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Welcome to SYNC 2022!

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens opens our 13th season with a pair of free audiobooks featuring exciting short stories. During Week 1 of this year’s program, use your Sora app, pointed to the audiobooksync collection, to download and keep BLACK PANTHER: Tales of Wakanda, edited by Jesse J. Holland and performed by JD Jackson and Joy Sunday, and FOUR SHORT STORIES by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Carl Rigg. Thank you to Dreamscape and to Naxos AudioBooks for providing these exciting listening experiences.

Image of Arthur Conan Doyle, Carl Rigg, and Four Short Stories cover
From left: Author Arthur Conan Doyle, narrator Carl Rigg.

While you probably are familiar with Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes, did you know he wrote many tales of suspense and horror featuring other characters in spine-tingling settings? Narrator Carl Rigg uses pauses and other carefully chosen intonations to deliver you right into the events of “The Horror of the Heights,” featuring an early 20th-century pilot; “The Terror of Blue John Gap,” set on a remote farm; “Lot No. 249,” featuring a college athlete; and “The Sealed Room,” which does indeed include the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. In each case, the plot twists and turns are smart, and listeners meet nearly fearless characters, each of whom seems to come to life in Rigg’s reading. Close your eyes, listen a while, and then notice how your pulse is pounding!

Image of Jesse J. Holland, Joy Sunday, JD Jackson, and Black Panther cover
From left: Editor Jesse J. Holland, narrators Joy Sunday and JD Jackson.

The BLACK PANTHER collection won AudioFile Magazine’s Earphones Award for exemplary performance. Its 18 short stories come from authors from the African diaspora who provide a range of perspectives on the Black Panther mythology featured in comics rather than film. Authors include horror writer Tananarive Due and noted poet Nikki Giovanni. Jackson and Sunday alternate reading these stories, providing tempo and tones to suit each tale’s mood and bringing voices to the Black Panther world past and present. How do the narrators achieve making text and images into human—and superhuman—voices? Narrator JD Jackson offers his insights on performing this collection:

Be sure to download these first two SYNC 2022 selections before midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, May 4. That’s when Week 2 of SYNC begins and your first week’s selections become history.

JD Jackson photo by Paul Smith Photography; Joy Sunday photo by Jessica Osbern; Jesse J. Holland photo by David Ake.

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