Celebrating our 2024 Odyssey Awards:
Cece Bell’s EL DEAFO (Odyssey Winner for children) & Pedro Martín’s MEXIKID (Odyssey Honor audiobook)

By Jennifer Rubins | January 22 2024 | Audiobook News

The American Library Association’s Odyssey Award committee named Cece Bell’s EL DEAFO the 2024 Odyssey Award winner for children and Pedro Martín’s MEXIKID an Odyssey Honor audiobook. Both audiobooks are graphic novel adaptations, each performed by a full cast!

The ALA’s Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award’s name is taken from the Greek Odyssey epic, which was originally told and passed down in the oral tradition. Penguin Random House Audio titles have earned 6 Odyssey Awards and 22 Honors. Be sure to add these audiobooks to your digital shelves—the perfect family listens! Are you already a fan? Share your listener’s love in the comments here.

You can view a collection of all of Listening Library’s Odyssey Award-winning and Honor-winning audiobooks, past & present, here.

2024 Odyssey Award winner for children

El Deafo

Produced by Matie Argiropoulos 

Read by Sarah Tubert, Lexi Finigan, Jennifer Aquino, Fred Berman, Bailey Carr, Nicky Endres, Matt Godfrey, Avi Roque, and Sanya Simmons

Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school—in the hallway . . . in the teacher’s lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

The audiobook production adapts speech Cece hears when she is not wearing her hearing aids for listeners with a modulated effect.

An animated screen adaptation of EL DEAFO is now streaming on Apple TV+.

“This utterly superb production also proves to be a transformative lesson in immersive empathy. Through a combination of thoughtful acting and meticulous technical control of volume and clarity, listeners can actually experience an approximation of being hearing-challenged, from garbled language to fading modulation. . . A must-have acquisition for every library.”— School Library Journal, starred audio review

Age 8-12 years

Odyssey Honor audiobook

(Newbery Honor Award Winner)

Also a 2024 Newbery Honor winner! 

Produced by Diane McKiernan and Olivia Langen 

Read by Oscar Emmanuel Fabela, Omar Leyva, Cynthia Farrell, Kevin Orduño, Elena Rey, Avi Roque, Christophe Landa, Daisy Guevara, Alejandro Vargas-Lugo, and Fernando Monroy

MEXIKID is about a Mexican-American boy’s family and their adventure-filled road trip to bring their abuelito back from Mexico to live with them. Pedro Martín has grown up hearing stories about his abuelito—his legendary crime-fighting, grandfather who was once a part of the Mexican Revolution! But that doesn’t mean Pedro is excited at the news that Abuelito is coming to live with their family. After all, Pedro has 8 brothers and sisters and the house is crowded enough! Still, Pedro piles into the Winnebago with his family for a road trip to Mexico to bring Abuelito home, and what follows is the trip of a lifetime, one filled with laughs and heartache. Along the way, Pedro finally connects with his abuelito and learns what it means to grow up and find his grito.

“Lively characters and relatable family relationships make this a great addition to youth collections.”—Booklist

Age 10-14 years