Posted in Librarianing, professional development

SYNC 2022 is coming!

It’s been a minute since I wrote up a professional development post, so I’m excited that Sync is back and doing another year of free audiobooks for teens (and tweens) this summer. It’s simple: visit the Sync webpage on AudioFile Magazine’s website and sign up if you’re new to the program – if you’ve signed up before, they’ve got you, no worries. Sync Summer 2022 launches on April 28 with a fiction and nonfiction book; download them via the Sora app (if you’re new to the app, have your school info handy – your school, your special code if you have one) and check in every week for two new books!

The first two books for 2022 are…


Black Panther Tales from Wakanda


Four Short Stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Parents – I tried logging into Sora with my parent login, and it worked! Enjoy a book or two with your kids!

Librarians and educators, AudioFile Magazine is a great resource for audiobook reviews. The Curated Lists are a great starting point for anyone who’s not sure where to stick a toe into the audiobook pool, and they have suggestions for kids and teens, with searchable age levels. They have a great list on Welcoming Audiobooks for folx new to the country, which I need to keep on hand here at the library to start booktalking and promoting to my families.

In short, AudioFile Magazine – great resource, so much to explore and start recommending to your audiobook families. Sync 2022 – free audiobooks all summer long through Sora!


Posted in Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Sync AudioBooks for Teens is back for Summer Reading!

Great news! SYNC 2016 will give away 30 titles — two paired audiobook downloads a week, starting May 5th and ending August 18th!

For anyone who doesn’t know what SYNC is: SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens. Starting May 5th 2016, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week – pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at


Titles from award-winning authors such as Chinua Achebe, M.T. Anderson, Laura Ruby, Andrew Smith, David Levithan, and Tamara Ireland Stone. Check out the ToolKit, offering printable poster options (I’ve already got mine up in my Teen section) and posters with QR codes that will enable users to play sound clips.

This year, there’s a great SoundCloud link to an audio sampler – I’ve embedded it here for your listening pleasure. Get ready for Summer Reading and Listening!

Posted in Fantasy, Tween Reads

An interview with author Keira Gillett!

I recently read and reviewed a new middle grade fantasy series, starring a brave female protagonist named Zaria Fierce. Author Keira Gillett brings back some older elements of Norse mythology in this series; we have dwarves, ice giants, and trolls causing trouble in Norway, and a young teen and her friends are all that stand in their way. It’s a pretty tall order for a young girl, and why do these folks keep calling her “princess”? The series is great fun and features diverse characters that will excite readers and pull them into the story.

I was lucky enough to get author Keira Gillett to answer a few questions for me. Technical librarian by day, author by night – when does she sleep?

Rosemary: Zaria is a big reader – I love that! What do you think are some of the books on her bookshelf?
Keira Gillett: I think Zaria and I would have similar bookshelves. We’d certainly would be able to swap our favorite books with each other as we both love middle grade and young adult fantasy books. Not only would Zaria have popular book series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, and Artemis Fowl on her shelves, but also classics from Edward Eager, E. Nesbit, Ronald Dahl, and C.S. Lewis.
Rosemary: I loved the use of Norse mythology in your story. Did you grow up reading books about myth and legend, like Zaria?
Keira: I always liked fantasy, mythology, and folklore. I would say I probably grew up more on fairy tales and their retellings – like Ella Enchanted – the most. One of my favorite books is Half Magic by Edward Eager (and I recently found out it’s a series, who knew? Zaria would. She’s cleverer than me. I just got the rest of the books to read and I can’t wait.)
My love for Scandinavia comes from my parents hosting foreign exchange students (a set of twins) from Finland. I was very young, I think possibly turning five years old when they first came to America. At eleven, I went to Finland and met them (all grown up) and played with one of their children. It’s a beautiful country, and I can’t wait to go back and wander about Finland some more and also to explore Sweden and Norway for the first time. I hope it’s soon!
Oh, and there’s these pictures books that I loved that the twins gave my family. One was Louhi, Witch of North Farm, about a witch who skied on the sky and stole the sun and moon. Another is the Wild Christmas Reindeer about a young girl who has a hard time training Santa’s reindeer. The last one is this wonderful little Christmas story with trolls I think instead of elves. I loved reading that, and I’m going to have to call my mom to get the name of the book because I can’t seem to Google it! 
Lastly, I love the movie the Polar Bear King, which is based on the Norwegian fairy tale of White Bear, King Valemon. A similar tale is East of the Sun and West of the Moon. So as you can see, my love and fascination has been long in the making!
Rosemary: When will we get to read about more of Zaria’s adventures?
Keira: The next adventure for Zaria Fierce and her friends will be Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes. It’ll continue where Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword left off. Will Zaria fix her past mistakes? Will she stop the plans of the dragon, Koll, and Olaf, the river-troll? Will she get to use her magic powers? Join me and find out on July 1, 2016!
Make sure to head over to Keira Gillett’s author page for a great interview between Keira Gillett and audiobook narrator Michele Carpenter, and hear an excerpt from Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword. Both audiobooks can be found in their entirety on Audible. Don’t miss out!
Posted in Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

SYNC is back for the summer!

Did you take advantage of the SYNC free audiobook program last summer? If you did, awesome – if you didn’t, you’ve got another chance! SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for young adults. Starting again May 7th 2015, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week – a current young adult title along with a thematically paired classic or required summer reading title.

Here’s a look at what you’ve got to look forward to – I know my SmartPhone will be busy!

May 7 – Kami Garcia & Margarget Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

May 14 – Terry Pratchett’s Dodger and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

May 21 – Ilyasah Shabazz’s X and Walter Dean Myers’ Here in Harlem

May 28 – Melissa de la Cruz’s The Ring & The Crown and Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts

Librarians and teachers, promote SYNC by downloading the posters and bookmarks at SYNC’s online toolkit. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at or text “syncya” to 25827.