Note: This blog first appeared on The Inside Track – a blog for the Understood community. Benetech, Bookshare’s parent nonprofit, is one of fifteen founding nonprofit organizations in partnership with Understood, a resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues.
More than 275,000 free text-to-speech digital books.
That’s how many are downloaded the first two months of school every fall from our online Bookshare library. This year, we expect an even higher number of downloads.
What are some of the hottest digital books for back to school going to be?
Our librarians at Bookshare decided to investigate. We looked at data from past years. We also looked at school trends. For instance, lots of people are downloading novels and books cited in the Common Core State Standards. And of course, there are also many new and exciting titles for kids that are just being released.
With all that in mind, we came up with this list for students of various ages. These titles are shaping up to be some of the most anticipated text-to-speech digital books for fall:
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Betsy Lewin: Hold on to your hats! Two new pals have arrived on the scene: Cowgirl Kate and her stubborn but devoted cowhorse, Cocoa.
- What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss: This never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss is great for kids who struggle with making good decisions. In the story, a brother and sister fret over which pet to take home from the pet store.
- Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead: This novel by Newberry Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores the bonds and limits of friendship. Can three girls who are best friends make it through seventh grade?
- Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot by Dav Pilkey (who has dyslexia and ADHD): This is book #12 in the mega-bestselling Captain Underpants comic book series. Elementary school students George and Harold have to stop the smelly villain Sir Stinks-a-Lot. (Available soon on Bookshare.)
- Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer: A quirky story from children’s book creators Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers. Did you know that sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one? An imaginary friend like Fred. (Available soon on Bookshare.)
- The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) by Rick Riordan: Magnus Chase, a troubled teen, learns from his uncle an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse God. Now he must embark on an adventure to save the world. (Available soon on Bookshare.)
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: This is a collection of stories Kafka published during his lifetime, including “The Metamorphosis,” in which Gregor Samsa wakes to find himself transformed into a giant insect.
The books are only a taste of the 360,000-plus titles available on Bookshare. But chances are they’ll be among the books kids are reading in the first few months of school. (Many accessible digital textbooks can also be downloaded from the library.)
Thanks to Lisa Wadors Verne, Benetech Program Manager: Education, Research and Partnerships, who contributed to this blog.