Audiobook Group Discussion Guide [Week 10]

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Saturday, July 1, 2017


Each summer, the AudiobookSYNC program offers a library of downloadable audiobooks for teens to keep. The selections change each week and free downloading is limited to the week each title is featured. The free audiobooks are presented in pairs, sharing a theme.

Discussing audiobooks can take your group into a new dimension because listening readers can consider details about the performance as well as the text of the selection. Allow your group a week or a month after the title’s featured week to make time to listen to the title to be discussed before the meeting time.

In Week 10 this year, our pair of audiobooks take up the theme of American identity and offer two listening experiences that invite participants to consider a wide range of ideas, historical facts, genres, characters, and plots. This guide offers you some tips to lead discussions about L.A. Theatre Works’ AMERICAN NIGHT: THE BALLAD OF JUAN JOSÉ and Brilliance Audio’s MY NAME IS NOT EASY. To enjoy access to these audiobooks for free, you must download them by 6 AM, Eastern Time, Thursday, 5 July. Each discussion group participant should download his or her own copies, which they can keep forever. See the Help pages on the SYNC site for details.

General Discussion Questions for Both Titles

  1. Which parts of these audiobooks mentioned historic details with which you were already familiar?
  2. How did the performers’ tone and pacing help you to imagine the characters?
  3. Which of the pair did you enjoy more and why?
  4. What is the next thing you would like to find out about these characters?

General Discussion Questions for Both Titles

As a group, watch this introduction to the comedy group Culture Clash and learn about why and how they involve themselves in exploring Latino experiences.

Vista L.A.: Culture Clash, 2010, with ABC’s Danny Romero

Finding Out More about Inupiat of MY NAME IS NOT EASY

As a group, watch this documentary about the fragility of a native language and learn about how some are working to recapture their identity through reviving it.

History of the Inupiat: Nipaa Ilitqusipta, The Voice of Our Spirit, Part 1

What’s Next?

Group members may want to explore creating short pieces featuring their own identities in American history using the tools of comedy sketch performance; teaching or learning their ancestors’ language; or writing short stories about events in their families’ history in America.

Category : Literacy

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