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Getting to Know You: Life Stories

During Week 5 of SYNC’s 13th season of free audiobooks, participants have the opportunity to meet a pair of real people. Thank you, Oasis Audio and Hachette Audio, for enriching our lives as we meet others through these featured titles.

The Real Herge cover, Sian Lye, Simon Vance
From left: author Sian Lye, narrator Simon Vance

British journalist Sian Lye’s THE REAL HERGÉ: The Inspiration Behind Tintin comes to listeners through the skilled voicework of Simon Vance. Tintin, boy reporter with a quiff and his intelligent terrier, Snowy, began his comic book life back when George Prosper Remi, or Hergé—the pseudonym he took, as it reflects the French pronunciation of his last and first initials—created him in Belgium before World War II. Through the familiarity Vance brings both to myriad languages’ correct pronunciations and to the intrepid world-traveling investigator, teens will discover that the cartoonist’s career started while he was still in his teens and how he dealt with political controversies faced by his creation.

Someone Like Me cover, Julissa Arce photo
Author Julissa Arce

Listeners also get to make the acquaintance of autobiographer Julissa Arce, who narrates her own SOMEONE LIKE ME: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream. This is a more intimate listen than its partner title of the week. Arce tells her own story of moving from Mexico to the U.S. and her determination to make a life in her new home in conversational tones. Like Hergé, Arce has pursued several paths in order to create order from the facts of the life, times, and places in which she has moved.

Together this pair of real lives makes every listener’s world a bit larger and more robust as we gain from the experiences, insights, and storytelling each of these audiobooks provides. Both subjects set goals for their lives as teenagers and met challenges created by political realities. In addition, the pair of audiobooks offers an opportunity to contrast journalism with memoir, and two very different sets of personal adventures real teens encountered. Where will your life take you, and how would you want your own story told?

Sian Lye photo by Wolf & Griffin, Julissa Arce photo by Aly Honore, Simon Vance photo courtesy of the narrator.

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