Nonfiction for summer listening

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, February 9, 2017


Genre fiction makes good summer listening. So does nonfiction, and we have a number of award-winning titles coming this summer that give teens engaging opportunities to explore science, culture, and history.


From Dreamscape, Mark Schatzker's Alex Award long listed THE DORITO EFFECT: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor earned an Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine for its reading by Chris Patton. From the titular snack food to how horses distingish between grains by their taste preferences, this one feeds the appetites of budding hard and social scientists alike.

Reading Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, is a rite of passage in almost every American middle or high school curriculum. This summer, they can expand on its sympathetic view of the community caught up in New England's 17th century hysteria with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff's THE WITCHES: Salem 1692. Performed by Eliza Foss, its historical examination of the young women involved in that Puritan madness comes to AudiobookSYNC 2017 thanks to Hachette on Blackstone Audio.

Present day headlines rarely note an ongoing issue that we too often forget remains with us more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery. IN OUR BACKYARD: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop it, by Nita Belles, and read by Nicol Zanzarelia, calls young activists' attention to the fact that unpaid servitude does exist in the US today, and what we can do to identify and stop it. Thanks to Oasis Audio for this contribution to the AudiobookSYNC program!

Looking a little further back into the history of activist youth, IN MY HANDS: Memoirs of a Holocaust Rescuer, by Gut Opdyke with Jennifer Armstrong, and read by Hope Davis for Listening Library,  recounts how Ms. Opdyke, as a teenager, set about rescuing Jews from her Polish homeland during World War II.

If you've got fact-hungry teens--and we know you do--let them know there is much coming this summer to pique their curiosity about reality, past, present, and even future.

Photo of narrator Chis Patton by Lauren Hainley Archeya

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