Listening to Learn: Audiobooks Supporting Literacy

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

Librarians Grover and Hannegan show how audiobooks present excellent opportunities to engage the attention of young people while also advancing literacy. Drawing on decades of experience and research, they connect audiobooks with K-12 curricula, demonstrating how the format can support national learning standards and literacy skills. Complete with a research bibliography and resource guide, the book

  • Presents a concise history of the audiobook, with commentary from experts in the field
  • Shows librarians how to harness their library's audiobook collection and practice effective collection development
  • Includes thematic lists of quality titles and suggested group listening activities, ready for use in the classroom by teachers
  • Helps parents use audiobooks as an incentive to read and encourage skill development

Listening to Learn ensures that librarians, educators, and parents can make audiobooks a major component of literacy advancement.


1 How It All Begins
2 Why Listen?
3 Audiobooks and Learning Standards
4 Audiobooks and Primary School: Grades K–2
5 Audiobooks and the Intermediate Primary School: Grades 3–5
6 Audiobooks and Middle School, Grades 6–8
7 Audiobooks and High School, Grades 9–12
8 Connecting It All: Audiobooks, Literacy, and Instructional Themes
9 Technology Innovation Supports Audiobook Use
10 Finding the Best


A Audiobook Lexicon
B How to Listen

What to Look for When Evaluating an Audiobook

C Earphone English Turns Ten

Listening Takes Us Farther Than We Had Imagined

D Websites of Audiobook Publishers


Sharon Grover

Sharon Grover is a longtime audiobook listener and reviewer. She has served on and chaired Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults (now called Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults), served on the inaugural Odyssey Award Committee, and as chair in 2010. Currently, she is head of the Youth Services Department at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin, where she shares favorite audiobook titles with her young patrons. She has written articles and columns and presented workshops—many of them with Hannegan—on using audiobooks to promote literacy.

Lizette D. Hannegan

Lizette D. Hannegan retired from the Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools, after 22 years as an elementary and middle school librarian and district library media supervisor. Her advocacy for audiobooks has resulted in conference presentations, grants for the use of audiobooks in instructional settings, and journal and review articles. She has been an Audies judge, a 2010 Odyssey Award Committee member, and is the 2012 Odyssey Award chair.

"Deeply researched and drawing on their extensive experience with the format, this dynamic duo starts with an insightful history of audiobooks and evaluation criteria, before moving on to established literacy benefits, including the development of vocabulary and reading comprehension for readers, both reluctant and voracious ... While emphasizing the educational component of audiobooks (and reviewing listening platforms), these committed authors also point out that listening to audiobooks can simply be great fun. "
--Kids & Books