SYNC Audiobooks: Week 5

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 5/25 to 6/1) at the SYNC website. The fifth week will start on Thursday, May 25th with Freakling by Lana Krumwiede and Boy by Anna Ziegler. The theme for the fifth week is a question: “Who’s in charge of me?”

When 12-year-old Taemon loses his psi, the power everyone in the city has to move objects with their minds, he’s banished to the “dud community” to live among the powerless. Narrator Nick Podehl is an excellent choice for this dystopian story. His timing keeps up with the fast pace of the story without feeling rushed. His portrayal of Taemon changes as the character does, starting out shaky and uncertain for the awkward, unsure preteen and strengthening as Taemon transforms into a decisive, brave hero. Podehl’s tone is dark and ominous when depicting the unsavory characters who are plotting to take over the world. This imaginative debut novel examines what can go wrong when power goes unchecked. The library owns this title in both book and ebook formats.

This full-cast production creates a compelling audio experience exploring gender identity and sexuality. When an accident mutilates one of a pair of twin baby boys, his parents consult a doctor who convinces them to raise their son as a daughter. Bobby Steggert gives the standout performance in the role of the titular boy as both a child trying to understand life and an adult trying to make a life. Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, and Amy Pietz splendidly fill out the rest of the cast of the L.A. Theatre Works production, directed by Debbie Devine. Listening to this production, based on a real-life event, will take listeners on an unforgettable emotional journey with this family and their boy.

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

Megalist: Even More New YA!

We have lots of new stuff in almost every genre- find your next new summer read!

Continued Series Fiction:

Scattering by Kimberly McCreight (Outliers #2)

Wylie escaped the camp in Maine but is still far from safe. Her best chance to protect herself is to understand her ability -- and fast. Is her bond with Jasper strong enough to overcome demons from the past? And can she find it in herself to do whatever it takes to help not just friends but complete strangers who may be just like her?

Avenged by Amy Tintera (Ruined #2)

After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in Lera, a rival kingdom, Em has devised a plan that will rebuild Ruina to its former glory. But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn't mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir's betrothed in Lera, she's started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he's taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love.

Next by Kevin Waltman (D-Ball High School Hoops #1)

Indiana basketball prodigy Derrick Bowen--D-Bow to his friends--is impatient to start his freshman year, but his coach favors a senior for a guard spot; meanwhile, pressure at home builds for D-Bow to transfer from his neighborhood school to an exclusive prep school.

Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie (Haunting of Sunshine Girl #3)

Is Sunshine Griffith who she thinks she is? Now that her luiseach powers are fully awakened, and having barely survived an abyss full of demons at the end of Book Two, Sunshine must figure out who--or what--has been organizing the forces of darkness against her. Thanks to her brainiac boyfriend, Nolan, they not only unearth that Sunshine's death would trigger a calamitous event, but that all civilization depends on her survival. So when an unexpected event unleashes a fierce war between the luiseach and the demon army, Sunshine will learn a shocking truth about herself. Can she bring herself to make the ultimate sacrifice to save humankind?

Horde by Ann Aguirre (Razorland #3)

Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they're not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them.

Wandering Star by Romina Russell (Zodiac #2)

Rho is ready to live a quiet life until Ochus appears to her, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight and she embarks on a journey through a new set of Houses that reveal much more about the Galaxy and herself.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman (Blackhearts #2)

First mate Teach contemplating mutiny to protect his crew from Spanish attackers, while Anne makes it to Nassau only to be confronted by lawlessness and corruption.

Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake (Library Jumpers #2)

Having to balance her Chiavi hunt with being a Sentinel, going to school, and dealing with her wonky relationship with Arik, Gia must find a way to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse.

Speculative Fiction:

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Spindle Fire #1)

When a drop of blood touched by faeries puts Aurora in a deep sleep, her blind half-sister Isabelle embarks on a dangerous journey to find the prince whose kiss of true love will waken Aurora.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

When Neverfell, who has no memory, arrives in Caverna, her facial expressions make her very dangerous to the people who live with blank faces or pay dearly to learn to simulate emotions.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

In alternating chapters, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel navigates the New York City publishing world and Lizzie, the heroine of Darcy's novel, slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack and becomes a spirit guide, as both face many challenges and both fall in love.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Given Duet #1)

Khosa is destined to be sacrificed to the sea and struggles understand her destiny as the kingdom comes under attack and the ocean threatens to destroy them all.

