The Boys Are All Right

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Adventurous, full of bravado, self-centered: is this really what teenaged boys are made of? In this week’s pair of free audiobooks, we meet a couple of teenaged boys who are also reflective, secretly sensitive, and clearly aware of the real shortcomings of the adults surrounding them.


In 100 SIDEWAYS MILES, a teen novel written by Andrew Smith and performed with Tantor Media by multi-award-winning narrator Kirby Heyborne, we meet Finn, whose life at home seems to be oppressed by his father’s fame as a writer. A good teenaged cure for such feelings is to escape on a road trip, which Finn and his best buddy undertake—only to have their own life stories, and self-perceptions, altered unexpectedly. Kirby Heyborne’s voice, as we have come to know and anticipate, gives us a real live adolescent boy with a rollercoaster of emotions and a sardonic wit to keep him on course through the miles.

Modern classic THIS BOY’S LIFE is Tobias Wolff‘s memoir of growing up—escaping and battling abuse at home and traveling the country, with his mother, to find ever promising, and ever crushing, new starts. Performed here for HighBridge Audio by actor and director Oliver Wyman, the audiobook puts us in the car, and in the head, of teenaged Toby. Here’s proof that a writer-in-the-making can find tales and imagery stored from youthful experiences.

Road trips and summer are a perfect combination, and both of this week’s free audiobooks belong in the car, on the train, or in the sky as you head out on your own adventures away from home. If you’re sticking closer to home, however, you’ll find it easy to listen to these iconic stories and imagine yourself right there with Finn and Toby. Where will this summer take you? It can be as far as your audiobook ears suggest. Get on those headphones and let’s join the boys!

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