Odyssey Award

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Odyssey Award
Awarded forthe year's best English-language audiobook for children or young adults
CountryUnited States
Presented byAssociation for Library Service to Children and Young Adult Library Services Association, divisions of ALA
First awarded2008
Websiteala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/odysseyaward ala.org/yalsa/odyssey

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".[1][2] 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.[3] It recognizes production quality in all respects, considering such things as narration, sound quality, background music and sound effects.[3] 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.[3]

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."[4]

Latest rendition[edit]

Brilliance Audio, a subsidiary of Amazon since 2007,[5] won the sixth annual Odyssey Award for The Fault in Our Stars, written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd. The award was announced and presented during the ALA midwinter meeting, January 28, 2013. It was judged by a panel of eleven ALA members.[6]


Source: "Eligibility & Criteria"[4]

  • All literary genres are eligible for consideration, including read-alongs.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • Audiobooks produced previously in another audio format are ineligible for consideration.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • Audiobooks featuring single or full cast narration are eligible.[4]
  • Audiobooks previously published in another country are eligible presuming they have also been distributed in the United States during the term of eligibility.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • If no title is deemed sufficiently meritorious, no award will be given that year.[4]
  • The chair, with assistance from designated ALSC or YALSA staff, is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles.[4]
  • The award will be presented to the publisher of the audiobooks.[4]


