SYNC Audiobooks Week 7

This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from April 26th to July 25th. 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 6/7 to 6/13) at the SYNC website. The seventh week will start on Thursday, June 13th with Everland by Wendy Spinale and The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace. The theme for the seventh week is “dangerous judgments.”

This steampunk homage to PETER PAN pits German marauders against young survivors of war and a deadly virus that decimated the adult population. On the run in Everland (postwar London), Gwen may be “the immune”—the key to the world’s survival. Fiona Hardingham and Steve West narrate chapters, alternating between the points of view of Gwen and Hook, the German captain. West, as Hook, slowly reveals a depth of feeling below Hook’s icy and villainous exterior, waiting for the narrative to reveal clues first. Hardingham’s excellent character voices and variety of accents help the listener differentiate the large cast of youthful characters including Gwen and her siblings; Gwen’s love interest, Pete; the Lost Boys; and Pete’s young sidekick, Bella. Hardingham handles the few sentimental scenes with aplomb. The library owns this in book format.

Bill Homewood narrates this classic tale of mystery and suspense with a pace like a marching army. He uses emphasis and pauses to build tension in this world of danger and intrigue. His expertise in performing accents and creating characters with sublime ease makes the story come alive. The tension in his voice matches the growing conflict between the hunted and the hunters. Weaving the descriptive details with ever growing tension, Homewood makes listening to this tale a delightfully chilling experience.

More New YA!

Speculative Fiction

Warcross by by Marie Lu

When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

When jobs typically done by humans are replaced with alien technology, Adam's parents have no money for food, clean water, or medicine, forcing Adam and his girlfriend Chloe to get creative.

Uncanny by David Macinnis Gill

Willow Jane Conning doesn't expect much for her sixteenth birthday. A cake. Maybe some presents. Nothing special. Just a nice quiet celebration with family and friends. But that night a powerful witch rises from her crypt deep beneath Boston's Granary Burying Grounds. The Shadowless has comeback to avenge her death--and she wants something that belongs to Willow Jane. All Willow Jane wants is to help her mother pay the rent, and to win her hockey game, dump her cheating boyfriend, and make sure her little sister gets home safe after school. Turns out that's not so easy when you are a Conning and there is an ancient evil set on making your life a living hell. YOU MUST NOT WAKE THE SHADOWLESS WHEN SHE SLEEPS WITHIN HER BED. KISS THE LIPS OF THE SHADOWLESS AND THE MORNING FINDS YOU DEAD.

A Dangerous Magic by Donald Hounam

Fifteen-year-old forensic sorcerer Frank Sampson is called upon when the Bishop of Oxford is murdered, but is hampered by the bishop's beautiful niece, Kazia, a difficult colleague, Marvo, and abundant rules.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Emmett accepts an interstellar space contract but learns en route that to win the promised fortune he and nine other recruits face a brutal competition, putting their very humanity at risk.

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she's caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall but even to the balloon makers, Ellie's time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything including her only way home to stop the process.

Odd and True by Cat Winters

Told from separate viewpoints, Odette returns in 1909 after a two-year absence, promising to rescue her disabled sister, Tru, from the monsters they were taught to believe in.

Fireblood by Elly Blake

Ruby leaves her beloved Arcus and travels to her mother's homeland of Sudesia, where she must pass a series of trials in order to hone her control of fire and become a Fireblood master, gaining the trust of the wary Fireblood queen and access to the knowledge that will allow her to defeat the destructive Minax.

Realistic Fiction

Nothing by Annie Barrows

Charlotte and Frankie think their lives are much more boring than the teen novels they read, but when Charlotte decides to write about their experiences, they realize much more is happening than meets the eye.

Water in May by Ismee Williams

Pregnant at fifteen, Mari Pujols believes the baby will supply the family love she yearns for but when she learns the fetus has a heart defect, her friends, sometimes boyfriend, and doctor are there for her.

The Date to Save by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Angelica Marie Hutcherson is an aspiring reporter for the San Anselmo Prep's newspaper, The Prepster; sophomore Colin Von Kohorn is its editor, who keeps rejecting her stories because they do not reflect his "vision"; but when Colin suggests she write a story on the upcoming Academic Battle, Angelica senses an opportunity--unfortunately somebody has scheduled the Battle (which their school always wins) on the same day as the homecoming game (which they always lose), and to make the chaos complete it is also the day for class elections.

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson

One family, three sisters. Grace, the oldest, is a straight-A student. Audrey, the youngest, is a future Olympic swimming champion. Mia is in the middle. Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends, not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers. When Grace makes a shocking announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves. But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control -- boozing, boys and bad behaviour -- and she starts to realize that her attempts to make it 'All About Mia' might put at risk the very things she loves the most.

Mean Girls a novel by Micol Ostow ; based on the screenplay by Tina Fey

Having been home-schooled and raised in the African bush, Cady is unprepared for the cut-throat politics of high school.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcet

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor's royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

This debut from two emerging YA talents is told through a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship survive the distance?


Glow by Megan E. Bryant

Discovering a series of antique paintings containing hidden glowing images, a young thrift-store aficionado investigates their origins and discovers the haunting true story of a group of young women artists, the Radium Girls, who used dangerous radioactive paint to create the world's first glow-in-the-dark products.

