Do we still embrace the Oral Tradition? Oral Tradition is the ancient practice of verbally sharing or “passing down” the cultural beliefs, folktales, stories, and songs of a group from one generation to the next. The passing of story and song while seemingly simple pointed to the intricate customs and conventions of the community, long before reading and writing were practiced societal skills. The storytelling ritual unified the group creating a fellowship among its members.  While the oral tradition is a true ancient practice referring to its primitive origin, it is not archaic or obsolete.  Like society itself, it has evolved into a custom more fitting of our print centered world, the modern read-aloud.


The popularity of audiobooks with adult listeners confirms the truth about reading aloud; it has merits for all ages. Something wonderful happens when we become engaged with a story. It drives us to emotionally respond without abandon and become a part of that world. The act of listening to a story develops vocabulary and motivates us to learn new facts and concepts. It also builds “a sense of belonging” between the listener and reader.  Studies have documented the benefits of the physical closeness between reader and listener resulting in a positive experience for all involved, especially children. So take a moment to reflect on the last time you read aloud to your child in middle school or high school.  Embrace this time with them and remember that we are never too old to hear and enjoy a story.


(2013) E.B. White Read-Aloud Medal and Honor Winners for Middle Grade Readers


The False Prince: Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1
(Jennifer A. Nielsen) audiobook.


The Last Dragonslayer (Jasper Fforde) eBook.


The One and Only Ivan: My Story (Katherine Applegate) eBook.


Same Sun Here (House & Vaswani) eBook.


Wonder (R.J. Palacio) eBook.


(2013) Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults


Almost Perfect ( Brian Katcher) eBook and audiobook.


Crusher (Niall Leonard) eBook and audiobook.


The Diviners (Libba Bray) eBook and audiobook.


The Fire Chronicle: The Books of Beginning Series, Book 2 (John Stephens) eBook and audiobook.


Graffiti Moon (Cath Crowley) eBook and audiobook.


I Hunt Killers (Barry Lyga) eBook and audiobook.


Inheritance: Inheritance Cycle Series, Book 4 (Christopher Paolini) eBook and audiobook.


Monstrous Beauty (Elizabeth Fama) audiobook.


Son: The Giver Quartet, Book 4 (Lois Lowry) audiobook.  


Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High (Melba Beals) eBook and audiobook.


Words in the Dust (Trent Reedy) audiobook. 


Renee Lienhard is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

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