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Odyssey Award facts for kids

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Odyssey Award
Presented by Association for Library Service to Children and Young Adult Library Services Association, divisions of ALA
Country United States
First awarded 2008

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is an annual award conferred by the American Library Association upon the publisher of "the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States". It is jointly administered by two ALA divisions (Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)) and sponsored by Booklist magazine. It recognizes production quality in all respects, considering such things as narration, sound quality, background music and sound effects. It is named for Homer's eighth century BCE epic poem Odyssey, which was transmitted orally, to remind us modern people of the ancient roots of storytelling.

The award was inaugurated in 2008.

For many reasons indicated in the 2008 manifesto, "it is essential for ALSC and YALSA to provide the same level of support for this nonprint format that they have historically provided for print materials, by creating an annual award for the best audiobooks in the field."


Source: "Eligibility & Criteria"

  • All literary genres are eligible for consideration, including read-alongs.
  • The Committee will consider and vote on titles published within their assigned calendar year, January 1 to October 31, in addition to those published between November 1 and December 31 of the previous year. A title may only be submitted once and cannot be reconsidered the next year.
  • Audiobooks produced previously in another audio format are ineligible for consideration.
  • The audiobook is intended for either young adults or children, who are defined as persons up to and including age 18; works for this entire age range are to be considered. Adult titles are ineligible.
  • Audiobooks featuring single or full cast narration are eligible.
  • Audiobooks previously published in another country are eligible presuming they have also been distributed in the United States during the term of eligibility.
  • Only audiobooks produced in English are considered, but this requirement does not limit the use of words or phrases in another language where appropriate in context.
  • If no title is deemed sufficiently meritorious, no award will be given that year.
  • The chair, with assistance from designated ALSC or YALSA staff, is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles.
  • The award will be presented to the publisher of the audiobooks.


In each of the six cycles to 2013, three to five runners-up have been dubbed Honor Audiobooks. Although full cast narration is eligible, two of the winners and runners-up have featured two narrators, all others a single narrator.

