The American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) committee has named their 2011 Notable Children’s Recordings, recommending these Listening Library audiobooks as exemplary listens for children.
The list was announced January 10 at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, CA.
ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWAN by Karen Cushman, read by Katherine Kellgren
Fans of Karen Cushman’s witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy’s mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn’t want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks. Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation.
BOOM! by Mark Haddon, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt
From the moment that Jim and his best friend, Charlie, bug the staff room and overhear two of their teachers speaking to each other in a secret language, they know there’s an adventure on its way. But what does “spudvetch” actually mean, and why do Mr. Kidd’s eyes flicker with fluorescent blue light when Charlie says it to him? Perhaps Kidd and Pearce are bank robbers talking in code. Perhaps they’re spies. Perhaps they are aliens. Whatever it is, Jimbo and Charlie are determined to find out. There really is an adventure on its way. A nuclear-powered, one-hundred-ton adventure with reclining seats and a buffet car. And as it gathers speed and begins to spin out of control, it can only end one way . . . with a BOOM!
CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London, read by Jeff Daniels
Jack London’s The Call of the Wild was written in 1903, but Buck’s gripping adventure makes for a thrilling listen on audio more than 100 years after it was first published. his gripping story follows the adventures of the loyal dog Buck, who is stolen from his comfortable family home and forced into the harsh life of an Alaskan sled dog. Passed from master to master, Buck embarks on an extraordinary journey that ends with his becoming the legendary leader of a wolf pack.
REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly, read by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY by Adam Rex, read by Bahni Turpin
Twelve-year-old Gratuity “Tip” Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, and she’s not sure where to begin: when her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended to Earth, and aliens—called the Boov—abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod? Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo, a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom, a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious, and an outrageous plan to save Earth from yet another alien invasion.
THE WATER SEEKER by Kimberly Willis Holt, read by Will Patton
“When I was a boy, my pa dowsed to earn extra money when we had a lean year. And when he put the branch in my hands for the first time, I felt a burning inside me because I had the gift, too. Just be thankful I didn’t hand that gift down to you.” Amos figured it was probably best not to tell his father that it was too late. What would you do if you knew you had a special gift—a sixth sense—that was passed down from one generation to the next? A gift that could help people in times of need, but one your father often saw as a trap. Would you use that gift? This is the story of Amos Kincaid, the dowser’s son.
Tags: ALA, ALSC, audiobooks, Awards, books, Call of the Wild, children, exemplary, Jack London, Jeff Daniels, Jennifer Donnelly, Karen Cushman, library, listening, Listening Library, Mark Haddon, Midwinter, narrator, Newbery, Notable, random house, reading, Revolution, YALSA