There are several ways to approach the 2021 Reading Challenge here at The Hub, though there’s no easy way to five in a row! One way to get started is to look at the 2021 ALA YMA winners and honorees, many of which can fill more than one spot on the Bingo board.
Let’s begin with those top corners. The Odyssey Award is given each year to excellent audiobooks produced for children or young adults. The 2021 winner was Kent State by Deborah Wiles, which is also a full-cast audiobook, so it would work for either corner. Another award-winning title with a full cast audiobook is Traci Chee’s We Are Not Free, a 2021 Printz honor book.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781534437678).
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250217288).
The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice – Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982133115).
Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams Comicarts (ISBN 9781419734847).
The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony, published by Park Row Books (ISBN 9780778308744).
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982136451).
Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins (ISBN 9780062942852) .
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250214751).
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982156947).
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House (ISBN 9781524748098).
In addition to the winning titles, the committee has also released the full vetted list of titles that were nominated for the Alex Award. View the list.
X: A Novel, co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz and published by Candlewick Press
How it Went Down, published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group;
The Rock and the River, published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Fire in the Streets, published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 9780062885029.
The Rise & Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming and published by Schwartz and Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 9780525646549.
In addition to the finalists and award winner, YALSA also publishes a list of vetted nominations for the Nonfiction Award. View the list. If you’d like to learn more about the list of nominations, join us for a special booktalk with the Nonfiction Committee on February 24, 7pm EST. Register for the event for free.
Kent State written in verse by Deborah Wiles, powerfully narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries and produced by Paul R. Gange for Scholastic Audio.
Clap When You Land written by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte, and produced by Caitlin Garing for HarperAudio, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Fighting Words is written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, narrated by Bahni Turpin and produced by Karen Dziekonski for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You is written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, narrated by Jason Reynolds with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi, and produced by Robert Van Kolken for Hachette Audio.
When Stars Are Scattered written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and narrated by Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi and a full cast, is produced by Kelly Gildea and Julie Wilson for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio.
Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.
Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.
Dragon Hoops Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien and published by First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh and published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House.
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Pura Belpré Award: Young Adult Author Award
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez and published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera and published by Bloomsbury YA.
We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez and published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Congrats again to all the winners and honors and thank you to all the book award committees for all the hard work, time, and effort they put into reading all the nominees and selecting the winners! View current and past list of winners of all of YALSA’s book awards (with annotations) on YALSA’s Book and Media Awards web page. View the full list of all the winners of the Youth Media Awards here.
Last Sunday, ALA’s The Book Award Celebration event took place. The event celebrated several of its book and media award winners, including YALSA’s very own Printz and Odyssey Awards. If you missed our celebrations, check out the recordings below, which feature speeches and Q&A segments from the winning authors. Don’t forget to share these recordings with your teen patrons and feature them on your library’s website! You can also view the full playlist of all the celebrations.
June is history month, and while there’s a ton of great historical fiction for teens out there, it’s also a perfect time to start asking “What if?”
What if the American Revolution never happened?
What if the Axis Powers won World War II?
Alternate history books are a great way to explore these questions, and alternate history for teens is becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few books to get you started.
These stories can blend speculative elements with historical facts, which is perfect for prompting discussion about what is truth and what is fiction in the novels discussed. They can also prompt readers to explore more nonfiction about the time period. Continue reading Booklist: YA Alternate History
The seventh annual Odyssey award presentation was held at the ALA Annual Conference on Monday, June 30, 2014.
The Odyssey Awards are the awards for the best audiobook of the year produced for children and/or teens in English and available in the United States. It is a joint award presented by ALSC and YALSA.
The room was packed full of librarians and audiobook fans. It was definitely exciting to see all the honorees that were able to make the presentation of awards. Here is a slightly blurry photo of the awards winners that were present:
From left to right:
Booklist consultant, Rebecca Vnuk
2014 Odyssey Chair, Ellen Rix Spring
Daniel Kraus (author of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
Timothy Federle (author/narrator of Better Nate Than Never, 2014 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
Kirby Heyborne (narrator of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
Kelly Gildea (producer of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
Sunil Malhotra (narrator of Eleanor & Park, 2014 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
June is Audiobook Month! Many of us have fond memories of being read to as a child, but did you know that you can still be read to? That is the value of audiobooks! The story comes alive and, with the right narrator, you can hear a story much more differently than you would reading it. Accents are perfected, exclamations are understood, and even words or names you may not know or have never heard before make sense to you. This is my second year evaluating audiobooks for YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee. As chair of this year’s committee, I am so excited for all the great audiobook-related things happening this month. Articles are being written about the importance and resurgence of audiobooks, you can get in “Sync” this summer and download free audios, and the audiobook circulation at my Library sees a nice increase starting in June with many people going on road trips and vacations.
To give you an idea of what makes an audiobook a good listen, here are some of the criteria that gets an audiobook on the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults selection list:
The narration has to expand or compliment the original text. In other words, when you listen to a narrator tell the story, it comes alive and allows the you to experience the text in a different way.
Character voice variation is key! We must have a sense of who the character is by the different qualities in the voices that the narrator uses. For example, it is a lot more enjoyable when you are listening to a narrated conversation and can tell which character is talking without the text cues letting you know. Accents, exclamations, and sound effects also are considered. If done well, they really make an audiobook amazing!
There is also the importance of a match between the text and the narrator. You know when it is right; your ear picks it up. The narrator embodies the main character and sometimes even all the characters in the books.
The technical production on an audiobook is also a criteria for the Amazing Audiobooks list. We want to make sure the editing is done well, the sound quality is even, and that there are no issues with extra sounds or mike pickups. Additionally, we do consider the music that you hear at the beginning, end, or in between the tracks–does it match the story? Is it effective in heightening the story? If it is, then it just adds more quality to the production.
So, where should you start if you have never listened to an audiobook before? Well, some great awards and lists are put out every year: the Odyssey Award, the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults annual list, and the Audies are a few places to start. Below I have compiled some of my favorites, that I think will be a great first listen for all of you who are new to audiobooks and want to give them a try.