April 6, 2020

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens

The global pandemic is shining a massive spotlight on the importance of access to books while simultaneously rendering inaccessible the majority of libraries’ collections. Thankfully, for the past decade or more, libraries have committed to providing digital materials for patrons to access from home. This is the time when those efforts are reaping their greatest rewards. Today I’m thankful to be able to share some positive news for librarians and readers alike — SYNC Audiobooks for Teens is returning for the 11th year! 

If you have not heard of this incredible FREE summer audiobook reading program before now, hold on to your earphones. Sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and powered Overdrive, SYNC provides 26 fantastic audiobooks for teens beginning April 30th and continuing through July 29th. Participants sign up for free, and each week can check out two thematically paired audiobooks.  Once the titles are borrowed, they will remain in the user’s library within OverDrive’s Sora app so participants can re-listen to their titles whenever they want. Teens, librarians, book club leaders, and educators can all sign up for the program at www.audiobooksync.com. That’s also the spot to sign up for email or text alerts when new titles are released each week. The titles were selected to appeal to a wide range of interests with a star-studded roster of narrators, including Robin Miles, Adenrele Ojo, Henry Leyva, and Holter Graham. For a full list of titles and narrators, visit the SYNC website.

If you’re new to audiobooks and would like to learn more before SYNC begins, check out the audiobook resources in NoveList. We have information on over 86,000 audiobook titles in NoveList Plus, including professional reviews, sound samples, and AudioFile sound reviews. After doing a search, click the “Audiobooks” tab to see the list of audiobooks returned. We also have audiobook Recommended Reads Lists for all reading levels. If you prefer to browse, visit our Audiobooks page by clicking the “Browse Audiobooks” link on the bottom of the NoveList homepage or “Audiobooks” from the “Browse By” menu at the top (shown below). This page features a carousel of reviewed titles, new and forthcoming titles, links for browsing, and all the Recommended Reads lists.

In addition to our print appeal language, which includes categories for Storyline, Pace, Tone, Writing style, Character, and Illustration, NoveList librarians have also developed an appeal language specifically for audiobooks called “Audio Characteristics.” These terms describe the narrator’s performance and voice quality such as distinctly voiced, emotionally connected, comedic, gravelly, resonant, and many others. See how we’ve applied our audio characteristics (and their definitions) to some of the SYNC titles being given away this summer:

  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, narrated by Imani Parks
    • youthful
    • emotionally connected
  • Secret Soldiers by Paul B. Janeczko, narrated by Ron Butler
    • seamless
    • crisp
    •  resonant
    • gravelly
  • In search of us by Ava Dellaira, narrated by Adenrele Ojo
    • emotionally connected
    • well-characterized
    • immersive
    • resonant
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, narrated by Holter Graham and Saskia Maarleveld
    • multiple narrators
    • comedic
    • engrossing
  • Mexican whiteboy by Matt de la Pena, narrated by Henry Leyva
    • intense
    • distinctly voiced
    • resonant
    • gravelly
  • The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais, narrated by Chloe Dolandis
    • well-characterized
    • engrossing
    • clear
    • wry

And last but not least, be sure to check out the fabulous SYNC promotional templates available through LibraryAware.  Just customize them with your library-specific information, and they’re ready to go!  

Renee Young is a Metadata Librarian III for NoveList. She is currently listening to the Prey series by John Sanford.


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