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[7]
Year Title Producer Narrator Author Citation
2019 Sadie Macmillan Audio Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more Courtney Summers Winner
2019 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
2019 Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist Live Oak Media Brian Amador Susan Wood Honor
2019 The Parker Inheritance Scholastic Audiobooks Cherise Booth Varian Johnson Honor
2019 The Poet X' HarperAudio Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Acevedo Honor
2018 The Hate U Give HarperAudio Bahni Turpin Angie Thomas Winner
2018 The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage Listening Library Michael Sheen Philip Pullman Honor
2018 A Boy Called Christmas Listening Library Stephen Fry Matt Haig Honor
2018 Long Way Down Simon and Schuster Audio Jason Reynolds Jason Reynolds Honor
2018 Trombone Shorty Live Oak Media Dion Graham Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews Honor
2018 The Wizards of Once Hachette Audio David Tennant Cressida Cowell Honor
2017 Anna and the Swallow Man Listening Library Allan Corduner Gavriel Savit Winner
2017 Dream On, Amber Recorded Books Laura Kirman Emma Shevah Honor
2017 Ghost Simon and Schuster Audio Guy Lockard Jason Reynolds Honor
2017 Nimona HarperAudio Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson, January LaVoy, Natalie Gold, Peter Bradbury and David Pittu Noelle Stevenson Honor
2016 The War That Saved My Life Listening Library Jayne Entwistle Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Winner
2016 Echo Scholastic Audio Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews, Rebecca Soler Pam Muñoz Ryan Honor
2015 H.O.R.S.E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination Live Oak Media Dion Graham and Christopher Myers Christopher Myers Winner
2015 Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Audioworks division of Simon and Schuster Audio Tim Federle Tim Federle Honor
2015 The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place Listening Library Jayne Entwistle Julie Berry Honor
2015 A Snicker of Magic Scholastic Audiobooks Cassandra Morris Natalie Lloyd Honor
2014 Scowler Listening Library Kirby Heyborne Daniel Kraus Winner
2014 Better Nate Than Ever Simon and Schuster Audio Tim Federle Tim Federle Honor
2014 Creepy Carrots! Weston Woods Studios, Inc James Naughton Aaron Reynolds Honor
2014 Eleanor & Park Listening Library Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra Rainbow Rowell Honor
2014 Matilda Penguin Audio Kate Winslet Roald Dahl Honor
2013[6] The Fault in Our Stars Brilliance Audio Kate Rudd John Green Winner
2013 Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian Listening Library Nathaniel Parker Eoin Colfer Honor
2013 Ghost Knight Listening Library Elliot Hill Cornelia Funke Honor
2013 Monstrous Beauty Macmillan Audio Katherine Kellgren Elizabeth Fama Honor
2012[8] Rotters Listening Library Kirby Heyborne Daniel Kraus Winner
2012 Ghetto Cowboy Brilliance Audio J.D. Jackson G. Neri Honor
2012 Okay for Now Listening Library Lincoln Hoppe Gary D. Schmidt Honor
2012 The Scorpio Races Scholastic Audio Books Steve West
Fiona Hardingham
Maggie Stiefvater Honor
2012 Young Fredle Listening Library Wendy Carter Cynthia Voigt Honor
2011 The True Meaning of Smekday Listening Library Bahni Turpin Adam Rex Winner
2011 Alchemy and Meggy Swann Listening Library Katherine Kellgren Karen Cushman Honor
2011 The Knife of Never Letting Go Brilliance Audio Nick Podehl Patrick Ness Honor
2011 Revolution Listening Library Emily Janice Card Jennifer Donnelly Honor
2011 Will Grayson, Will Grayson Brilliance Audio MacLeod Andrews John Green
David Levithan
2010 Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken Live Oak Media Barbara Rosenblat Kate DiCamillo Winner
2010 In the Belly of the Bloodhound[a] Listen & Live Audio Katherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
2010 Peace, Locomotion Brilliance Audio Dion Graham Jacqueline Woodson Honor
2010 We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro Baseball Brilliance Audio Dion Graham Kadir Nelson Honor
2009 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Recorded Books Sherman Alexie Sherman Alexie Winner
2009 Curse of the Blue Tattoo[a] Listen & Live Audio Katherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
2009 Elijah of Buxton Listening Library Mirron Willis Christopher Paul Curtis Honor
2009 I'm Dirty Scholastic Media /
Weston Woods Studios
Steve Buscemi Kate McMullan
Jim McMullan
2009 Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale Peachtree Publishers Carmen Agra Deedy Carmen Agra Deedy Honor
2009 Nation HarperAudio Stephen Briggs Terry Pratchett Honor
2008 Jazz Live Oak Media James "D-Train" Williams
Vaneese Thomas
Walter Dean Myers Winner
2008 Bloody Jack[a] Listen & Live Audio Katherine Kellgren L. A. Meyer Honor
2008 Dooby Dooby Moo Scholastic /
Weston Woods
Randy Travis Doreen Cronin Honor
2008 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Listening Library Jim Dale J. K. Rowling Honor
2008 Skulduggery Pleasant HarperCollins Children's Audio Rupert Degas Derek Landy Honor
2008 Treasure Island Listening Library Alfred Molina Robert Louis Stevenson Honor

Multiple awards[edit]

Listening Library and Live Oak Media have won two awards each.

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.[a]

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).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The table gives full titles except for three Jacky Faber books written by L. A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, and produced by Listen & Live Audio:
    2008 Honor, Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
    2009 Honor, Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady
    2010 Honor, In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber


  1. ^ "Welcome to the Odyssey Award home page!". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA). Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  2. ^ "Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). ALA. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  3. ^ a b c "About the ALSC/Booklist/YALSA Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "ALSC/Booklist/YALSA Odyssey Award Eligibility & criteria". ALSC. ALA. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  5. ^ "Company Overview". Brilliance Audio. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  6. ^ a b "Brilliance Audio wins 2013 Odyssey Award for The Fault in Our Stars". ALA Press Release. January 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  7. ^ "Odyssey Award winners and honor audiobooks, 2008–present". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  8. ^ "Listening Library Nabs 2012 Odyssey Award". Phyllis Levy Mandell. School Library Journal. January 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  9. ^ "National Book Awards – 2007". National Book Foundation (NBF). Retrieved 2012-04-15.
    (With acceptance speech by Alexie, interview with Alexie, and other material, partly replicated for all five Young People's Literature authors and books.)