This week’s free audiobooks for teens from SYNC explore what can happen when life’s circumstances require us to face the future with little support but what the past has taught us. Thanks to Post Hypnotic Press for the short story collection POOR MATZA: Selected Stories of Avrom Reisen and to Hachette Audio for the novel THE TRUTH ABOUT WHITE LIES.
Avrom Reisen was definitively a person of words: He came from a family of publishers and became a publisher himself, as well as a writer, critic, and promoter of peers whose writing careers needed his support. For several years, he wrote a short story every day. Narrator David Skulski transports us into more than three dozen of these stories, giving listeners an array of tales set in shtetls where Yiddish was spoken, in European cities, and among New York immigrant communities. Short stories can be a welcome introduction to audiobook listening, as completing a full story in a single session satisfies our human appreciation for hearing how someone else met life’s challenges or celebrated personal accomplishment.
Olivia A. Cole’s young adult novel THE TRUTH ABOUT WHITE LIES comes to listeners through the skillful narration of Mela Lee. As with Reisen’s short stories, characters here have a variety of ethnic identities, all of which are treated with respect in Lee’s performance. Here, the protagonist is coping with a change in living situation that includes a new school, a challenge that can feel as harrowing to some as changing countries can feel to others. Spend a few minutes with Mela Lee as she discusses how this novel resonates with her:
Both audiobooks this week explore character responses to community identification, implicit and explicit cultural biases, and the requirement that we find the power to start over again when necessary. Remember to move these to your Sora shelf before 11:59 PM Eastern Time on June 7!