Time to download this week’s soulful audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears – at no cost!
Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday (June 15-21, 2017), you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device
Following the Civil War and Emancipation, African-Americans were systematically denied their rights, as Du Bois chronicled in this 1903 work which rings true today, as progress has been uneven, at best.
Abruptly moved to prairieland Nebraska from tropical Cuba when Castro’s control grows tighter in 1963, teen Lucia must cope with new language and new worries – will she and her little brother ever see their parents again?
Displacement, change, and loss – can you relate?
Their free download week begins Thursday through Wednesday, so click on the link following each CD’s title now. Of course, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Her DNA is all over the crime scene, but Casey had no reason to murder her boyfriend. The detective isn’t sure if she’s psychotic or heroic, but she’s consuming all his thoughts and if he can’t find her before the police do…
Smudges work at night, Rays work by day in this America – no mixing, ever. Until Sol decides the new baby on the Ray side of her family must visit their dying Smudge grandfather – kidnap, fugitive, conspiracy uncovered – what a time for a Ray and a Smudge to fall in love!
Ready to share their secrets? Ready to flee?
Common spells to wash clothes,
intricate spells to power vehicles,
Sagery spells to steal your breath away – forever.
Writing more adventures of lady justice Auradia won’t put food on the table or get Papa out of jail, so Isaveth and Quiz, an eyepatch-wearing streetboy, decide to save Papa by discovering who really had reason to kill the governor of Tarreton College, but someone wants them to stop!
Step into Isaveth’s world of spell-tablets, political scheming, and religious intolerance with the first chapter of A Pocket Full of Magichere, courtesy of the author.
Who’s the friend who’ll help you with any mystery?
Book info: A Pocket Full of Murder (Uncommon Magic, book 1) / R.J. Anderson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, hardcover 2015, paperback 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: After Papa is unjustly arrested for murder, 12 year old Isaveth searches for clues from her impoverished neighborhood to the wealthy districts of Tarreton, assisted by ingenious streetkid Quiz, with his eyepatch and uncanny knowledge of society gossip.
Baking and selling spell-tablets from her late mother’s recipes is Isaveth’s best chance to feed her sisters and find out more about Papa’s case, with Quiz appearing just in time during dangerous situations.
Who made it look like Common Magic killed Master Orien?
Was Papa framed because of his Moshite beliefs or his support of the Workers’ Club?
Where does Quiz go when he’s not helping Isaveth?
In a world powered by Common spells and elite Sagery, someone is trying to gain political power, no matter who stands against them, but Isaveth and Quiz won’t let her Papa take the blame for murder! Followed by A Little Taste of Poison.
Unarmed, he’s shot by police.
Horrified, she’s the only witness.
Telling the truth will endanger her family – can she do it?
At 16, Starr should be concerned with grades, love, and her future – not drive-by shootings and police brutality in her poor neighborhood, not white kids at her suburban private school “protesting” Kahlil’s death as a way to skip class, not worrying if her testimony will bring down the wrath of gang members and police.
Happy book birthday to The Hate U Give – wish it could be purely fiction, instead of ‘straight from the headlines’ lived experience…
How can we stop this cycle of threat, miscommunication, and death?
Book info:The Hate U Give / Angie Thomas. Balzer + Bray, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Kahlil’s murder during a routine traffic stop upends 16 year old Starr’s world as she mourns her friend’s death with her inner city neighbors, struggles to explain it to her white prep school classmates, and must decide whether to testify against that police officer, endangering everything.
Starr is two versions of herself – automatically cool black girl at the suburban prep school her parents sacrifice to pay for and then “Big Mav’s daughter who work in the store” in their poor neighborhood.
Truth or safety? Gangs and their turf wars are woven into Garden Heights.
Will her testimony send the white cop to trial? Not likely.
Can she keep being two different people, at home and at school? Tension, pressure…
If white boyfriend Chris finds out that Starr is the only witness to Kahlil’s death, surely he’ll treat her differently, and that she just couldn’t bear.
Too true, too real, The Hate U Give moves from one fatal mistake to a torrent of prejudgment and violence.
Will is already uncomfortable as son of white father and Osage mother, so when the KKK starts recruiting in Tulsa just as he’s getting to know a Negro brother and sister, how should he react?
Rowan didn’t expect to find a body in her Tulsa yard this summer, or to swap comfortable lab internship for charity clinic work on ‘that side’ of town, or to be slammed with prejudices that her black mother and white father had shielded her from.
Listen to an interview with author Jennifer Latham here for some deep background and insights on why she wrote this book about this 1921 event which wasn’t openly discussed by black or white families in Tulsa for over 50 years.
Happy book birthday to Dreamland Burning! Look for it at your local library or independent bookstore, and find Jennifer’s first book Scarlett Undercover (my no-spoiler recommendation here) there, too.
How to see friendship as a bridge instead of a wall?
Book info: Dreamland Burning / Jennifer Latham. Little Brown, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: First day of Rowan’s summer vacation – time to sleep in before lab internship begins, text her best friend, find a dead body in the back yard!? As the biracial teen investigates, details about Tulsa’s vicious and never-discussed 1921 race riot hit her as hard as the new episodes of prejudice she experiences today.
Working in Pop’s store, William sees his father sell Victrolas to Negro families, despite Jim Crow laws. Vernon Fish is recruiting Pop for the KKK and mocks Will as ‘half-breed’ for his Osage mother. Will decides to dare as his Pop does when a black teen wants to buy a record player, little imagining that getting to know Joseph and little sister Ruby as people instead of Negroes may shortly endanger all their lives.
Schedule glitch nixes Rowan’s resume-building internship, so she’s directed to work at the free clinic way across town from her fancy neighborhood and private school. She’ll check with her parents later.
