not a hole

I was curious how Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano’s A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole (Listening Library, May 2013) would translate as an audiobook. The print book (Charlesbridge, February 2012), which received a starred review in the Horn Book Magazine’s May/June 2012 issue, was praised for its use of “reasoning and analogies that are perfectly attuned […]

Calling all wolves

illustration by Pat Marriott, from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

  Joan Aiken’s daughter Lizza is hosting an evening in New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. You should go. The anniversary has also prompted a new audio edition of the novel (Listening Library) about which Martha says: “I’ve just started listening to it, narrated by Joan Aiken’s daughter […]

Confessions of an audiobook addict

The Name of the Star audiobook

Hi, my name is Martha, and I’m an audiobook addict. I first became hooked early in the new millennium when serving on ALSC’s Notable Children’s Recordings committee (chaired by the inimitable Mary Burkey). Now, audiobooks are a daily presence in my life. I listen to new ones on my commute to work, and some favorites […]

Story time for big kids

A Monster Calls audiobook

Who says little kids are the only ones who like being read to? The expertly performed audio versions of these books for older readers capture the stories’ affecting dramas and strongly felt emotions. In Patrick Ness’s haunting tale of pain and redemption, A Monster Calls, thirteen-year-old Conor O’Malley faces the death of his mother from […]

Miss Teen Dreamers! “I’ve got a little bit of bad news…”

bray_beauty queens

“Everyone else is dead.” May I proselytize for a moment? If you’re reading this post, you absolutely must listen to the audiobook version of Beauty Queens (Scholastic Audio, 2011) written and read brilliantly by Libba Bray. Believe me, it will make your life worth living, your hair luxurious, and your skin blemish-free. It will also […]

New audiobook recommendations

young fredle

The Grammy Awards may have  “tuned out” children’s audiobooks this year, but we’ve been listening! Need a great gift for a bookworm? Traveling for the holidays? See our updated audiobook list, offering listening suggestions for a wide range of ages.

Recommended Audiobooks

The audiobooks recommended below were released within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.