Listening Library, the children’s imprint of Penguin Random House Audio, and American Girl, a key subsidiary under the Mattel corporate umbrella, have teamed up to publish audiobook editions of more than 50 classic and new American Girl books.
The new audiobook program will be comprised of titles featuring such beloved American Girl historical characters as Molly and Addy; books following contemporary characters from AG’s Girl of the Year and World by Us lines; entries in the WellieWishers series; and titles from the brand’s nonfiction library of advice books for girls, like The Care & Keeping of You.
Listening Library will release an initial batch of more than 40 American Girl recordings on June 7, including Samantha Helps a Friend (Step into Reading Step 3) by Rebecca Mallary, read by Saskia Maarleveld; Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me (World by Us) by Denise Lewis Patrick, read by Nicole Lewis; and The Care & Keeping of You—20th Anniversary Edition by Valorie Schaefer, read by Emily Woo Zeller. Plans are to release additional titles in fall 2022 and spring 2023.
This audiobook venture marks an expansion of Random House Children’s Books’ long-running partnership with Mattel. RHCB has published licensed tie-ins to such Mattel brands as Barbie for more than 50 years and last year launched an American Girl publishing program under license from Mattel to produce American Girl Little Golden Books and Step into Reading leveled readers. Discussions about audio possibilities for the new book line grew to include other audio opportunities within the broader American Girl library. The American Girl audio program will also eventually include reissued, all-new recordings of several historical character titles originally published by Recorded Books.
“Generations of girls have loved reading about these characters, and we’re excited to work with American Girl to give voice to their stories on audio, pairing these beloved characters with narrators who reflect their diverse range of backgrounds,” Amanda D’Acierno, president and publisher of Penguin Random House Audio, said in a statement.
Jodi Goldberg, senior director of content development for American Girl, added, “American Girl is pleased to partner with Penguin Random House Audio to create audiobooks that bring our characters’ stories to life in a fun new way. Whether girls listen at home or on the go, they’ll always have their favorite American Girl stories by their side.”