Detective & Mystery Fiction

Michael Vey : The Final Spark by Richard Paul Evans

The final book in the Michael Vey series opens with the Electroclan facing a devastating loss: Michael is missing. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends and now he's gone. What is next for them and the revolution? The battle on the island of Hades ended with a devastating explosion that left the island a smoking ruin and much of Hatch's army dead. However, Hatch survived and while his plans have certainly suffered a setback, he's more determined than ever to bring the world's governments under his control. But first, he wants to wipe out the Resistance and capture the remaining members of the Electroclan. As Hatch's forces storm into action, it seems nothing can stand in their way. The Electroclan is divided. The voice is captured, and Michael's mother is being used as bait to lure the leader of the Resistance out of hiding. Can anything--or anyone--stop the Elgen? Or is this the end?


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

High school senior Tanner Scott has hidden his bisexuality since his family moved to Utah, but he falls hard for Sebastian, a Mormon mentoring students in a writing seminar Tanner's best friend convinced him to take.

The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest

What would you do if you spotted a man following a young woman, but no-one else could see him? Like most sane people, student Alex Webber thought he was hallucinating - perhaps he'd consumed something bad at the party he'd been attending that night, or he was severely overtired. But when he sees the mysterious man following Natalie again the very next day, he can no longer disbelieve his eyes. Although Natalie denies the man's existence, Alex sees her walking with him down a road in his neighborhood he's never seen before - and can't help but follow. After a bizarre, but strangely short journey, he finds himself standing before a towering iron gate wreathed in gray ivy, behind which looms a decrepit old mansion named Spellshadow Manor. Spellshadow, with its beautiful yet sinisterly decorated hallways, ever-changing outdoor scenery and very unusual residents... Alex will quickly learn it is a place that is as wondrous as it is deadly. Especially for a normal person like him. What if you found yourself recruited to an institute of magic, only to discover you really couldn't do magic? What if your enrollment there was all one big, terrible mistake? If you were at Spellshadow, you'd keep it a secret. A deep, dark, deadly secret ... Because Spellshadow's elusive Head is hiding a secret of his own, one that Alex soon realizes he and Natalie must uncover at all costs if either of them wishes to leave the Manor alive ... and before it's too late.

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Set in the same time period as Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Night of Cake & Puppets is the story of Zuzana and Mik's first date, an elaborate scavenger hunt that takes them through the streets of Prague on a cold winter's night.


Obsessed: A Memoir of my Life with OCD by Allison Britz

Until sophomore year of high school, fifteen-year-old Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home. But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality. It started with avoiding sidewalk cracks and quickly grew to counting steps as loudly as possible. Over the following weeks, her brain listed more dangers and fixes. She had to avoid hair dryers, calculators, cell phones, computers, anything green, bananas, oatmeal, and most of her own clothing. Unable to act "normal," the once-popular Allison became an outcast. Her parents questioned her behavior, leading to explosive fights. When notebook paper, pencils, and most schoolbooks were declared dangerous to her health, her GPA imploded, along with her plans for the future. Finally, she allowed herself to ask for help and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This brave memoir tracks Allison's descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over by Amy Bleuel

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

SYNC Audiobooks: Week 10

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 6/29 to 7/06) at the SYNC website. The tenth week will start on Thursday, June 29th with My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson and American Night: The Ballad of Juan José by Richard Montoya, Developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney. The theme for the tenth week is “American Independence Day (July 4).”

Nick Podehl and Amy Rubinate share the narration of this National Book Award finalist, a fictional account—based on true events—of five Alaskans who attend a Catholic boarding school in the 1960s. The characters experience forced separation from family members and eradication of their language as they become illegal test subjects in a military experiment and suffer other injustices. Podehl’s and Rubinate’s dual narration of emotional adolescent voices creates a connection between today’s listeners and these historical events, which are little known outside of Alaska. Since neither narrator is a native Alaskan, it’s perhaps to their credit that neither attempts an Inupiak, Yupik, or other Alaskan accent. Both add levity when warranted to break the gravitas of this important story. The Library owns this in both book and Kindle/PDF formats.

Laughter and applause fill this theatrical look at American history from the perspective of a Mexican who is cramming for his citizenship test. Policeman Juan José, who fled on foot to the U.S. to escape corruption and drug wars, is haunted by Teddy Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Bob Dylan, Jackie Robinson, Violet Pettus (an African-American nurse during the 1928 flu pandemic), Emmett Till, and union leader Harry Bridges, all played with over-the-top accents and comedy by cast members of Culture Clash. Pop references from musicals like THE BOOK OF MORMON, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and WICKED, as well as anachronisms like Roosevelt texting, add to the hilarity. The historical selections are sharp, pointed, and thought-provoking. The musical selections, news bites, and delivery make for a performance that simply gets better with each listen.

Review: Turbo

turboIf you are the type of person who likes racing, cars and maybe snails, then this movie is for you. This movie packed with action and speed. It is about a snail who is obsessed with speed. Then later on he gets into an accident that makes him into a motoring mollusk. His dream is to race in the Indianapolis 500. I would rate this movie a 5 out of 5.

The Library owns this movie in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.

Reviewed by Hriteesh Haridas

Cool Crafts: Marble Magnets

You know those squashed marble things that you find at craft stores? Well you can use those, plus some glue, magnets, and cut out pictures that match the size of the marbles (either from magazines, your computer, or drawn yourself), to make these awesome marble magnets.

marble magnets

Want to find out how? Click the links below for instructions and/or a YouTube video. Have fun!