Happy Holidays from Recorded Books

Recorded Books will be closed for the holidays 12/24-12/27 and 12/31-1/3. We have lots of fun things planned for after the holidays, so we’ll see you then!

Happy Holidays from Recorded Books!

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One-Click Audio Wins Award of Excellence

One-Click Audio from Recorded Books Named an Awards of Excellence Winner by Tech & Learning

one-click audio

Recorded Books’ One-Click Audio has been selected as an Awards of Excellence winner by Tech & Learning magazine. One-Click Audio was recognized by a panel of over 30 educators as a winner in the Best Upgraded Products category.

With One-Click Audio, school libraries can offer teachers and students access to a wide selection of downloadable audiobooks. Users can download audiobooks to a computer and then import the files to an mp3 player, such as an iPod, if they prefer to listen on the go. The upgrades to One-Click Audio include a new download manager, an improved “holds” system, and faster search and download capabilities. Accessible by patrons inside or outside of a subscribing school or library, One-Click Audio serves as a digital alternative to cassette and CD audiobooks.

According to Scott Williams, Recorded Books President, “Audio support is an important element of fluency strategies for struggling readers. We are pleased the judging panel recognized the significance and convenience of a platform like One-Click Audio in providing options for audio support to teachers and students.”

One-Click Audio is available through yearly subscription plans. Its Media Center features an easy-to-use interface with streamlined navigation. Fast downloads, automatic software updates, and support for a wide range of portable devices provide a unique user experience.

“Now that the use of technology in schools is no longer a novelty but a reality, it is no longer about the promise of what a product can do; it is about the proof,” says Kevin Hogan, Editorial Director for NewBay Media’s Tech & Learning Group. “This year’s Award of Excellence products were tested by edtech experts from the New York City Department of Education and the University of Michigan, our top T&L advisors, and more. These companies can be proud that their products were selected as winners by this prestigious team of judges.”

For subscription pricing for One-Click Audio, email oneclickaudio-at-recordedbooks-dot-com.To learn more about Recorded Books K-12, go to http://www.recordedbooks.com/oneclickaudiok12.

Remembering Eleanor Coerr

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of author Eleanor Coerr. She was 88. Best known as the author of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes/, she got the idea for the book after living in Japan and learning about Sadako Sasaki’s story.

Read School Library Journal‘s obituary for Coerr HERE.

Purchase Coerr’s books on audio below:
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes – Narrated by Christina Moore
Sadako is born in Hiroshima shortly before the atomic bomb is dropped. She grows into a wonderful, high-spirited girl with dreams of becoming the fastest runner in her school. One day at school, she has a dizzy spell and collapses. At the hospital, Sadako and her family learn that the atomic bomb sickness has begun to affect her. To pass the time during her hospital stay, she begins to build origami cranes. First published in 1977, Eleanor Coerr’s Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a classic of the modern age. Based on the life of a real girl who lived and died in Japan, Sadako’s heartbreaking story endures as a tribute to the spirit and bravery of a young girl facing terminal illness. Coerr’s work speaks to the injustices of war and the dream of world peace, imparting the message that human life is fundamentally the same, regardless of race, religion or nationality.

The Josefina Story Quilt – Narrated by Barbara Caruso
In 1850, young Faith and her family move from Missouri to California. As they pack their covered wagon, they can only take things that they really need. Faith loves her chicken, Josefina, and wants to take her along—but Josefina is only a pet. When the wagon is packed, Faith starts to say good-by to her chicken, but Pa hands her a cage. Josefina can go!—if she is good. On the long trip, Faith sews patches for a quilt. When she gets to California, each piece will remind her of something that happened on the trip. As Faith sews tiny stitches, Josefina clucks softly. Soon Faith has finished several patches—some are pictures about her pet. The only problem is Josefina can’t stay out of trouble! For years, I Can Read Books™ have entertained children as they encouraged independent reading. Filled with excitement, fun, and danger, The Josefina Story Quilt, will delight young listeners while they discover how boys and girls lived long ago—and will inspire them to read for themselves.

National Book Award Winners Announced

mockingbird-NBAThe National Book Award winners have been announced and we’re proud to say that we’re the exclusive audiobook publisher of National Book Award for Young People’s Literature winner, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine.

Click the link above to see the complete list of winners and honorees and read interviews with many of the authors. (Recorded Books also publishes lots of the honorees, and the Adult Fiction winner Lord of Misrule.)

Kirkus has this to say about Mockingbird:

“This heartbreaking story is delivered in the straightforward, often funny voice of a fifth-grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome, who is frustrated by her inability to put herself in someone else’s shoes. Caitlin’s counselor, Mrs. Brook, tries to teach her how to empathize, but Caitlin is used to depending on her big brother Devon for guidance on such matters. Tragically, Devon has been killed in a school shooting. Caitlin, her dad and her schoolmates try to cope, and it is the deep grief they all share that ultimately helps Caitlin get to empathy. As readers celebrate this milestone with Caitlin, they realize that they too have been developing empathy by walking a while in her shoes, experiencing the distinctive way that she sees and interacts with the world. Erskine draws directly and indirectly on To Kill a Mockingbird and riffs on its central theme: The destruction of an innocent is perhaps both the deepest kind of psychosocial wound a community can face and its greatest opportunity for psychological and spiritual growth.”

Congratulations to Kathryn and all the award winners and honorees. What do you think of the selections?

WINNER of the Wimpy Kid Announced!

greg-heffleyRecently, we asked you to tell us what you’d do with a life-size Greg Heffley cutout. Congratulations to Karon Bybee of Lakeside Elementary in Texas, grand prize winner of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid contest!

