Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Our Week 6 pair of free audiobooks comes from the Listening Library imprint of Penguin Random House Audiobooks. In a necessary aside here, the week's titles and theme were selected months before current events in the U.S. However, the timing of the content's arrival seems prescient.


Like No Other by Una LaMarche gives us a contemporary story that relies on two viewpoints. Narrators (pictured above) Phoebe Strole and Leslie Odom, Jr., provide the voices, observations, and thoughts of the two teens who never would have developed a relationship except for a stuck elevator.  The cultural obstacles they face are authentic and offer SYNC listeners insights on two sets of societal norms.  Can an Orthodox Jewish girl and a Caribbean nerd make a go of mutual understanding?

Paired with this realistic story is one touched by fantasy. Randi Pink’s Into White is performed by Adenrele Ojo, whom listeners met in one of last week’s selections.  This is a gritty and contemporary fairytale that takes on racism, colorism, and the conflicts between personal identity and social expectations and demands. 

Both of this week’s titles will give teens  opportunities to place themselves as empathetic listening readers in familiar and unfamiliar situations. They offer opportunities for discussions of the power of fiction to make fact more clear, too. How can someone else’s story change your own worldview?

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