All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Listen Up!

June is designated Audiobook month by the Audio Publishers Association. Each June, this organization gives out Audie Awards for excellence in audiobooks. This year's winner for ages 12-up was Bloody Jack and you can hear clips of this pirate adventure--and other winners--on the Audio Publishers website.

Some teachers and parents have viewed audiobooks as "cheating," but research is dispelling that notion. And, who among us doesn't have fond feelings of being read aloud to, whether by a parent, teacher or older sibling? Also, as adults become commuters with longer and longer drives, many of them have turned to audiobooks and discovered the joys of listening to a well-told story.

One of the librarians at the forefront of the audiobook movement is Mary Burkey, a middle-school librarian, who maintains a blog that keeps audiobooks fans up to date with news and new releases.

Burkey was also the chair of ALA's first Odyssey Award committee, given to Jazz. This recording is a perfect example of how words, pictures, and music can work together to create a real multimedia learning experience. The Young Adult Services division of ALA also recognizes Amazing Audiobooks each year.

Audiobooks are available in a variety of formats. In addition to the original "books on tape" format, there are cds, downloadable files through, iTunes, and a variety of library services. There are also Playaways, self contained mp3 players available now at many libraries.

June is a perfect time for Audiobook listening. It can take practice though--one of the common complaints is that it's tough to pay attention while driving, doing housework, etc. But once you find the book that grabs you, you will be hooked! For me, Jeremy Irons reading Lolita was the book that did the trick, but use the lists above, or my list of suggested favorites to begin your audiobook adventure.


Hi, Jamie. I wholeheartedly agree about audiobooks-- especially since I'm looking forward to a 10-hour round-trip drive from NYC to Maine this weekend. Fareed Zakaria's Post-American World is already in the car. I'll bet your soaking up the sun in Anaheim right now, but I couldn't find any way on the AdLit site to contact you. Will you email me at I just read The MashUp for the first time today and have already added it to my Google Reader!
Posted by:  |  July 02, 2008 05:06 PM
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