Karon’s idea:

I am the literacy coach at Lakeside Elementary and would love to involve the school in a Wimpy Kid week. I would like to move the cut out around the school to pop up unexpectedly, so all the classes could participate in activities. We might read from Wimpy kid at lunch to peak interest. I would like for my struggling readers to watch the interview with Jeff Kinney and then create their own interview with Greg. We would broadcast the interview on the morning announcements to kick off the festivities. I would like to have my younger students draw themselves as a character to add into a wimpy kid adventure, which we would write either as a shared book or an individual story depending on the level. I would like to turn their adventures in to a podcast for parents to view. Finally to end the week with a celebration on “your favorite wimpy story” and I’ve been known to create some wimpy cookies.

We really love Karon’s plan to share Greg with the whole school through morning announcements, and involve everyone by writing their own wimpy adventure. Sharing these stories with parents and others through podcasts and videos is a great way to get parents involved and hopefully get students reading at home, too. (And we’d like to go on record to say that while the promise of cookies did not sway our vote, we’d still love it if Karon would send a few our way!) Karon will win a host of goodies for Lakeside Elementary, including the coveted cardboard wimpy kid.

We wish we had more than one wimpy kid to give away! Alas, there is only one Greg Heffley. So we also picked three runners up, who will each win one CD audiobook and one print book for one of the books in the Wimpy Kid series. Those winners are:
Kathy Scott (Hallsville), who suggested that Greg Heffley write a column for the school newspaper
Becky Norgard (Elim Christian Services), who planned to involve both younger and older students in a skit where the kids could see cutouts of themselves palling around with Greg (how cute!)
Shellie Swanson (Bayfield School District Library), who suggested using Greg as a basis for a character education discussion for middle schoolers

Because there were just too many great entries, we also picked two second runners up, who will each recieve one copy on CD of one of the Wimpy Kid books.
Cheryl Ford (Rock Hill, SC), who hoped Greg would inspire her kids to reach a 75 books a year goal (wow!)
Jerry Jarrell (Frank Stone Middle School), who suggested Greg hang out at the book fair and answer kids’ most burning questions

We hope you all still move forward with your great wimpy kid plans. If you do, please share with us! To read all of the wonderful submissions, click here.

Just a note…

Just a note…we’re received so many great entries for the Wimpy Kid contest that it’s going to take us longer than expencted to go through them all! Expect an announcement of the winner by Wednesday.

In the mean-time, we encourage you to read through the comments for some great ideas that you can incorporate into your classroom, whether you have a cardboard Greg Heffley or not!

Halloween Tricks and Treats

A good horror story has it’s charms any time of year, but even more so as the days grow darker and colder. Weird tales and ghost stories are even more entertaining when delivered by a great storyteller. Nothing beats a professionally narrated audio book for evoking tales told around campfires and whispered under blankets with a flashlight held to your chin…
 
For Little Monsters (ages 4-8)
BATS AT THE BALLGAME  
Okay, so this isn’t really a scary book, but there are bats involved, and this bestselling title raises shrieks of delight  from young listeners. It also ties in nicely with the baseball playoffs. Perfect!
 
odious-ogreTHE ODIOUS OGRE
A scary-enough story that leaves kids smiling rather than shivering, from the creators of the classic THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH – which, by the by, will be celebrating its 50th  anniversary in 2011.
 
QUACKENSTEIN HATCHES A FAMILY 
An antisocial duck adopts an egg that hatches out very differently than he expects. A real find for the rhyme and rep set.  
 
NEVER RACE A RUNAWAY PUMPKIN (Roscoe Riley Rules #7) 
Funny stuff for kids who’ve graduated to chapter books. This time out, Roscoe tries to win books for his library by guessing the weight of a great pumpkin. Check out all the ROSCOE RILEY RULES books. You hear one, you’ll want to hear them all.

For Guys and Ghouls (ages 8-10)
ZOMBIEKINS
Zombie stuffed toy terrorizes middle school? Enough said. (For a chance to have your students’ questions answered by author Kevin Bolger and to win Zombiekins on CD, click here!)
 
NINTH WARD
Not your usual ghost story. A haunting tale of loss and renewal set during the Katrina disaster in New Orleans.  
 
origami-yodaTHE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA
There may be more to Dwight’s paper finger puppet than meets the eye. Can Origami Yoda really read minds and predict the future? Kids are loving this and recommending it to their friends. Watch out, it may well be the next WIMPY KID. (Speaking of wimpy kids, have you entered yet to win a life-size Wimpy Kid for your classroom?)
 
Not for the Faint of Heart (ages 12 and up)
ROT AND RUIN
Might just be the best dystopian zombie hunter story EVER, from that bestselling prince of darkness Jonathan Maberry.  
 
MISGUIDED ANGEL (Blue Bloods #5)
New York Times bestselling BLUE BLOODS series has it all: vampires, fallen angels AND over-privileged rich kids partying like there’s no tomorrow. The latest installment will not disappoint. View the book trailer at MTV!
 
THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO (Monstrumologist #2)
The sequel to 2010 Printz Honor Book and bestseller THE MONSTROMOLOGIST takes our Fearless monster hunters to Canada in search of a life-sucking immortal that puts vampires to shame. Gory? Yes. But totally engrossing.
 
jekel-loves-hydeJEKEL LOVES HYDE
The author of last year’s surprise bestseller JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE reanimates the Robert Louis Stevenson classic with the tale of two teen descendants of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who seem doomed to repeat their ancestor’s mistakes.

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