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 Deborah Wiles's Countdown "effective" and "convincing" despite the lack of the printed book's many archival photos. Meanwhile, intern Jen suggests that an app version of Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano’s A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole might have been a better choice for adaptation than Listening Library's less-than-stellar audiobook.

Stay tuned — there's lots more to come! If you love audiobooks as much as we do, please feel free to share your favorites in the comments.


P.S. Did you know that The Horn Book Magazine reviews audiobooks in every other issue?

This post is part of Audiobook Week on Out of the Box. For more, click on the audiobooks tag.

Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, formerly editor of The Horn Book Guide, is a freelance children’s and YA editor. She's also a former bookseller who holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons University. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


I agree with Rachael, the audiobook for The True Meaning of Smekday is always on in the car whenever our family go for a long drive. A fun alien invasion story and Bahni Turpin's narration makes this audiobook a great listening experience.

Posted : Aug 07, 2013 11:02

Mary Burkey

I love this series of all things audiobook! Even the headphone heart is awesome. Elissa, you might enjoy this look at the making of Countdown:

Posted : Jul 30, 2013 08:14

Elissa Gershowitz

Commenter Rachael Stein is being modest by not mentioning that she wrote an amazing piece for us about audiobooks:

Posted : Jul 30, 2013 03:42

Rachael Stein

My daughter and I love audiobooks. I think my current favorite is The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex. Bahni Turpin is amazing. We also like Polly Horvath's reading of her own (translated) work, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire!

Posted : Jul 29, 2013 07:43


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more