Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

  • Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse
  • Narrated by Angel Pean, Ruffin Prentiss, Shaun Taylor-Corbett
  • Simon & Schuster Audiobooks | Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication Date: November 22, 2022
  • ISBN: 978179715276

Bayside and Hamilton, nearly identical in design, have been racially divided from the beginning. No one crosses the train tracks. Zach, who was raised in Philly and recently moved to Bayside along with his Bayside-native father, sees no reason to follow the “rules” when it comes to the segregation of the two towns.

Although they have only left Bayside a handful of times, Capri and her older brother, Justin, have dreams of getting out and making it big. Justin is counting on a basketball scholarship and college while Capri dreams of dancing on Broadway. When Zach learns his idol, a jazz musician, owns a record shop in Hamilton and heads over to meet him he meets Capri, who is working at the shop. Zach and Capri share mutual goals and an instant connection. Told from the three teens’ points of view, this story explores race, division, and class through the people and traditions of two towns. When a Hamilton teen is shot by a Bayside police officer, tragedy strikes the towns. It could further deepen the division between the towns or, just maybe, it will bring about the start of real change. 

Charity Alyse’s debut novel is both emotionally intense and thought-provoking. Racism, segregation, and interracial relationships are all key components of the storyline. Although set in the present, the events are reminiscent of circumstances of earlier decades. The narrators provide distinctly-voiced characters that will draw listeners to the story.

Other Side of the Tracks is a perfect next read to follow Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal or Kim Johnson’s Invisible Son. Be sure to recommend this title to teens watching All American. 

-Lysha Thompson

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The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.