Audiobooks

The use and enjoyment of audiobooks has expanded rapidly with the advances in technology that support their use. For middle school students, especially those who are struggling readers or are trying to improve their english reading skills, the use of audiobooks has become an important tool to support them. I always insist that students have an unabridged copy of the book in front of them as they listen, this will help them to improve their own reading skills. Below are a number of books that I make available to students for their reading pleasure. All are in the both the format supported by Apple's iTunes software (for ipod and iPhone) and in mp3 format (for all other devices).

Students will need the username and password information from the sticker on the inside cover of their binder reminder to access this material.

Crispin - The Cross of Lead

Crispin - The Cross of Lead

By Avi

Reading Level: 5.0

AR Points: 7.0

"Asta's Son" is all he's ever been called. The lack of a name is appropriate, because he and his mother are but poor peasants in 14th century medieval England. But this thirteen-year-old boy who thought he had little to lose soon finds himself with even less - no home, no family, or possessions. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he may be killed on sight, by anyone. If he wishes to remain alive, he must flee his tiny village. All the boy takes with him is a newly revealed name - Crispin - and his mother's cross of lead.

Crispin - The Cross of Lead (iTunes/iPod version)

Crispin - The Cross of Lead (mp3 version)

Listen to Crispin on this Site

Crispin - At The Edge Of The World

Crispin Edge

By Avi

Reading Level: 4.8

AR Points: 7.0

The more I came to know of the world, the more I knew I knew it not. 

He was a nameless orphan, marked for death by his masters for an unknown crime. Discovering his name -- Crispin -- only intensified the mystery. Then Crispin met Bear, who helped him learn the secret of his full identity.

And in Bear -- the enormous, red-bearded juggler, sometime spy, and everyday philosopher -- Crispin also found a new father and a new world. Now Crispin and Bear have set off to live their lives as free men. But they don't get far before their past catches up with them: 

To find freedom and safety, they may have to travel to the edge of the world -- even if it means confronting death itself. In this riveting sequel to the Newbery-Award winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead -- the second book in a planned trilogy -- Avi explores themes of war, religion, and family as he continues the adventures of Crispin and Bear.

Al Capone Does My Shirts

capone

By Gennifer Choldenko

Reading Level: 3.5

AR Points: 7.0

Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone

By J. K. Rowling

Reading Level: 5.5

AR Points: 12.0

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.

Holes

Sachar_-_Holes_Coverart

By Louis Sachar

Reading Level: 4.6

AR Points: 7.0

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Igraine the Brave

igraine_the_brave

By Cornelia Funke

Reading Level: 5.6

AR Points: 7.0

Igraine dreams of being a famous knight like her great-grandfather, but castle life is boring. Until the nephew of the baroness-next-door plans to capture the castle for their singing spell books. At the moment of the siege, her parents mistakenly turn themselves into pigs. Aided by a Gentle Giant and a Sorrowful Knight, Igraine must be brave, and save the day -- and the books.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll cover

By Mildred D. Taylor

Reading Level: 5.7

AR Points: 10.0

Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she's black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

robin_hood

By Howard Pyle

Reading Level: 8.6

AR Points: 21.0

He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and in so doing became an undying symbol of virtue. But most important, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men offer young readers more than enough adventure and thrills to keep them turning the pages. Who could resist the arrows flying, danger lurking, and medieval intrigue?

The Hobbit

the_hobbit_book_cover

By J. R. R. Tolkien

Reading Level: 6.6

AR Points: 16.0

"Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to be asleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance…"

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon… 

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.

The Lightning Thief

The_Lightning_Thief_cover

By Rick Riordan

Reading Level: 4.7

AR Points: 13.0

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

The Red Pyramid

red-pyramid

By Rick Riordan

Reading Level: 4.5

AR Points: 18.0

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. 

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. 

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

The Magic Thief

The_magic_thief_by_sarah_prineas

By Sarah Prineas

Reading Level: 4.5

AR Points: 9.0

In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who or what is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.


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