Thursday, May 22, 2008

Everything Audiobooks

I LOVE audiobooks! I live about an hour away from the university, so I'm on the road a lot, but I really don't mind because I'm always listening to an audiobook and the time flies by. I also think it gives me the feeling of multitasking -- I'm not only driving to work, but "reading" children's books, which better prepares me for teaching children's literature (who's deluding who--I listen to them for ME!)

Today, I want to share with you some exciting things happening around audiobooks. Recently, I posted about Get Caught Reading Month sponsored by the Association of American Publishers. A new component of the campaign is Get Caught Listening:

Recent studies have shown that one in every five American households listen to audiobooks. Get Caught Listening is a nationwide public service campaign intended to promote the joys of audiobook listening. The campaign will be produced by the Association of American Publishers and is expected to launch in June 2008. A brand extension of the nationwide public service Get Caught Reading campaign, Get Caught Listening communicates the pleasures of audiobook listening in all audio formats, and promotes the value of the medium as a beneficial learning tool supporting literacy and education.

Right now, the Get Caught Reading website offers teachers ways to use audiobooks in the classroom, as well as audio clips and posters of some of your favorite authors (Valerie Bertinelli, Jacki Collins, Frant McCourt, etc.) promoting the use of audiobooks.

The Recorded Books Blog is offering a series of free, standards based lesson plans and audio downloads of the 1989 Newbery Medal winner Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman. The lesson plans were created by Hillary Wolfe, a librarian at Northview High School in Covina, California, and are based in ideas from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The blog also has video clips of Hillary discussion the lesson plans. This is for a limited time only, so hop on over now.

Recorded Books is also hosting two contests in which teachers can receive free audiobooks.

CONTEST 1: When teachers and librarians collaborate, good things happen! We want to hear your best idea for teacher/librarian collaboration using audiobooks. We know that when teachers and librarians work together, they are a powerful and inspiring team for students. Do you work together to explore a certain book or certain theme? Does the library help expand on ideas learned in the classroom? Perhaps a history teacher will collaborate with the librarian on a project about slavery instead of aparticular book, or a drama teacher might go after acting skills. Let us know how you work together, and you could win a free custom Recorded Books collection consisting of 10 Recorded Books on CD or cassette plus matching print books, plus 2 Recorded Books on Playaway with matching print books.

CONTEST 2: Guest host a Recorded Books teaching blog!Do you have a good lesson that incorporates audio? Share it with other educators! We’ll give you the audio and print book needed for your lesson. Send us your lesson plan for introducing an author or theme, or just getting students interested in reading. We’ll post your lesson plans and material for other educators to use on our blog—we’ll even include the downloadable audiobook!

If you are looking for the best in audiobooks, check out the Odyssey Awards, an award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States given by The American Library Association.

This was the first year for the award, and the 2008 winner is Jazz, produced by Live Oak Media. Original music enhances each poem performed by James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas in Walter Dean Myers’ rhythmic tribute to jazz.

Honors include:

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy, produced by Listen & Live Audio. Katherine Kellgren’s vocal athleticism takes listeners from the filthy streets of eighteenth century London to the high seas in Meyer’s fast-paced novel about a girl who stows away as a cabin boy.

Dooby Dooby Moo, produced by Scholastic/Weston Woods. Music and barnyard chatter enhance Randy Travis’ performance of Cronin’s comic tale of talented farm animals gone wild.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, produced by Listening Library. Jim Dale masters and maintains voices for all genders, ages, species, and emotions created by author J.K. Rowling in this final Harry Potter adventure.

Skulduggery Pleasant, produced by HarperChildren's Audio. Rupert Degas fleshes out a cast of characters including a “tweenage” girl, nefarious villains, and a skeleton detective. Music and sound effects mirror the mood of this bone-rattling mystery.

Treasure Island, produced by Listening Library. Stevenson’s pirate classic elegantly unfolds as Alfred Molina’s panoply of accents and the soundscape of the sea place listeners aboard the Hispaniola.

Finally, I wrote an article: Audiobooks: Ear-resistible! a couple of years ago that provides online resources for audiobook reviews and free online downloads, if you're interested.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I highly recommend the blog Audiobooker, by Mary Burkey. She writes a column for Book Links and does a terrific job highlighting audiobooks at her site.