Previously, you learned about what it takes to serve on the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee. Here, some of the current Amazing Audiobooks committee members explain why they love to listen.

Sarah Hashimoto is serving on her first year as a committee member:

I remember listening to The Hunger Games when it first came out on audio in 2008. I was new to audios at the time and was unprepared for how much of an impact they can make. I was listening and gardening when I came to the scene just after Rue has died, when Katniss receives the bread from Rue’s people. It’s such a poignant scene, but the audio version really brought it to life for me. I ended up weeping into my garden gloves, creating a scene of my own!

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Each year after the Midwinter conference, YALSA releases a list of 25-30 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. The list is the result of hundreds of hours of listening, discussion and debate by the nine-member Amazing Audiobooks committee. The committee also names the top 10 best titles of the year. Committee members generally serve two year terms. We are librarians, professors, and retirees. We work for public libraries, universities, schools, and community colleges. In addition to the nine committee members, we have one extraordinarily hard-working administrative assistant who does not cast votes, but does receive titles and can listen as much as she chooses.

In February, the committee begins gathering possible titles for the next year’s list. We get audiobooks in a number of different ways. First, we make suggestions. Any audiobook published in the last two years with relevance for teens is eligible for the list, so we seek out recent titles. We love to get suggestions from other librarians! If you’d like to nominate a title for Amazing Audiobooks, the form is here. We also receive boxes (and boxes and boxes) of submissions directly from publishers.

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How far would you go to promote a book you really loved?  Actor Matthew Lillard went to amazing lengths to share one of his favorite teen stories (which also happens to be a Printz Honor Book!):

“OK. So, I first stumbled across FAT KID RULES THE WORLD when I was hired to record the audio version of KL Going‘s award winning novel.  The book blew me away. It was funny and true, and it told the story of a lost kid – Troy Billings, alienated and alone – who finds his purpose in life through the magic of punk rock music.  The book rocked my world.  It was crazy!  It spoke to me, in a deep way because I had been my own version of Troy Billings in high school. I was lost and an outcast and didn’t really fit in anywhere… that is until I found acting, which pretty much changed my life forever.  After I read the book I knew I had to tell THIS story.  I made this movie for everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t belong… the misfits, the outcasts. the kids that are lost… this movie is for you! ” Read More →

On October 17, 2012, help YALSA celebrate Teen Read Week™ by joining the conversation about teen reading and young adult literature via a Tweet-a-thon!  YALSA wants to know: what’s on your YA lit reading list right now?  Steampunk? Audiobooks?  Horror? Graphic Novels?  Nonfiction?  Something else?

We’re encouraging people of all ages to Tweet their YA lit reading lists, recommendations, thoughts and ideas with the hashtag #TRW12 any time on Oct. 17.  We’ll be following and re-tweeting our favorites.  We want to hear from teens, librarians, library workers, educators, authors, editors and more!  What might you Tweet on Oct. 17? Here are just a few ideas:

  • What you are reading, or want you want to read
  • Your opinions on who the contenders are for the Printz or other YA lit awards
  • Innovative ways that libraries are bringing reading to teens
  • Quotes about YA lit, or about reading in general
  • Book recommendations for others
  • Tips for getting more teens reading
  • Links to booklists, contests and other resources
  • What trends you’re seeing in YA lit right now
  • Visuals! Show us what you have going on for Teen Read Week by Tweeting a photo
  • Whatever else you’d like to share about teen reading and YA literature

So, librarians, library workers and educators please alert your teens — and encourage all the adults you know to participate, too.   To learn more about Teen Read Week, please visit

Shortly after Midwinter, YALSA published its selected lists, signaling the end of one committee year and the beginning of another. Last year I served on AmazingAudiobooks, and as I take over as chair and gear up for a second year, I’m finding myself reflecting on last year and what I’ve learned.

That's a lot of audiobooks!I learned a lot about audiobooks. Over the course of the year, I listened to audiobooks in the car, at the gym, during lunch, while getting dressed in the morning, while making meals, while doing housework, and while sitting on the couch feeling like maybe I would never finish all of the listening that I needed to do (look at all of the titles we received last year!). But all of that listening helped me develop a more sophisticated sense of what makes a good or poor audiobook (you don’t always like something, even if it’s really good).

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HOW TO: Collection Development on the Fly

It’s time for that little bit of money to be spent and quickly or it will be spent by someone else. You haven’t had any time to work on an order and you don’t want to make a mistake. Look to the lists below to help you find all kinds of exciting books, DVDs, and audio books that should be in your library.

