SYNC Audio Program

icon_blueLooking to put some high quality audios in the hands of your teens this summer?  Check out SYNC!  This is a partnership between AudioFile Magazine, young adult authors, and audio providers including Listening Library, HarperAudio, Recorded Books and many more (powered by OverDrive).

Each week throughout the summer – beginning May 30th – the following audios will be available for download.  These are free and they are yours to keep.  A librarian/educator’s tool kit is available HERE.  I’ve not done it before, simply because I didn’t know about it, but I’ve signed up for it this summer. So far, I haven’t gotten inundated with emails and no annoying advertisements.  Hopefully that continues, because this looks really promising!  Does anyone else have experience with this program?

SYNC Titles Summer 2013

May 30 – June 5, 2013 Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, read by Rebecca Gibel (AudioGO) The Tempest by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

June 6 – June 12, 2013 The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren (HarperAudio) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Audio)

June 13 – June 19, 2013 The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton (Scholastic Audiobooks) Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, read by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)

June 20 – June 26, 2013 Once by Morris Gleitzman, read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio) Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Dion Graham (christianaudio)

June 27 – July 3, 2013 Rotters by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Jim Weiss (Listening Library)

July 4 – July 10, 2013 Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio) She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 11 – July 17, 2013 The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

July 18 – July 24, 2013 Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books) Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 25 – July 31, 2013 The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, read by Charlie McWade (Scholastic Audiobooks) The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, read by Steve West (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2013 Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, read by Dan Weyman (Macmillan Audio) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2013 Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, read by Katherine Kellgren (Brilliance Audio) Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio)

Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2013 Sold by Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre (Tantor Audio) Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie, read by Tavia Gilbert (Blackstone Audio)


Me, Myself, and Audiobooks

Sherman Alexie author and narrator.

I admit it; I’ve never been a fan of audiobooks. I think it all started about fifteen years ago when I listened to my first audiobook for teens. It was awful.  As a newish librarian, I wanted to refresh my memory on a teen book that I had read a few years earlier so I thought I would try listening to the story rather than reading it. What a mistake. The reader was practically emotionless making what had previously been an edge of your seat kind of story, pretty boring. I ended up giving up on the audio and instead rereading the book. Over the years co-workers also told me how fantastic audiobooks were during their commutes to work and occasionally I would try one, but more often than not, the experience just wasn’t that great, I would find my mind wandering and soon the story had moved on without me.

Then, last August, with a short solo road trip looming on the horizon, it was recommended to me that I take The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie along for the ride. From the very beginning, Alexie enthralled me with his tale of a boy living on the Res while trying to experience life at a white man’s school. By employing his pacing and cadence as a Native American speaker Alexie enthralled me. I listened to the story every moment I was on the road and even sat in my garage to finish listening to it when I returned home.

Encouraged by this experience, I decided to give teen audiobooks another chance. Next up was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  While I didn’t really like the story (gasp!), the performance by Kate Rudd was amazing. Through her reading, you could practically feel the strength it takes the main character to draw each breath. In fact, Rudd gives all of the characters life and personality making this production definitely worthy of ALA’s Odyssey Award for audiobooks.

My most recent encounter with teen audiobooks was unique from the past two. It was The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. This time, the story was read by two actors, a man and a woman, to reflect the alternating storytelling of the brother and sister in the book.  While each reader was very skilled and enjoyable to listen to, it was a little weird sometimes because both of them would voice some of the same characters due to the alternating point of view. The other thing that I encountered while listening to this book could have happened with any book. After listening to the story for over 14 hours, I popped the twelfth CD in only to have the story fade in and out and at times completely disappear. I actually wasn’t able to finish listening to the story and had to read the last ten pages of the book instead.

Now, after having these positive teen audiobook experiences, I have another admission. I’m a cautious audiobook convert. While I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people that always has an audiobook in the car, I will definitely be open to recommendations.