Summer Reading with SYNC Audio: “Of Poseidon” with “The Tempest”

June 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 4.32.55 PMWhile some of my students have no problem cracking open a good book over the summer, others might prefer an audio text. That is why when I found the SYNC audiobook website, I was delighted to spread the word (and recorded voices) about great literature available all summer long. I have challenged my students to read (listen) with me all summer!

SYNC has organized a summer full of classics paired with young adult (YA) texts that are similar in theme. Each pairing is available only for a download for a short period of time, but once a reader downloads the MP3 files, the audiobook is available for listening at any time.

The software that makes this offer possible is  Overdrive Media Software that can be installed on a computer (compatible with Windows and Mac) or through an Overdrive App on a mobile device (compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7).

Visit the OverDrive website to download the App or Software.

I have already listened to the full cast production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and enjoyed the dramatization. My familiarity with this play (I teach this every fall to my Advanced Placement Literature students) may influence how I think a student hearing the production for the first time might understand the plot. I hope they can follow some of the plot intricacies.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 4.29.30 PMI was surprised that the play was paired with Of Poseidon, a romantic fantasy involving a independent and beautiful Emma and her strange encounters with the incredibly handsome Gaylen.  I would have paired this book with Romeo and Juliet because the inferences about clan conflicts are too frequent not to imagine “two houses both alike in dignity, in the fair ocean where we lay our scene.” This debut novel by Anna Banks addresses mermaid lore, the legend of Atlantis, and forbidden love on the Jersey Shore. Unlike the TV show, listeners are 75% into the book before the first kiss; there is a great deal of “raising her chin with his fingers” and “cheek-stroking” to keep romantics hopeful. The reader (Rebecca Gibel) was also excellent, lacing some of the more exclamatory phrases with the right amounts of sarcasm or ruefulness.  My only complaint was that this novel is the first in a series. As I got closer to the end of the recording, I began to realize that this novel was the “introductory”, a sentiment seconded by this reviewer:

This book also ends in a most inopportune place. I get it – we’re being set up for the second book – but this book sort of has this massive reveal and then BAM we’re at the end. I’d seen enough people’s reactions, though, to expect it, so I wasn’t quite as upset as some readers have been with the abrupt ending. Still, not a whole lot is resolved in this book, and I have a problem with a book that didn’t seem to have much of a point aside from setting up for the next one. (Merin; Amazon Book Review)

Complaining about a free download, however, seems ungrateful. Like the reviewer, I enjoyed the novel very much, so much that I was annoyed when all the loose ends were not resolved. Obviously, this is one way for SYNC to market additional texts. In this case, the strategy will work; I probably will purchase the sequel.

The schedule for titles downloads during this summer is listed below:

May 30 – June 5, 2013
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, read by Rebecca Gibel (AudioGO)
The Tempest by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

June 6 – June 12, 2013
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren (HarperAudio)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Audio)

June 13 – June 19, 2013
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton (Scholastic Audiobooks)
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, read by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)

June 20 – June 26, 2013
Once by Morris Gleitzman, read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio)
Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Dion Graham (christianaudio)

June 27 – July 3, 2013
Rotters by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Jim Weiss (Listening Library)

July 4 – July 10, 2013
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 11 – July 17, 2013
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

July 18 – July 24, 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 25 – July 31, 2013
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, read by Charlie McWade (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, read by Steve West (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2013
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, read by Dan Weyman (Macmillan Audio)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2013
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, read by Katherine Kellgren (Brilliance Audio)
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio)

Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2013
Sold by Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre (Tantor Audio)
Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie, read by Tavia Gilbert (Blackstone Audio)

I am looking forward to a summer full of great audiotexts, and I hope my students will take advantage as well. Thank you, SYNC!

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation!

I would like to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s