Odyssey Award winners and honor audiobooks
Year Title Producer Narrator Author Citation
2021 Kent State Scholastic Audiobooks Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina DeLaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries Deborah Wiles Winner
Clap When You Land HarperAudio Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte Elizabeth Acevedo Honor
Fighting Words Listening Library Bahni Turpin Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Honor
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Hachette Audio Jason Reynolds Jason Reynolds Honor
When Stars Are Scattered Listening Library Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi and a full cast Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed Honor
2020 Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction Scholastic Audiobooks Jarrett J. Krosoczk, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and more Jarrett J. Krosoczk Winner
Redwood and Ponytail Hachette Audio Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting K.A. Holt Honor
Song for a Whale Listening Library Abigail Revasch with Lynne Kelly Lynne Kelly Honor
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga Live Oak Media Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, Tonia Weavel Traci Sorell Honor
We're Not from Here Listening Library Dani Martineck Geoff Rodkey Honor
2019 Sadie Macmillan Audio Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more Courtney Summers Winner
Du Iz Tak Weston Woods Studio Eli D’Amico, Sebastian D’Amico, Burton Fott, Galen Fott, Laura Fott, Sarah Hart, Bella Higginbotham, Evelyn Hipp, and Brian Hull Carson Ellis Honor
Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist Live Oak Media Brian Amador Susan Wood Honor
The Parker Inheritance Scholastic Audiobooks Cherise Booth Varian Johnson Honor
The Poet X HarperAudio Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Acevedo Honor
2018 The Hate U Give HarperAudio Bahni Turpin Angie Thomas Winner
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage Listening Library Michael Sheen Philip Pullman Honor
A Boy Called Christmas Listening Library Stephen Fry Matt Haig Honor
Long Way Down Simon and Schuster Audio Jason Reynolds Jason Reynolds Honor
Trombone Shorty Live Oak Media Dion Graham Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews Honor
The Wizards of Once Hachette Audio David Tennant Cressida Cowell Honor
2017 Anna and the Swallow Man Listening Library Corduner, AllanAllan Corduner Gavriel Savit Winner
Dream On, Amber Recorded Books Laura Kirman Emma Shevah Honor
Ghost Simon and Schuster Audio Guy Lockard Reynolds, JasonJason Reynolds Honor
Nimona HarperAudio Soler, RebeccaRebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson, January LaVoy, Natalie Gold, Peter Bradbury and David Pittu Stevenson, NoelleNoelle Stevenson Honor
2016 The War That Saved My Life Listening Library Jayne Entwistle Bradley, Kimberly BrubakerKimberly Brubaker Bradley Winner
Echo Scholastic Audio Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews, Rebecca Soler Ryan, Pam MuñozPam Muñoz Ryan Honor
2015 H.O.R.S.E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination Live Oak Media Dion Graham and Christopher Myers Myers, ChristopherChristopher Myers Winner
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Audioworks division of Simon and Schuster Audio Federle, TimTim Federle Federle, TimTim Federle Honor
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place Listening Library Jayne Entwistle Julie Berry Honor
A Snicker of Magic Scholastic Audiobooks Morris, CassandraCassandra Morris Natalie Lloyd Honor
2014 Scowler Listening Library Heyborne, KirbyKirby Heyborne Daniel Kraus Winner
Better Nate Than Ever Simon and Schuster Audio Federle, TimTim Federle Federle, TimTim Federle Honor
Creepy Carrots! Weston Woods Studios, Inc Naughton, JamesJames Naughton Aaron Reynolds Honor
Eleanor & Park Listening Library Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra Rowell, RainbowRainbow Rowell Honor
Matilda Penguin Audio Winslet, KateKate Winslet Dahl, RoaldRoald Dahl Honor
2013 The Fault in Our Stars Brilliance Audio Kate Rudd John Green Winner
Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian Listening Library Nathaniel Parker Colfer, EoinEoin Colfer Honor
Ghost Knight Listening Library Elliot Hill Funke, CorneliaCornelia Funke Honor
Monstrous Beauty Macmillan Audio Kellgren, KatherineKatherine Kellgren Fama, ElizabethElizabeth Fama Honor
2012 Rotters Listening Library Heyborne, KirbyKirby Heyborne Daniel Kraus Winner
Ghetto Cowboy Brilliance Audio J.D. Jackson G. Neri Honor
Okay for Now Listening Library Lincoln Hoppe Schmidt, Gary D.Gary D. Schmidt Honor
The Scorpio Races Scholastic Audio Books Steve West
Fiona Hardingham
Stiefvater, MaggieMaggie Stiefvater Honor
Young Fredle Listening Library Wendy Carter Voigt, CynthiaCynthia Voigt Honor
2011 The True Meaning of Smekday Listening Library Bahni Turpin Rex, AdamAdam Rex Winner
Alchemy and Meggy Swann Listening Library Kellgren, KatherineKatherine Kellgren Cushman, KarenKaren Cushman Honor
The Knife of Never Letting Go Brilliance Audio Nick Podehl Ness, PatrickPatrick Ness Honor
Revolution Listening Library Emily Janice Card Donnelly, JenniferJennifer Donnelly Honor
Will Grayson, Will Grayson Brilliance Audio MacLeod Andrews John Green
David Levithan
2010 Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken Live Oak Media Barbara Rosenblat DiCamillo, KateKate DiCamillo Winner
In the Belly of the Bloodhound Listen & Live Audio Kellgren, KatherineKatherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
Peace, Locomotion Brilliance Audio Dion Graham Woodson, JacquelineJacqueline Woodson Honor
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro Baseball Brilliance Audio Dion Graham Nelson, KadirKadir Nelson Honor
2009 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Recorded Books Alexie, ShermanSherman Alexie Alexie, ShermanSherman Alexie Winner
Curse of the Blue Tattoo Listen & Live Audio Kellgren, KatherineKatherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
Elijah of Buxton Listening Library Mirron Willis Curtis, Christopher PaulChristopher Paul Curtis Honor
I'm Dirty Scholastic Media /
Weston Woods Studios
Buscemi, SteveSteve Buscemi Kate McMullan
Jim McMullan
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale Peachtree Publishers Deedy, Carmen AgraCarmen Agra Deedy Deedy, Carmen AgraCarmen Agra Deedy Honor
Nation HarperAudio Briggs, StephenStephen Briggs Pratchett, TerryTerry Pratchett Honor
2008 Jazz Live Oak Media James "D-Train" Williams
Vaneese Thomas
Myers, Walter DeanWalter Dean Myers Winner
Bloody Jack Listen & Live Audio Kellgren, KatherineKatherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
Dooby Dooby Moo Scholastic /
Weston Woods
Travis, RandyRandy Travis Cronin, DoreenDoreen Cronin Honor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Listening Library Dale, JimJim Dale Rowling, J. K.J. K. Rowling Honor
Skulduggery Pleasant HarperCollins Children's Audio Degas, RupertRupert Degas Landy, DerekDerek Landy Honor
Treasure Island Listening Library Molina, AlfredAlfred Molina Stevenson, Robert LouisRobert Louis Stevenson Honor

Multiple awards

Listening Library has won 5 awards and Live Oak Media has won 3.

Listening Library, an imprint of Random House, has produced 11 of the 30 winners and runners-up while Brilliance Audio of Amazon has produced six.

Katherine Kellgren is the narrator of five Honor Audiobooks, including three written by L. A. Meyer and produced by Listen & Live Audio — the first, second, and fourth Jacky Faber books.

Sherman Alexie, author and narrator of the 2009 Odyssey Award-winning audiobook, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, also won the annual National Book Award for Young People's Literature for the print edition of that book (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2007).

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