Realistic Fiction:

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

A small town pianist ponders a new life away from her embarrassing mother when a beautiful girl shows up and changes everything.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a "mainstream" school in the suburbs, where she's treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up. Out in the 'burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off--and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Looking for Group by Rory Harrison

Dylan doesn't have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as "squalid," and he sure as hell isn't getting any love from his mother, who seemed to--no, definitely did--enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a "cancer kid." His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game--World of Warcraft--and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Nuba. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Nuba on a real mission, one he never thought he'd live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea. But Nuba--real-life name Arden--is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can't always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Nuba's father (who refuses to recognize his daughter's true gender), Dylan's addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world famous photojournalist--even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. When Declan finds a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist the urge to write back. Soon, he is sharing his pain with a perfect stranger. When real life interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn

In this romantic, contemporary suburban odyssey, Victoria Navarro has one night to throw the ultimate graduation party, say goodbye to lifelong friends, and make sure her long-time crush never forgets her.

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

High school has ended, and Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom. She's felt alienated from her gutsy best friend, Farah, ever since Farah started wearing the Muslim head scarf--without even bothering to discuss it with Shabnam first. But no one else comes close to understanding her, especially not her parents. All Shabnam wants to do is get through the summer. Get to Penn. Begin anew. Not look back. That is, until she meets Jamie...In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place--her family.

Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman (Orion Chronicles #1)

Sixteen-year-old twins Matt and Em Calder are Animare: they can bring art to life, and travel in time through paintings. They work for Orion - the Animare MI5 - protecting the secrecy of their order and investigating crimes committed by their own kind. It's dangerous work. But when they are sent to Edinburgh to find a teenage boy who can alter reality with his music, they are drawn into something more dangerous still. For this boy, Remy, is the Conjurer's Son. And he carries something that could change humanity forever…

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along. But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who's never sung more than Olivia's backup. Dana, who wasn't even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who's destined to be the next big thing. It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there's only room at the top for one girl.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson (Only Thing #1)

After years of competing against each other, Trixie and Ben form a fandom-based tentative friendship when their best friends start dating each other, but after Trixie's friend gets expelled for cheating they have to choose which side they are on.

Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Michael's parents are leaders of a new anti-immigrant political party called Aussie Values which is trying to halt the flood of refugees from the Middle East; Mina fled Afghanistan with her family ten years ago, and just wants to concentrate on fitting in and getting into college--but the mutual attraction they feel demands that they come to terms with their family's concerns and decide where they stand in the ugly anti-Muslim politics of the time.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it's been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she's fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she's destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona's friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he's talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer

Sixteen-year-old Quinn Cutler, daughter of Congressional candidate, is pregnant with no memory of having had sex, and when word gets out, some claim she carries the next Messiah.

Speak of Me as I Am by Sonia Belasco

Damon and Melanie, two teenagers who have lost loved ones, meet and help each other grieve, but as their friendship deepens into romance, things get complicated fast.

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana Arnold

Sixteen-year-old Nina Faye navigates the difficult world of teenage relationships and dysfunctional family dynamics.

Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson

Riya and Abby were best friends in their small California town, but Riya and her family moved to Berlin for Riya's junior year and it was hard to stay in touch; so now that the year has passed, Riya proposes that they take a two week Grand Tour and travel around Europe to reconnect--but the trouble is that they have both been hiding secrets, and those secrets threaten to push them apart forever.

Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain (Chloe Snow’s Diary #1)

Chloe Snow chronicles a year in her high school life, sharing the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love.

Blood Family by Anne Fine

A boy with an abusive father grows up and fears that he has the same potential for violence as his father.

Historical Fiction:

Beck by Mal Peet

Orphaned as a child and sent to live among religious caretakers in Canada, Beck endures harsh labor and searches for love while traveling back and forth across the American border during the height of the Great Depression.

Humor:

Cheesus Was Here by J.C. Davis

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren't real--if they were, her kid sister wouldn't be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she's not buying the idea that God's got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del's hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store...Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth...This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor.

Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan

Tom Grendel lives a quiet life--writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the "manic-pixie-dream" label. But when Willow’s brother, Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap), starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens’ community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed--his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD--so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But of course, it’s not that simple.

Mystery & Thrillers:

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey

In 1800s London, a young heiress and her lawyer are caught up in a kidnapping plot to steal her fortune, but as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder what she truly wants.

Antisocial by Jillian Blake

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep, and Anna Soler has just been dumped by her basketball star boyfriend--with no explanation--and even her closest friends are ignoring her. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it's funny, but as the hacks escalate and dark secrets are exposed, lives are shattered. Can Anna protect her secrets in an always-connected society?

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked "KING CITY" by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: "KING CITY". It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures...if they can ever find it.

Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan

The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths. Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws--all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers' eyes. But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.

Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

At Cate's isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition. Only a select few are invited to play. They must avoid being killed by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the murderer. But this time, it's different: the game stops feeling fake and starts getting dangerous and Cate's the next target. Can they find the culprit ... before it's too late?

Cabin by Natasha Preston

A crazy night of partying at a remote cabin leaves two of Mackenzie's friends dead--murdered. Someone among the survivors isn't telling the truth.

Takedown by Corrie Wang

In this near-future mystery, Kyla Cheng, the smartest, hottest, most popular student at her Brooklyn high school, gets taken down a peg by a faked sex tape that goes viral.

Romance:

Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

When her perfectly planned summer of quality time with her parents, her serious boyfriend, and her Bible camp unravels and long-hidden family secrets emerge, Lucy must figure out what she is made of and what grace really means.

Off the Ice by Julie Cross (Juniper Falls #1)

Claire O'Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn't mean she wants to be. One semester off, that's what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business a hockey bar beside the ice rink afloat. After that, shes getting the hell out. Again. Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team's star goalie, suddenly he's in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire's sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good. It's the absolute worst time to fall in love. For Tate and Claire, hockey isn't just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski

Meg and Linus are bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. They have each other, a few Star Trek boxed sets, and they're pretty happy. Then Sophia, Meg's longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg and Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny. Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. Can they learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks-- and maybe even stand on their own?

Scary/Horror:

Dreamfall by Amy Plum (Dreamfall #1)

Seven insomniac teenagers participate in an experimental sleep study and find themselves thrown together in a shared dreamworld where their worst nightmares come to life.

Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy

Twenty five girls are invited to attend the mysterious Camp So-and-So over the summer where they work with their cabin mates to compete in the All-Camp Sports 7 Follies.

Science Fiction:

Unplugged by Donna Freitas (Unplugged #1)

In the App World, Skye is a sixteen-year-old virtual girl without any glamorous downloads or fancy effects. She joined the App World for the promise of a better, virtual life, but she's looking forward to her seventeenth birthday, when she gets to unplug, see her mother and sister again, and decide which world she belongs in once and for all. Without warning, the border between worlds suddenly closes. Skye is trapped, and her only chance to unplug and see her family again is to find and help Rain Holt, the son of the most powerful leader in App World, who was also left behind when the border closed. But when Skye unplugs, she discovers that the reasons for the border closing are much bigger than anyone in the App World knows, and that she somehow has a part to play--a part that will turn friends into traitors and strangers into followers. And the only person she can trust--in either world--is herself.

Body Market by Donna Freitas (Unplugged #2)

When Skylar's sister betrays her and opens the Body Market, everyone in the App World is for sale and Skylar resolves to stop her sister and the malevolent market.

Short Stories:

Eat the Sky Drink the Ocean: Stories of Imagination and Daring edited by Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar, and Anita Ray

This collection of feminist fantasy and science fiction stories weaves together impossibilities, dreams, and ambitions to reimagine what girls -- and boys -- can be. Award-winning Australian and Indian authors worked together and separately to create stories that bridge continents and will inspire readers to open their minds and take a fresh look at the world we know.

Nonfiction:

How to Like Yourself: A Teen’s Guide to Quieting Your Inner Critic and Building Lasting Self-Esteem by Cheryl M. Bradshaw

Don't let your inner critic get in the way of being confident! How to Like Yourself offers a quirky, inspiring, and practical guide to help you overcome feelings of self-criticism, improve self-esteem, and be the true star in your life.

This Book is Gay by James Dawson

Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder.

