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.

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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?

National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature: The Finalists

The National Book Award finalists for 2010 have been announced, and we think the selections for the Young People’s Literature award are wonderful!

Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker

Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird

Laura McNeal, Dark Water

Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown

Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer

What do you think of the selections and who do you think will be the winner? And if you haven’t yet, view our interview with Rita Williams-Garcia and learn how you can participate in the next author interview with Kevin Bolger! There’s also still time to enter to win a life-size wimpy kid for your classroom!

Guest Review of Newbery Honor Book The Thief

We’ve been featuring audiobook reviews from guest blogger Jana Warnell, an elementary school librarian in Montana. You can read her review of Clementine and The Ranger’s Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan. Check out more reviews and librarian insights from Jana at her blog, http://janasbooklist.blogspot.com/.

The ThiefThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Running Time: 7.25 hours
Reading Level: 6
A Newbery Honor Book

The Thief is one of those books that I have heard so many good things about (it was a Newbery honor book) but never found myself that motivated to read it. I had checked it out several times but just never got around to reading it! So, I turned to the audio book. I do this often when I know I feel I should read a certain book, but just can never get into the print edition. I checked out the audio book from my library and entered the world of The Thief.

The first thing I liked about the narrator (Jeff Woodman) is that he wasn’t British. A story like this could have easily had a British narrator, but this one didn’t. I don’t think it would have added anything more to the story, and I liked that for once, a historical or fantasy novel with royalty was not narrated by a British narrator!

The second thing I liked was that the narrator treated his audience as intelligent. There is nothing worse than a narrator that assumes his/her audience is slow. I found a book like that earlier this summer and could not even listen to it for five minutes. Mr. Woodman performed The Thief like the listener was part of the story and in on all the secrets.

I also liked how he didn’t create separate voices for every character. When a narrator is good at voices it can be great, but it can also be distracting and sometimes hard to listen to for long periods of time. I like it when a narrator simply changes the pitch and tone of his voice for each character. It is effective and does not detract from the story at all.

The Thief is a great story. It is the tale of the Eugenides, the greatest thief in the kingdom. When we meet Eugenides, though, he is in prison. He gets called to duty when the magus (a scholarly/magician type who works for the king) takes him out of prison to steal a hidden treasure that has been lost for ages. This story is full of emotions and imagination and a great twist at the end.

A great audio book has me putting aside all the print books I am reading to keep listening and this book did that for me. I found excuses to mow the lawn and drive more so that I could keep going! I wanted to stay in Gen’s world. Luckily Recorded Books has produced more books in the Attolia series (with one scheduled to be released in January). Each of them is as good as the first!

Jana will be doing some more guest blogging for us to kick off the school year, so stay tuned! And don’t forget to stop by her blog as well at http://janasbooklist.blogspot.com/.

Wendelin Van Draanen’s Flipped in Theaters!

The big screen version of Wendelin Van Draanen’s best-seller Flipped makes its debut tomorrow! The film is directed by Rob Reiner and looks great. A trailer is available at the movie’s website.

The audiobook version of Flipped, available exclusively from Recorded Books, was named an ALSC Notable Recording and chosen as a YALSA Select Audiobook for Young Adults.

If you see the film, let us know what you think!

flipped

Winners of the Best Children’s Audiobooks Contest Announced

It was definitely not an easy task to pick the winners of the Top 20 Children’s Audiobooks post. We had 35 commenters and all had wonderful suggestions and comments. There were many great suggestions that did not make it into the final top 20 lists, so please check out all the comments for some great reading suggestions.

In the end, by tallying up titles with repeat votes, I compiled two lists: one of the top 20 Recorded Books children’s audiobooks, and one of the top 20 audiobooks from Recorded Books and other publishers combined. The winners are in no particular order. I also included some descriptive quotes from some commenters on why they chose the book.

