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Give A Listen! It’s National Audiobook Month

June 10, 2020 - 11:22am -- Dodie
cover: The field guide to the north american teenager
SYNC logo
cover: the madman's daughter
cover: the fountains of silence
cover: how they choked
cover: the walls around us
cover: superman versus the ku klux klan

Everything is just a little different this year, but June is always National Audiobook Month. Normally you might be piling into buses to go to camp, flying across country for family reunions, and going on college campus visits - but not so much in 2020. But travel experts are predicting that this is going to be the summer of car trips, partly due to the very low cost of gas right now and the side effects of COVID on the economy. So here’s the good news - CAR TRIPS = AUDIOBOOK TIME!

So lots of you may already know about SYNC, a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. SYNC 2020 uses Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive, and each week from mid-April to late July features a new young adult audiobook title paired with a classic. For the week of June 11, the offerings are Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse and Cythnia Lo’s Easy, a classic fantasy and a contemporary story involving the misuse of social media.

Of course, Overdrive has oodles of titles to make that car ride go faster, or at the very least, keep the babblings of your 4th grade brother on mute. For something fun, give Ben Philippe’s The Field Guide to the North American Teenager a try. This debut novel follows a black French Canadian teenager grappling with his parents' divorce and the upheaval that comes with moving from Canada to Texas in the middle of the school year, which doesn’t sound hilarious, but it is! This fresh teen title just won a Reading the West Award for Best Young Adult Fiction.

Looking for intrigue with a side of science fiction? Inspired by H.G. Wells's classic The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secret of Juliet’s father's new life: he experiments on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Learn a little more about how the Spanish people suffered under the dictatorship of Franco in 1957 by listening to Ruta Sepetys’ Fountains of Silence, which is also a 2020 Colorado Blue Spruce Book Award nominee! Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. He meets Ana Moreno, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War-- as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. 

Don’t forget about rbDigital for finding good YA titles to listen to - there is never a waiting line for these books, so instant gratification is guaranteed! A great listen for the whole family and full of incredibly embarrassing stories is How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg. This book is filled with relatively unknown stories of how great people like Vincent Van Gogh, Susan B. Anthony and Thomas Alva Edison may have blundered and fumbled their way into being famous, or infamous - remember, no one is perfect!

  1. How about a spooky story to listen to when the lights are out? The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

One more from rbDigital - Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story Of How The Iconic Superhero Battled The Men Of Hate by Richard Bowers, narrated by the fantastic Johnny Heller. This book explores how the Superman character reflected the passion for action of its time, the experiences of its Jewish creators during a period of overt anti-semitism, and the ever-changing cast of villains inspired by current events. In 1946, the Adventures of Superman radio show producers planned a media assault on the Klan itself, in the form of a sixteen-episode series that would pit Superman against his even more elaborately caped—and hooded—nemeses.

Need more listening suggestions? Our Personalized Reading List service is open 24/7 and we’ll get a bunch of recommendations to you in a week or less - give it a try!