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Make Plans to Use SYNC Classics

With just over two months before the opening of the 13th SYNC season, consider this year’s collection for its multiple possibilities for discussion groups or course-oriented support. Take a look at which week each title will be available and get out your planning calendar to pencil in title-related events in the following weeks and even months. This week we’ll highlight the classics included in this year’s program.

This year’s collection of 32 free audiobooks includes three literary classics performed in full: FOUR SHORT STORIES by Arthur Conan Doyle; PARADISE LOST by John Milton; and TEVYE THE MILKMAN by Sholem Aleichem.

Also included are four titles that are firmly based in classics. THE PERFECT NINE by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o provides an epic retelling, and recasting, of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of present-day Kenya. NEVER LOOK BACK by Lilliam Rivers has its roots in the classical Orpheus and Eurydice story. Arushi Raina’s WHEN MORNING COMES revisits the theme of Romeo and Juliet. NO-NO BOY is playwright Ken Narasaki’s staging of John Okada’s classic Asian American novel.

In addition, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk is represented during the season by CITY BOY: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder. The life of Georges Prosper Remi, widely known as Tintin’s creator Hergé, offers another angle on classic literature as the focus  of Sian Lye’s biography THE REAL HERGÉ: The Inspiration Behind Tintin.

All together, these classic and classic-adjacent titles cover a wide geographical range and several centuries, too, giving listeners many opportunities to discover masterworks from British authors, a stateless Jewish immigrant to the U.S., a critically acclaimed Kenyan novelist, a new African Latin Caribbean author, a South African writer, a foundational Asian American literary icon, an acclaimed novelist depicting mid-century America, and a Belgian cartoonist. In each case, the narrators who bring these works from page to ear offer stellar performances that assist listeners in meeting the challenges of classic prose and verse. With expert pacing that unwinds epic poetry and smoothly pronounced words likely to be well beyond listeners’ own visual reading vocabulary, audiobook editions of classics restore the joys of discovering universal stories engagingly told.

Make plans now to remind your teens to download these classic listens each week, and then plan a discussion after everyone has had the opportunity to read them with their ears.

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