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2023 Odyssey Awards for Excellence in Audiobook Production for Children and Young Adults announced

NEW ORLEANS — Taryn Beato for Simon & Schuster Audio, producer of the audiobook “Stuntboy, in the Meantime,” has won the 2023 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production for Children. Melissa Ellard for Weston Woods Studios and Scholastic Audio, producer of the audiobook “The Honeys,” has won the 2023 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production for Young Adults. The awards were announced today during the American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held January 27-30, in New Orleans.

The Odyssey Awards are given to the producer of the best audiobooks produced for children (0-14) and young adults (12-18) available in English in the United States during the preceding eligibility year. One winner may be selected for each age category with a single honor list comprised of titles for both age categories. The award is jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of the ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.

“Stuntboy, in the Meantime,” is written by Jason Reynolds and narrated by Guy Lockard, Nile Bullock, and Angel Pean with a full cast, and produced by Taryn Beato for Simon & Schuster Audio. Upbeat Portico shares his home and school adventures with enthusiasm, while his alter ego Stuntboy protects his neighbors and battles “The Frets.” In this highly entertaining audio, exuberant sound effects, music, and a full cast led by Guy Lockard, bring Stuntboy’s cinematic story to life.

“‘Stuntboy, in the Meantime,’ shows how an illustrated book can be translated into audio. The use of music and sound effect makes this a rich experience,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair, Lynda Salem Poling.

“The Honeys,” is written by Ryan La Sala and narrated by Pete Cross and produced by Melissa Ellard for Scholastic Audio. Struggling to find their place at an elite summer camp after a family tragedy, gender-fluid Mars discovers a gruesome revelation. Subtle yet immersive sound effects and a narration by Pete Cross that empathetically embodies the range of characters enhances this atmospheric novel.

“Pete Cross’ skillful narration, along with the use of occasional sound effects, makes ‘The Honeys’ a gripping story of loss and discovery,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair, Lynda Salem Poling.

Four Honor Audiobooks also were named:

“The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” is written by Mac Barnett, narrated by the author, and produced by Melissa Ellard and Paul Gagne for Weston Woods Studios and Scholastic Audio. “Jaunty music, intermittent goat poetry, and a jubilant voicing by the author, Mac Barnett, set this audio apart. Listeners of all ages will take delight in the humorous narration. This fresh audio will give librarians and caretakers something unique to bring to storytime.

“Demon in the Wood Graphic Novel,” is written by Leigh Bardugo, narrated by Ben Barnes and a full cast, and produced by Steve Wagner and Michelle Altman for Macmillan Young Listeners, an imprint of Macmillan Audio. The graphic novel prequel to the Shadow and Bone series is artfully recreated as an exceptionally produced audio. A rich soundscape and a full cast transform this visual book into a fantastic listening experience. It is a treat for fans but is also strong as an entertaining stand-alone.

“Inheritance: A Visual Poem,” is written by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by the author, and produced by Caitlin Garing for Quill Books, an imprint of HarperAudio. Elizabeth Acevedo passionately performs her spoken-word poem celebrating the complexities and the cultural legacy that hair symbolizes for her as an Afro-Dominican woman. She layers intonation, rhythm, pacing, and volume in crafting this recording, making it a dynamic addition and approachable entry point to the art form.

“The First Helping (Lunch Lady Books 1 & 2),” is written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, narrated by Kate Flannery, the author, and a full cast; and produced by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Lauren Klein, Executive Producer Nick Martorelli for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. These graphic novels have been reimagined by author Jarrett J. Krosoczka into a full cast audio production. The larger-than-life voices and sound effects set a perfect tone for retelling a beloved series, allowing it to be enjoyed in a new way.

Audiobooks constitute a fast-growing area of usage in libraries. The award is named after the epic poem titled, “The Odyssey,” which was told and retold in the oral tradition and eventually ascribed by the poet Homer, on the tales of Odysseus as he returns to his kingdom after the Trojan War. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

Members of the 2023 Odyssey Award Committee are: Chair Lynda Salem Poling, Long Beach Public Library, California; Catherine M. Andronik, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Alicia Blowers, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, Alexandria, Virginia; Celia Dillon, PS 89 Cypress Hills Community School, New York; Dr. Colette Drouillard, Valdosta State University, Georgia; Alyson R. Feldman-Piltch, Christina Seix Academy, Trenton, New Jersey; Shannan L. Hicks, North Little Rock Public Library System, Arkansas; Amy Kleman, Oceanside Public Library, California; Marcia Melkonian, Canoga Park Branch, Los Angeles Public Library, California; and Rebecca F. Oberhauser, Cary Area Public Library, Illinois.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is networking, advocacy, and professional development. The Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive teen services. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources visit

For information on the Odyssey Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit



The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” For more information, visit



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