Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday evening -- Booklist Odyssey Award

I can see that the official Blogger date/ time still is on Maryland time -- but I'm in California now -- so yesterday's message actually was done Thursday and this one is Fridays -- no matter what day Blogger thinks it is.

The girls began the day swimming in their Aunt's swimming pool. Then we packed the car and chugged up to Los Angeles area -- Anaheim, home of the original Disneyland. Their plan -- woosh off to Disneyland. My plan? Lunch. Unpack. Organize the room. (Kids Suite. Yeah! Master bed for my daughter and her husband. Bunk beds for the two grandchildren. And a separate room for grandma -- me!) All at a comparatively low ALA rate.

This evening I attended the traditional Booklist sponsored event. This event often has sponsored discussions by authors and illustrators. But this year it featured a brand new ALA award -- The Odyssey Award for sound recording of a printed book.

The Odyssey Award is given to the best audiobook produced for children and young adults available in English in the United States. The committee listened to 400 autiobooks -- over 2,000 hours of listening.

The Odyssey Award is named after the blind poet Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey, which researchers agree was originally told and retold in the oral tradition. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

(Just in case you are wondering how I got so eloquent -- those are the words printed on the back of the sampler CD given to all who attended the award ceremony.)

The featured speaker and one of the originators of the award was Bruce Coville, author of over 90 books, who also is a professional storyteller and who runs his own audiobook recording company -- Full Cast Audio. And all around nice guy.

We heard parts from all of the honor recordings, plus one from the winner -- Jazz -- poetry written by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by his son, Christopher Myers and the audiobook was published by Live Oak media. Jazz also won the Coretta Scott King Award.

Special events at the award ceremony included a recording of Jim Dale accepting the honor award for best narrator. We ended with a live speech from with winner of the best narrator of the year. (when I think of the exact title they one, I'll insert it.)

Hmm. The Disneyland folk have not gotten back, yet. I hope that means that they're having a great time.

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