Introducing the Odyssey Awards

Teacher Librarian, April 2008 | Go to article overview

Introducing the Odyssey Awards


As a premier example of the oral tradition, the poems of The Odyssey have been told and passed down through many centuries. It is fitting, then, that the latest accolade for audiobooks is named the Odyssey, focusing on the power of storytelling through listening. Awarded for the first time in January 2008, the Odyssey is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSO) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), honoring "the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States." With one medal winner and five honors, the inaugural Odyssey titles showcase the breadth of outstanding audiobooks for young people today, with choices that appeal to a wide range of listeners, from preschool through adolescence. The Odyssey acknowledges the research indicating that literacy skills, including reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary acquisition, are enhanced by the listening experience.

The first winner and honors include opportunities to integrate fine arts and music (Jazz), classic literature (Treasure Island), 18th-century London and sailing life (Bloody Jack), farm animals and music (Dooby Dooby Moo), and a clever mystery (Skulduggery Pleasant). …

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