Vincent & Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions. Heiligman draws on the letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime to weave a tale of two lives intertwined as Theo supported Vincent's struggles to find his path in life.

Audiobooks:

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, Vassa uses a magical gift from her dead mother to take on Baba Yaga, the witch who owns the local convenience store. Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (Project Nemesis #1)

As the Anvil, an enormous asteroid, threatens to end all life on Earth, sixteen-year-old Min begins to uncover a lifetime of lies, a sinister conspiracy involving all students in her sophomore class in Fire Lake, Idaho.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (Traitor’s Trilogy #1)

To escape the threat of being married off by her uncle, orphaned Sage Fowler accepts an apprenticeship with a matchmaker. Intelligent and unruly, she's perfect for gathering information on prospective clients. Protected by a small army contingent, Sage and her mentor escort a group of ladies to be matched with noblemen. Sage spies on soldiers and brides alike as they travel. Amongst rumors of a political uprising, a handsome soldier recruits Sage to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers, the more uncertain she is of whom to trust. Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom. With secret identities and a tempestuous romance, The Traitor's Kiss is Jane Austen with an espionage twist.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Seventeen-year-old Micheline Helsing is a tetrachcromat, able to see ghosts in color and capture them on film, but when a routine hunt goes awry, Micheline is infected with a curse known as a soulchain and if she is unable to exorcise the entity in seven days, she will be destroyed, body and soul.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight #1)

A witty, coming-out-again story follows teenage Rafe's journey through being different, fitting in, and finding what it means to be himself.

End of Oz by Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die #4)

Dorothy Gale was buried when the Emerald Palace crashed to the ground; Ozma has been restored to the throne. But girls from Kansas are harder to kill than you'd think. Now Amy Gumm is following the Road of Yellow Brick toward the mysterious land of Ev, where the Nome King rules a bleak and angry world. Surprise! He has a gingham-clad bride. And the line between Good and Wicked is blurring.

SYNC Audiobooks: Week 4

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 5/18 to 5/25) at the SYNC website. The fourth week will start on Thursday, May 18th with The Gathering: Shadow House Book 1 by Dan Poblocki and In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It by Nita Belles. The theme for the fourth week is a question: “What’s happening over there?”

When five peculiar children, Poppy, Dash, Dylan, Marcus, and Azumi, are trapped in an eerie house, they must work together to find a way out. Narrator Dan Bittner uses a slow pace to keep listeners on edge throughout the story, especially when the children find out that they’re not alone–they’re with the ghosts of orphaned children from the past. Bittner creates a unique and emotional voice for each child, which adds to the frightening atmosphere of the Shadow House. Listeners will be hooked by the twists and turns in a chilling story that will keep them in suspense until the very end. The library owns this title in book format.

Modern slavery is happening all around you . . . and you can be part of the solution.

Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. Nor is it something that just happens to “other people,” such as runaways or the disenfranchised. Even kids in your own neighborhood can fall victim. But they don’t have to.

Through true stories and expertise from her many years of boots-on-the-ground experience, anti-trafficking expert Nita Belles teaches you everything you need to know about human trafficking in the United States, helping you identify risk factors, take practical steps to keep your loved ones and neighbors safe from predators, and recognize trafficking around you, so that you can help fight it. This title is owned by libraries in our system, in both book and Audio CD formats.

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

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!

More New YA!

We've got something new in almost every YA genre!

Continued Series Fiction:

Adjustment by Suzanne Young (Program #5)

When Tatum's boyfriend, Weston, loses his memories of her in The Program, they decide to undergo The Adjustment, where Tatum's memories of their time together are implanted into Weston's mind, but trouble lies ahead when Weston's emotions do not match the experiences.

Legion by Julie Kagawa (Talon #4)

Devastated by revelations about the Talon dragon organization, hatchling Ember Hill stands beside the rogue dragon, Riley, against her heir-apparent brother, Dante, who has threatened to unleash the greatest threat dragonkind has ever known.

Sunkissed by Jenny McLachlan (Ladybirds #3)

Kat's family sends her to Sweden to spend the summer with her aunt where she must learn to embrace who she really is, especially if she is going to win the heart of cute Swede Leo.

Speculative Fiction:

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean

Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she's never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that's now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she'll continue her parents' fight or stay behind to save her friends. With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she's not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn't as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

Realistic Fiction:

Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.

