Friday, July 16, 2010

Reading Aloud + Dean Pitchford = Amazing! and Free Audiobooks

Those of you that read this blog know that I'm a big listener of audiobooks, so last year when I listened to Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford and was ***completely blown away,*** I told myself to look this guy up to find out more. But, then life got in the way and I totally forgot...until last month when I listened to The Big One-Oh! and thought this guy is really good! So, I did look him up and found out why he is such an amazing performer:

Dean Pitchford starred on Broadway in Pippin and Godspell before turning to songwriting and screenwriting. His multimillion-selling songs include the Oscar-winning “Fame,” “Footloose,” “Holding Out for a Hero” and “After All.” He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, five Grammys and two Tonys. His stage musical adaptation of Footloose played over 700 performances on Broadway and is now being produced around the world.  

With those kind of credentials, no wonder Dean Pitchford is so good at performing his own books! But, it did make me wonder if he had won any awards for his audiobooks. The answer, of course, is YES. The following is a review of Captain Nobody from AudioFile Magazine:

Author Dean Pitchford is certainly an impressive narrator. With masterful characterization he introduces us to Newt--aka Captain Nobody--a mild-mannered boy who becomes a hometown hero. Pitchford captures the delicious pathos of Newt the underdog. Listeners will hear humor, disgruntlement, and even fidgeting--thanks to skilled vocalizations. Judicious use of pacing and varied volume also contribute to a dramatic reading. Pitchford even throws in sound effects and onomatopoeia. Secondary characters, such as Newt's friend Cecil, have distinct voices. Pitchford shows us the boy behind the mask in this unexpectedly poignant laugh-out-loud tale. C.A. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.

Notice the AudioFile Earphones Award? AudioFile awards Earphones to truly exceptional presentations that excel in all the following criteria:

• Narrative voice and style
• Vocal characterizations
• Appropriateness for the audio format
• Enhancement of the text

You can listen to a very nice excerpt from both of Dean Pitchford's books at Listening Library. The excerpts are long enough for you to get a real sense of why he won the AudioFile Earphone award. Then, do yourself a favor and listen to both books. They are wonderful!
Also, AudioFile is offering two free downloads of YA literature each week of the summer. Below is the schedule:
Available July 15 - July 21

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available July 22 - July 28

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Available July 29 - August 4

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Available August 5 - August 11

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 - August 18

Beastly by Alex Flinn
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available August 19 - August 25

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 - September 1

Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Happy Listening!

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