Podcast Episode

Appreciating Audiobooks

6 - 12
Podcast Series
Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers
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Music Credit

Music in this podcast is courtesy of Scott Andrew.

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Episode 82—Appreciating Audiobooks

You’ve probably heard that audiobooks serve as a useful resource for struggling readers. Classroom teachers sometimes use audiobooks to help students gain access to material that’s too difficult for them to read independently. Audiobooks help novice readers build vocabulary, boost pronunciation skills, and develop fluency.

What you might not have considered is what audiobooks offer proficient readers. When we listen to a book, we’re forced to slow down. We’re more likely to notice details and savor the author’s language. Audiobooks ground readers in the here and now. They offer all readers a powerful new way to experience story.

But not all audiobooks are created equal. In this episode, you’ll hear about what goes on behind the scenes in audiobook production. You’ll also hear samples from an array of distinguished audio titles including YA classics as well as newer works of contemporary realistic fiction, dystopian fiction, historical fiction, and novels written in verse.

After listening to this episode, be sure to print out this list of recommended titles to take to the library or book seller.

Audiobooks mentioned in this episode:

  • His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman (a trilogy including The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass), narrated by the author and a full cast (Listening Library, 1999)
  • The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos, narrated by the author (Listening Library, 2014)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, narrated by the author (Recorded Books, 2008)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by the author (Listening Library, 2008)
  • I Crawl Through It by A.S. King, narrated by the author (Hachette Audio, 2015)
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, narrated by Corey Allen (Recorded Books, 2014)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, narrated by Allan Corduner (Listening Library, 2006)
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saénz, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Simon & Schuster Audio, 2013)
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson, narrated by David Aaron Baker (Listening Library, 2003)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, narrated by Nick Podehl, (Brilliance Audio, 2010)
  • Countdown by Deborah Wiles, narrated by Emma Galvin (Listening Library, 2011)
  • We Were Liars, written by E. Lockhart and narrated by Ariadne Meyers (Listening Library, 2014)
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, written by M.T. Anderson and narrated by Peter Francis James (Listening Library, 2007)

Audiobook resources:

Author resources:

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