In 1921, reports of a Negro man assaulting a white woman spread like wildfire, and white Tulsans begin attacking the black Greenwood section of town with nooses, guns, and greed.
Can Will really shoot anyone coming to the shop during the riot?
Who is the body under the floor of the servant house?
How does Rowan’s story today converge with Will’s actions over 90 years ago?
Told in voices past and present, this long-silenced episode of history comes vividly alive, as Rowan tries to understand what really happened after World War I when Will struggled to help Joseph and Ruby survive.
He’s white, she’s black, Foo Fighters fans, first love delights!
Their friends and family? not so happy…
Until scintillating Naomi comes into Walter’s very dull urban life, he hadn’t really worried about girls before. Complicates things a bit, that she’s little sister of his pal for all things comic books and rap.
Shouldn’t be a big issue that they’re an interracial couple in these days, but then his cop dad is reprimanded for racial profiling and decides to present his side of the case on social media…
Read chapter one here (without the artwork, alas) courtesy of the publisher, then check out the story in all its duality – black and white, love and anger, words and art, urban smooth and suburban entrenchment, personal responsibility and anonymous attacks – at your local library or independent bookstore, as hardcover or new August 2016 paperback.
When to stand together in the face of society’s obstacles?
Book info: Bright Lights, Dark Nights / Stephen Emond. Roaring Brook, 2015 (hardcover); 2016, Square Fish (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: A racial profiling scandal gone viral imperils the new relationship between Walter and Naomi, as his white cop dad ‘tries too hard’ to solve vandalism in their grim urban neighborhood.
Why can’t they just enjoy the Foo Fighters’ music and start falling toward being in love?
Shouldn’t being an interracial couple just be normal now?
How does the old news of his parents’ divorce become a new crisis?
Dealing with guys who think Naomi should stay with her old friends, with his family’s ingrained racism louder than ever, and with Dad’s sudden insistence on clearing his name on social media, Walter isn’t sure of himself or of Naomi’s affection, then things really get tough.
Bright Lights, Dark Nights is an illustrated story of first love, music, self-respect, classic movies, and finding your place in the world.
Brother died in the Twin Towers.
Family fractured ever since.
Time to find some answers.
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, this split-narrative story is anchored in that terror-filled day in the World Trade Center, linking Muslim teen Alia’s experiences as she tried to escape from the North Tower with Travis and today’s aching void felt by his 16-year-old sister Jesse who’s tired of playing it safe to avoid her father’s grief-fueled alcoholism and hatred of Islam.
What are your family’s memories of 9/11?
Book info: All We Have Left / Wendy Mills. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Repercussions of 9/11 echo in 2016 as Jesse’s father rages about Muslims causing her brother’s death in the Twin Towers and are narrated by Muslim teen Alia in 2001 as a visit to her father’s office in the World Trade Center that day becomes a race to escape death, as she and Travis try to help others amid the terror.
2001: Alia’s parents don’t trust her, won’t let her attend the special art training, don’t think that creating comic books is suitable for a young Muslim girl. She goes to father’s office in the WTC to ask him one more time… the permission slip is due tomorrow, on Sept. 12th.
2016: Jesse’s parents ‘coped’ differently when big brother Travis was killed in the WTC on 9/11, Dad retreating into the bottle and violent hatred of Muslims, Mom volunteering for everything so she’s away from the apartment above their climbing supplies store. The 16 year old is mouse-quiet, until she starts going out with tagger Nick – big mistake.
On an elevator together when the plane hits their tower, Alia and Travis work together to escape, she worrying about her parents, he gradually telling why he came from his upstate New York town on this specific day…
Trying to redeem herself from deeds done with Nick’s graffiti crew, Jesse learns more about her new climbing partner Adam as they both work at the Peace Center and decides that she needs to know why Travis was in the Twin Towers on the day of their grandfather’s memorial service here.
(One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Nearing the end of this great summer program, so please download either or both books (click on link following title) before Wednesday 3 August 2016, so that you can listen free as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Taught to write by her late father.
Captured, now teaching the future king,
A slave in danger… and in love.
This land where higher order writing is reserved for the monarch has indeed rewritten history after conquering her home islands, Raisa discovers, as her good memory of Father’s lessons and her terrible curiosity reveal hidden scrolls’ secrets – but no one would believe what a slave says, even if she is the heir-apparent’s tutor!
Love or justice – which is the better choice?
Book info: Sword and Verse / Kathy MacMillan. HarperTeen, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Suddenly a royal tutor in the conquerors’ land, slave Raisa must be careful not to show that she knows how to read, not to betray other Arnath slaves as they plan to escape, not to let Prince Mati see how she feels about him, even as she finds shocking information in old scrolls that could overturn everything.
Why can only the King use higher order writing to communicate with Qilara’s gods?
What treacheries are being plotted in the palace?
How can Raisa stay calm during Mati’s betrothal ceremonies?
As the slave Resistance gains strength and outside enemies threaten Qilara, Raisa must balance what she wishes for and what she has discovered in the history of the gods if she hopes to keep her head attached to her neck or any shred of Mati’s affections. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
My book talk: Struggling to support her parents during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, Hanneke quietly acquires rationed goods for clients, but the teen is startled when she’s asked to find a missing Jewish girl amid constant deportations and disappearances.
How can she locate Mirjam without alerting the authorities?
What caused the young woman to leave the safe house, anyway?
Oh, why did Hanneke encourage her boyfriend Bas to join the Dutch Navy, just before it was crushed by the Nazi invasion?
Cautiously introduced to the student resistance by Bas’ brother Ollie, Hanneke now has even more reason to steer clear of the Germans in her beloved city and the local sympathizers who will betray neighbors to stay in the Nazis’ good graces. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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