SYNC Audiobooks: Week 3

This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from April 27th to August 16th. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing a classic YA title with a more modern YA title. These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 5/11 to 5/17) at the SYNC website. The third week will start on Thursday, May 11th with Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes and Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by Radio Diaries. The theme for the third week is: “Teen voice power.”

Imagine an inner city high school English classroom. Eighteen sullen teenagers wonder what school can give them. One student decides a poem, not an essay, is the way to share his insights about the Harlem Renaissance. A wise teacher grabs the teachable moment, instituting “open mike poetry slam Fridays” once a month, and a roomful of at-risk students gets excited about school. The Recorded Books cast brings this world to life. The voices of the teens ring true, and the company creates unique personalities for each character. Voices gain strength and grow in honesty as they explore their worlds, hearts, and aspirations, and discover futures of possibility. This book is not owned by Algonquin Public Library, but it is owned by other libraries in our consortium, in book format.

This engrossing production brings together five audio documentaries teens recorded about their own lives in the mid-90s juxtaposed with recordings that revisit those same people, now adults in their early 30s. Individual voices explore and humanize issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy. As a teen, Amanda’s assertiveness and self-assurance shine through when she tries to talk to her parents about her bisexuality, and it’s no surprise that those qualities are still present in the loving conversation she has with them as an adult. Juan is full of calm determination as he talks about his life as an undocumented immigrant, both as a teen in a struggling family and an adult who has come into his own.

Check out the rest of the month’s schedule here… you can even get text alerts about upcoming titles!