What is SYNC?
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Returning April 27, 2017 SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week – pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. In 2016, 30 titles were given away over 15 weeks.
SYNC is dedicated to introducing the listening experience to the teen audience and demonstrates that Required Reading can be completed by listening.
SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the OverDrive app. Download the app in advance to whichever device you anticipate listening on and be ready to go!
Simply sign-up to get notifications of when the FREE audiobook downloads are available. You can receive alerts by text message, email newsletter, or by visiting www.audiobooksync.com. Titles change every Thursday at 7am ET when the program is running.
Please Note: Signing up for these alerts will not send you the titles. The alerts will simply tell you when and where the title is available to download.
- Downloads are in MP3 format, hosted by OverDrive, and are Mac and Windows compatible.
- Downloads will operate through the OverDrive app.
- Most listening devices are supported.
- Each SYNC audiobook will be available for download for a period of 7 days (only).
- Titles, once downloaded, are yours to keep.
Speed of Life by J. M. Kelly
Available in Print.
Amber and Crystal are twin sisters and high school seniors in Oregon. Even though they’re teenagers, they have adult responsibilities. When one of the twins got pregnant during her junior year, Amber and Crystal agreed to raise the baby, Natalie, together. Amber and Crystal don’t have easy lives, but they’ve learned to take care of themselves. They’re broke and busy. Amber washes dishes at her aunt’s tavern, the Glass Slipper, while Crystal works on cars and sells lottery tickets at Jimmy’s Gas and Auto Repair. Amber and Crystal’s gambling mom and beer-swilling stepdad, Gil, aren’t much help, but their friend Han is always willing and able to lend a helping hand.
Despite their difficulties, Amber and Crystal are committed to supporting each other and reaching their goals in life. They have made plans together for life after high school graduation. Amber is going to take over the Glass Slipper and Crystal is going to work full-time at Jimmy’s. The twins are going to move out of their mom’s home and get their own apartment. Above all, they want Natalie to have a better life than they have had.
Life gets in the way of their mutual plans when Crystal gets inspired to study auto restoration at a college far away in Kansas. Crystal — scared of blowing up the sisters’ plans — keeps her college dream a secret from Amber, even while taking practical steps to turn that dream into reality.
Will Crystal abandon her dream of going to college or will Crystal pursue her dream, thus betraying the twins’ plans? Can the sisters get the better future that they want for Natalie and themselves?
Recommended for readers who like: realistic fiction, stories about families, and thinking about their future.
by Keren David
Available in Print.
Jake is an actor on the incredibly popular soap opera, Market Square. In one episode, his character Riley goes up the stairs to his bedroom and never comes back down. Jake (and Riley) are left in limbo. Will his character ever return to the show? The producers keep telling him they haven’t decided. Jake, now 16, has been playing Riley since he was a child. So what is he supposed to do?
Jake decides to shoot video episodes of his own life and post them on the internet to let the world know why his missing character ultimately led to the end of the show (yes, the show was pulled off the air!). Some fans just want to know what was going to happen to other characters, but Jake has a story that goes beyond his character Riley.
Jake wants to be an actor, so he keeps going to auditions. He is not just desperate to get his career on track but to financially assist his family. Three years ago, Jake’s dad lost his job. His mental state has become increasingly unraveled in the months that Jake has been off the show. Jake’s older brother, Adam, is severely autistic, a situation that strains everyone. Their mom works some, but the family is in a financial crisis. Eventually, Jake cannot take it anymore and leaves home.
We follow the story through the episodes with Jake’s fellow actors taking the parts of his family and friends. This is not about a famous actor losing his job, but a deeper look at a family that has spiraled out of control. And it is told very well.
You’re invited to… Ouran High School Host Club!
I spent many years avoiding this manga series. I really regret that decision. I’m not sure why I avoided this manga series other than the fact that I thought it would be like other stereotypical shojo manga. Now stereotypical shojo manga usually involves a girl who is in love with a boy, but that boy hates her until he eventually falls in love with her. Ouran High School Host Club is not that kind of manga series. Haruhi, the female protagonist, and the host club members are so far beyond that stereotype it’s laughable, in fact the characters themselves laugh at those stereotypes. Haruhi is smart, witty, and strong; qualities that are rare in quite a few shojo mangas.
To give some context, this manga is about a young girl named Haruhi. She is a scholarship student at Ouran, and her family is of the lower financial class. While exploring the school she tries to find a quiet place to study and ends up knocking over a vase worth 80,000 dollars, a vase that belongs to the host club. The host club allows her to work for them (basically until she graduates) so she can pay off the debt. As she slowly pays off the debt she gets to know the other host members: Tamaki, Kyoya, Hikaru, Kaoru, Mori, and Honey. Within the first manga you get to know these boys at face value. You learn that they’re rich and you also learn that they’re indulgent. They are also funny, smart, and very bored which is why they put together the host club, to entertain the other rich and bored students. All of the host club members seem like they would be the worst of friends because they are all so different. Haruhi is the no-nonsense one, Tamaki is the overly passionate and kind one, Kyoya is the critical one, Hikaru and Kaoru are the tricksters, Honey is the childish one, and Mori is the stoic character. Though all are vastly different, through the manga (which is 18 volumes) their bond grows and they become greater friends. You will find yourself connecting to all of the characters. All in all it’s a funny, exciting, and thoughtful manga series, one that I highly recommend.
by Gordon Jack
Available in Print.
Someone dressed in the school viking mascot costume is creating havoc – spray painting an unflattering message on the principal’s parking space, vandalizing the homecoming floats. Principal Stone knows it must be Lawrence Barry. Lawrence is always pulling some prank and has no respect for authority. It is only the intervention of the school guidance counselor that keeps Lawrence from being shipped off to Quiet Haven alternative school like his friend Alex after they disrupted the diversity assembly.
To stay in school, Lawrence must join the Buddy Club and mentor Spencer Knudson, a freshman student from Norway. Spencer dresses like an adult in freshly pressed clothes. He carries a violin case and is constantly reading text books. Spencer is going to need a lot of help if he is going to survive high school. At least that’s what Lawrence thinks.
But Lawrence is the last person who should be giving advice even though he thinks he knows what is best for others. If he had listened to Spencer (you know, taken advice instead of giving it), everyone would not believe he is the vandalizing viking.
Still, Lawrence is trying. He is giving up smoking pot (which loses him his old partying friends). He attempts to help his friend ask his dream girl to the homecoming dance. He tries to advise the plain girl who sits in the back of the classroom to reveal more of herself like she does when she is participating in live action role play. Lawrence is also trying to catch the real vandal (he knows it has to be that crazy goth girl Zoe who seems to be stalking him).
Even though you may find yourself scratching your head at Lawrence’s plans and begging him not to go through with them, it is a fun journey.