Every title on every YA list will not be automatically suitable for your collection. To double-check yourself, when you add a title to your order list, you can quickly skim the reviews provided by your jobber to see if an item matches your needs. Look to the sections for older readers in the children’s lists for other titles, especially if you serve middle school age.

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA Printz Award and Honor Books
YALSA Amazing Audios for Young Adults
YALSA Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA/ALSC Odyssey Award

ALSC Notable Children’s Books
ALSC Notable Children’s Videos
ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC Newbery Award and Honor Books
ALSC Sibert Informational Book Medal and Honor Books

Projects of the Children’s Book Council in collaboration with ALA and other professional organizations:
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks Committee is donating a basket for the YALSA Not So Silent Auction that you don’t want to miss. The basket includes 10 audiobooks from the science fiction/fantasy, and paranormal categories. It will include:

  • Wings and Spells by Aprilynne Pike
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  • Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
  • Gardener by S.A. Bodeen Read More →

Get ready to promote the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production with FREE audiobook downloads from SYNC! Sync  is an initiative to encourage audiobook listening by teens, coordinated through the unbranded Audiobook Community, and supported by members of the audiobook publishing community. Each week, two totally FREE audiobooks – one classic paired with a themed YA favorite – are available without any need for personal information on the Sync website. Today is the last day to grab The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (read by Evan Rachel Wood) paired with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (read by Simon Vance) in the kick-off “Man or Monster?” theme week. All that’s needed is the free OverDrive download software – a great way to encourage teens to start using your public library’s downloadable media. Plus, there’s an entire tool kit on the Sync website to help promote titles in YA departments and on library webpages. Although the promotion is targeted towards teens, there are no age restrictions – so feel free to encourage anyone to grab a great title for summertime listening. If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, take this opportunity to download marvelous productions for your own listening!

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June is Audiobook Month – and a perfect time to plan how to get your teens psyched about Sync. Sync is an initiative to promote audiobook listening by young adults coordinated by the Audiobook Community, an open, uncensored, unbranded social network connecting audiobook narrators, producers, authors and fans. To entice new listeners, top audiobook producers have donated two FREE audiobooks  a week – one YA book paired with one classic title – from July 1st to September 1st. And you don’t need to be a teen to download –  teachers, book clubs, parents looking for family vacation listening, and adult YA lit fans will be psyched about Sync as well! Plus, there’s an entire toolkit to help you promote Sync in your public or school library: customizable printable posters, bookmarks & flyers, promo newsletter / website copy, logo, Sync image and website banner. Spread the word about this great FREE promo that can help you boost listeners of your audiobook collection by creating themed displays and listen-alike lists – or join the Audiobook Community and share ideas in the Sync discussion group! Here’s the nearly-complete list of titles:

Available July 1 – July 7
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
by Mary Shelley

Available July 8 – July 14
Over the End Line
by Alfred C. Martino
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Available July 15 – July 21
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available July 22 – July 28
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Available July 29 – August 4
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Available August 5 – August 11
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 – August 18
Coming Soon…

Available August 19 – August 25
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 – September 1
Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

What great selections – Odyssey Award Honor titles, movie tie-ins, summer reading list stand-bys, and the first book in so many great series.  Happy listening!

Looking for a great way to promote your library’s collection of YA audiobooks? Plan to promote FREE downloads of popular YA titles & classic audiobooks through Sync, an initiative of the newly-formed Audiobook Community. Sync will offer two free audiobook downloads a week all summer, from July 1st to September 1st, allowing you to create listen-alike lists to entice teens to try more great audiobooks once they’re hooked on literature-on-the-go. Public and school librarians will be able to download promotional materials & bookmarks from the Sync website, with plenty of space to add your logo & listen-alike lists on the printables. The Sync website will be live within a week, with the complete list of titles & Tool Kit. Perfect timing for adding terrific freebies to your summer reading materials ;-)

You’ll get notification of Sync’s kick-off when you become a member of the Audiobook Community, a free, open, uncensored, unbranded social network for all audiobook listeners to discover audiobooks and connect with other fans as well as publishers, authors, and narrators. Just join the Sync: YA Listening group and get updates about the free downloads, as well as tips from other audiobook fans. Here’s a great response to a group member’s question, “How are you using audiobooks in your summer reading program?”  Melissa replied, “At the beginning of summer, I also create a display of audiobooks based on listening length versus driving length. So one section of the display is “If you are going to Boston or Bar Harbor this summer, here are titles for the round-trip” with audios that are in the 4 – 6 hour range. “If you are going to New York City”, we display audios with an 8 – 10 hour range, and so forth. This display has been a big hit with parents in the past.” What a great idea!