Twisted up

Happy Teen Read Week! My library is hosting Laurie Halse Anderson next week for our fifth [?] Teen Author Lecture, and for the first time, we appear to be close to selling out! In her honor, I listened to her latest, Twisted, which was a very powerful book (although why its moniker is Speak for boys I just don’t know … they are so different). The audio version was good; and therein lies this posting.

I’m worried. Well, not worried worried. But there are just 18 days left before Selected Audiobooks closes the door on 2007 — any audiobooks that arrive after this date won’t be considered for inclusion on the 2008 list. The list of titles we’re considering stands at 267, and we’re probably down to one or two more small deliveries.

But quite frankly, out of that list of 267, the standouts have been few and far between. Our nominations number just 32, not quite 12% of the total, and I’m worried that we’re not going to have much to discuss come January. (See, on the scale of things, that’s not a lot to worry about, but still …)

And Twisted kind of represents most of the 235 titles that haven’t been nominated (although someone on the committee has until December 10 to do so, should she wish to): It’s a well-written, interesting novel, a professionally produced audiobook, good narrator who tells the story with emotion and character. A workmanlike job. A slightly entertaining way to spend six-and-a-half hours, but nothing that makes you want to pull out the earbuds, grab a teenager, pop the earbuds in their ears and say .. “you gotta listen to this!”

And I want to feel that way about more than 32 audiobooks! It also makes me intensely curious about the Odyssey Committee — are they feeling the same way? Have they found some really great audiobooks? Which one are they going to pick?

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One Comment

  1. Jennifer Smith [Visitor]

    I’m so glad to see someone else saying this. I serve on a state book list committee for middle schoolers. Our nomination list this year is so much shorter than in years past. There are some good books, but little that blows me away. Is it just one of those years?

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