Maybe a trip to the library doesn’t fit your schedule, maybe you don’t want to lose a library book or maybe you just don’t want to leave the house. Ebooks can be great for those situations! Ms. Wendy just shared a blog article with me about different ways kids can read for free online. I’m going to highlight my favorites here, but the article includes specialty sites for reading comprehension, books in languages other than English and more:
Storyline Online: Popular picture books read aloud by favorite actors
DOGOnews: Kid-friendly news (both articles and videos)
Sports Illustrated Kids: Sports articles from the children’s magazine
“YOUR local public library”: Our digital collection has popular new chapter books, comics and more things that you can only get for free through your library.
Want to find out more about eBooks available from your library? Come to the Digital Bookmobile Blast on Thursday, June 14. A special digital bookmobile from the OverDrive eBook service will be visiting Fountaindale to show you how to make the most out of your eReader and OverDrive’s digital collection. There will prizes and music and more!
Did you know you can count listening to audiobooks for the Summer Adventure? If you find yourself hesitating, the article Audiobooks Are Not Cheating (FREE poster offer) | Books on Tape has some great arguments in favor of recorded books. My favorite reason is that you can listen to a book in the car without getting a headache (the way you would reading with your eyes).
If you want to check out audiobooks from the library, you have a couple of options. We have books on CD (pretty self-explanatory), Playaways (those things in the orange boxes), and downloadable audiobooks.
Playaways are a little like having an iPod with something already downloaded on it. These are getting popular because not everyone owns something to play CDs on anymore. All you need to do is stick in your headphones and press play. Alternatively, you can use a cable to connect a Playaway to a car stereo so that everyone can listen to it together. The Findaway World company has details here: playaway-cars
Another option that you might not notice if you’re just looking at our shelves is downloadable audiobooks. The Digital Collection page of our website lists the different options for downloading audiobooks. At the bottom of the page, you can find help pages for the different apps and some guides to device compatibility.
Need a recommendation for a good audiobook? There are awards especially for audiobooks, like the Odyssey Award (for titles for children and young adults) and the Audies (for books for adults, children, and teens). The Association for Library Service to Children also puts out of yearly list of Notable Children’s Recordings, which includes both audiobooks and music (lists from past years are also available).
My boss just shared an article she found about the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland and how the book has been, and is being, published in multiple languages. At the top of the article, you’ll see a slideshow of illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.
If you would like to see or hear Alice in another language, the library owns Alice in Wonderland and other Lewis Carrol stories in Spanish, including an Alice in Wonderland audiobook in Spanish.
Since Alice in Wonderland is old enough to be out of copyright, you can also find some versions online for free. Project Gutenberg has it available in German, Esperanto, and Finnish. manybooks.net (which is compatible with the Go Read app on our nooks) offers the story in German, Esperanto, and Italian.
One of the new trends in children’s chapter books goes by names like transmedia or multi-platform series. These terms usually refer to books that have a connection to an online game (although I would also includePatrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek in this category, a series that featured related online videos and slightly predated the books with online games).
An early example, which is still going strong, is The 39 Clues. The books feature puzzles to solve and plenty of adventure, as well as some educational bits about different times and places in history. Fountaindale owns this series in Spanish as well as in English. The stories in this series have been written by a number of popular authors, ranging from Rick Riordan (known for the Percy Jackson series) to Jude Watson (known for Star Wars chapter books) to Linda Sue Park (known for award-winning historical fiction).
Another ongoing series, Spirit Animals, continues this method of using lots of popular authors. In this case, the stories are more of a fantasy quest. I had a chance to hear one of the authors (I think it was Maggie Stiefvater) talk about a reason publishers are trying multiplatform books. She said her brother was a gamer who didn’t spend a lot of time reading. She asked what would get him to read more, and he said if he knew a bit about a character and world (and didn’t have to spend time getting into the story and maybe deciding he wasn’t interested) he would be more willing to try something. A series like this can be a good choice for a reluctant reader, because they can “try out” the story through the game.
TombQuest by Michael Northrup is a brand new series inspired by ancient Egypt featuring plenty of magic and danger. The Copernicus Legacy by Tony Abbott is also pretty new, featuring an around-the-world quest. Infinity Ring, a series that appears to have recently concluded, features time travel. Infinity Ring offers an app that can be used on a variety of devices, something I didn’t see mentioned for the other books’ games.
If you’ve been clicking on the links, you will have noticed that most of these series come from Scholastic. The publisher recently created a website to cover several of the series at once. You can take a quiz to see which series you would probably enjoy, or if you’re already a big fan you can interact in a moderated forum with other fans or look at fan fiction and author videos.
I was checking the links on the Children’s part of the library website when I found that the children’s page for the Talking Book and Braille Service had disappeared. I got in touch with the Illinois State Library, and they recommended that children and adults use the website at the link below:
Fountaindale has some Braille books for children, but you can get a lot more through the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service. They also have digital books and descriptive videos for children. Search the word juvenile in their catalog to find children’s materials.
The Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center describes their services this way:
“We provide free library service for anyone unable to read regular print because of low vision, blindness, or a physical disability. We register your for talking books and playback equipment. Talking books are mailed free to and from library patrons, wherever they reside. There is no charge, whatsoever, to the patron. Currently, we serve approximately 12,500 active readers.”
If you are interested in the services the Talking Book Outreach Center provides, there is an application on their website. Librarians are on the list of people who can certify that a person has a physical disability or visual impairment, and we would be happy to help fill out the forms. A person with a reading disability must have a doctor certify the application (full details are on the same page as the application), so this would be a good thing to take along if you have a checkup before the first day of school.
Children aged 6 to 9 can sign up now for the Bedtime Math Pajama Party on Tuesday, April 8, from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Come enjoy snacks, wacky math problems, and tangrams and giant dominoes you can take home to keep! Pajamas are encouraged, but not required.