Bang by Barry Lyga

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun. Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She's never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they've always had each other. When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie--on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep.

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

A novel about the illicit human and drug trade at the US-Mexican border.

Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they've shared almost everything--reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they've never met. Sasha's dad was once married to Ray's mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty, and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families--and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past...This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

Historical Fiction:

Girl with a Camera by Carolyn Meyer

In this historical novel, noted writer Carolyn Meyer deftly captures the daring and passionate life of photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Growing up, young Peggy White was interested in snakes and caterpillars and other unfeminine things. She intended to become a herpetologist, but while she was still in college, her interest in nature changed to a fascination with photography. As her skill with a camera grew, her focus widened from landscapes architecture to shots of factories, trains, and bridges. Her artist’s eye sharpened to see patterns and harsh beauty where others saw only chaos and ugliness. Totally dedicated to her work, and driven by her ambition to succeed, Margaret Bourke-White became a well-known and sought after photographer, traveling all over the United States and Europe. She was the first female war photojournalist in World War II and the first female photographer for Life magazine, which featured one of her photographs on its very first cover. A comprehensive author’s note provides additional information to round out readers’ understanding of this fascinating and inspiring historical figure.

Humor:

Literally by Lucy Keating

Annabelle's life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she's writing a new novel-- and Annabelle is the heroine. It turns out that Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. But, Annabelle doesn't want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story--or will Lucy Keating have the last word?

Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

A famous-for-being-famous LA family stars on their own reality show, but the sixteen-year-old daughter wants out.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geek girl Ellie hopes to go to ExcelsiCon Cosplay to meet the actor (closet nerd Darien) scheduled to play Federation Prince Carmindor in a reboot of the movie Starfield.

Mystery & Thrillers:

Missing by Kelley Armstrong

After a chance encounter with an injured boy, Winter Crane questions if all the teenagers who left her town did so voluntarily.

Romance:

All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry

When Bree starts dating ultra popular Bryce and neglects her best friend Gabriella, who lives and works in a funeral home, the only one at school who wants to spend time with "Graveyard Gabe" is Hartman, the new boy.

Scary/Horror:

Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon

In this modern retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, orphaned surfer-girl Janie Mason must move into the Rochester mansion with guardians she had never met, and where the night is filled with screams from the attic.

Science Fiction:

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars #1)

Teenaged soldier Noemi and an enemy robot, Abel, who is programmed to obey her commands, set out on an interstellar quest to save her home planet, Earth colony Genesis.

SYNC Audiobooks: Week 2

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 5/4 to 5/10) at the SYNC website. The second week will start on Thursday, May 4th with Feed by M. T. Anderson and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The theme for the second week is a question: “What could the future bring?”

Enter a chilling, twisted future in which one’s every thought and movement is directed and regulated by the “feed,” a computer chip implanted in the brain. This dystopia is seen through the eyes of teenagers: some who embrace the feed and revel in its unbridled consumerism, and one who rails against society’s rampant ignorance and banality. David Aaron Baker’s superb use of inflection renders the teen voices realistic, from their vapid musings to profane outbursts that substitute for conversation. The ensemble cast, representing the cacophony of the feed, resembles the worst of today’s inane commercials. This brilliant production for older teen listeners enhances Anderson’s portrait of a world gone sour, in which even the adults have forgotten how to use language, and everything is dying, including the kids. The library owns this in book, ebook, and eAudiobook formats.

Moments before Earth is destroyed, Ford Prefect, an alien who’s been incognito for 15 years while researching a newer edition of THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, rescues his friend, Arthur Dent. The two stow away on a passing spaceship, and their adventures begin. Ford and Arthur encounter ex-hippie Galaxy President Zaphod Beeblebrox; Marvin, the morose robot; and a slew of otherworldly weirdos populating Douglas Adams’s cult classic. Stephen Fry’s performance is priceless as the interstellar travelers tumble from one near disaster to another. His voice shifts are inspired bits, half schtick, half nonsense. Without editorial comment, Fry injects just the right touches of irony into Adams’s cheeky, always hilarious social satire. This is sure to please fans of Spider Robinson’s THE CALLAHAN CHRONICLES and Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD series. The library owns this title in book, ebook, eAudiobook, and CD audiobook formats.

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