Thursday, December 6, 2007

Harry Potter Grammy nomination

Jim Dale has been nominated for a Grammy for the audio recording of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The category is Best Spoken Word Album for Children (category 78 of a very long list).

I'm thrilled because I'm a huge fan of Jim Dale, but also because I think the audio book is particularly wonderful. I have the Harry Potter audio books memorized (Really, I do. I'm not kidding. Quiz me.) Deathly Hallows kicks it up an extra notch, and even surpassed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (which I thought was the best until I heard #7.)

There are numerous times in the 7th book where the characters drink Polyjuice potion and transform into other people. Jim Dale manages to keep all these occurrences straight (something that gets quite confusing in the print version) by creating new voices for the Polyjuiced characters. Even better, he adds a bit of the original character's voice. For example, if Hermione was impersonating Bellatrix... the voice would sound both like Bellatrix AND Hermione. It's very impressive and very helpful.

Congratulations, Jim!


  1. Here's a fun fact - there is NO requirement that the Grammy judges even listen to the nominees! But rest assured that there are other audiobook awards out there that DO. On January 14, 2008 the American Library Association names the winner of the first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. This new award, a joint effort of the Association for Library Service to Children & the Young Adult Library Services Association, will recognize the single best audiobook created for listeners ages birth through age eighteen, along with possible honor titles. The award, on the same tier as the Printz, Newbery, and Caldecott awards, establishes audiobooks as a true literary genre. As HP7 was released in 2007, it is among the elegible titles. The 2008 Odyssey Committee has evaluated 379 audiobooks which total just short of 2000 hours of listening – an amount of time equal to 50 weeks of full-time employment! We are still under the headphones, entering the final stages of listening to the very best in children’s and young adult audiobooks. Be sure to watch for the final selection, and lend your ears to the sound of great literature!

    Mary Burkey
    Chair, 2008 Odyssey Award

  2. But enough with the blatant Odyssey promotion! The biggest honor the Harry Potter audiobook series was awarded is the Audio Publishers Association's first-ever Hall of Fame Award in 2006. This award recognizes an audiobook series that continually
    promotes the industry and showcases excellence in audio publishing. A huge honor at a black-tie event, awarded by the audiobook producers themselves.


  3. Mary,
    Thanks so much for reading my blog! I'm honored. Of course I know who you are... I've been following your insightful comments on a number of listservs (particularly child_lit). And, I am extremely excited about the Odyssey Award and can't wait to see what your committee selects. I wrote a bit about the Odyssey award a few months ago in this post:
    and will definitely mention it again as January 14 draws closer.
    Thanks for telling me about the Audio Publishers Association's first-ever Hall of Fame Award... I didn't know about that.
    I just added your blog to my blogroll.

  4. Great to be blogging buddies! I am honored to be on your fantasic blog!