So…drumroll please!…

Top 20 Recorded Books Children’s Audiobooks
(Titles included in the Grand Prize Giveaway are italicized)
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain – Narrated by John McDonough
Blackbringer – Narrated by Davina Porter
Bridge to Terabithia – Narrated by Tom Stechschulte
City of Bones – Narrated by Ari Graynor
Clementine – Narrated by Jessica Almasy
Dragon Rider – Narrated by Brendan Fraser
Flight #116 Is Down – Narrated by George Guidall – “This put me on the edge of my seat! I was literally breathless through some parts.”—Maggi (Mama Librarian)
Island of the Blue Dolphins – Narrated by Christina Moore
No Talking – Narrated by Keith Nobbs
Poppy – Narrated by John McDonough
Rules – Narrated by Jessica Almasy
A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) – Narrated by Lemony Snicket and Tim Curry
Stuck in Neutral – Narrated by Johnny Heller – “The audiobook gives voice to the voiceless Shawn.”—Lee Catalano
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Narrated by Sherman Alexie – “The “Rez” accent is not essential to appreciate this adolescent chronicle of straddling two worlds, but is sure doesn’t hurt.”—DaNae
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Narrated by Jeff Woodman
Good Masters, Sweet Ladies – Narrated by a full cast – “Sure I’d read the book before it won the big award, and sure I was mighty impressed with Schlitz’s skill with words. But hearing it how it was meant to be heard, moved it from a grand award-winner to pure genius.”—DaNae
The Graveyard Book – Narrated by Neil Gaiman – “I’m not sure if a children’s book should sound this sexy, but I will happily take my ghost stories with this kind of verbal velvet.”—DaNae
The Last Apprentice (series) – Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch – “Even though Christopher Evan Welch isn’t British, he skillfully creates some scary times out in the English countryside.”—Lee Catalano
The Ranger’s Apprentice – Narrated by John Keating
The Whipping Boy – Narrated by Spike McClure

Top 20 Children’s Audiobooks
(Starred titles are Recorded Books-produced titles)
Bridge to Terabithia* – Narrated by Tom Stechschulte
Charlotte’s Web – Narrated by E.B. White – “I can just imagine Mr. White telling the story to a group of kids. His voice takes the listener right into that intimate circle.”—Katrina Johnson
Good Masters, Sweet Ladies* – Narrated by a full cast
The Harry Potter Series – Narrated by Jim Dale
Hatchet – Narrated by Peter Coyote
Beverly Cleary’s books narrated by Neil Patrick Harris
Holes – Narrated by Kerry Beyer
The Inkheart Trilogy (series) – Narrated by Brendan Fraser – “I understand why Brendan Fraser was cast as Mo in the movie, he has got a great reading voice.”—Jana Warnell
Maniac Magee – Narrated by S. Epatha Merkeson
Rules – Narrated by Jessica Almasy
Saffy’s Angel – Narrated by Julia Sawatha
A Series of Unfortunate Events* (series) – Narrated by Lemony Snicket and Tim Curry
Stargirl – Narrated by Mandy Siegfried
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian* – Narrated by Sherman Alexie
The Giver – Narrated by Ron Rifkin
The Golden Compass – Narrated by the Author and a Full Cast
The Last Apprentice* (series) – Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch
The Lightning Thief – Narrated by Jesse Bernstein
Where the Red Fern Grows – Narrated by Anthony Heald – “I listened to this with my sons and they loved the story. Anthony Heald did a great job, but I am still more fond of my fourth grade teacher’s narration (good memories).”—Jana Warnell
Year Down Yonder – Narrated by Lois Smith – “I don’t know who this Lois Smith is, but in my world she will have closet full of Lane Bryant dresses and a passel of shenanigans up her sleeve that would do Grandma Dowdle proud.”—DaNae

So, who is the winner of the grand prize? Jana Warnell of Montana! Congratulations! I will be contacting you by email so you can claim your prize.

Read Across America

read-across-america-logoTomorrow, March 2, is Read Across America day this year. Celebrated each year on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the aim is to create lifelong readers by having every child in America read to. Teachers, parents, and volunteers take part every year to bring fun books to kids around the country. What is your school doing to celebrate?

Recorded Books has several books that have been honored by the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award—AKA the Dr. Seuss Award. The award, started in 2006, is given annually by the ALA to the best book for beginning readers. Each of the Recorded Books titles that have won the award are part of a series, so we highly recommend you check out the rest of the series’ offerings as well! Any of these would make great read aloud choices for Read Across America day and would be wonderful additions to any audiobook library.

Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky – 2007 winner
Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant – 2006 winner
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman – 2006 honor book

If you’re talking about your school’s plans for Read Across America, be sure to use the #readacross hash tag!

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