Spread The Joy Of Reading

Spread The Joy Of Reading

For a lot of people, reading is a favorite pastime. Book lovers can’t wait to get their nose into the next great literary piece and take their mind on an adventure. If that sounds like your child, ask them if they have ever thought about taking their love of reading out into the community. There are many people, young and old, who would love for your child to volunteer to read to them! Below, you’ll find some interesting ways that you and your student can donate time and spread the joy of reading with others.

Become a reading coach at your local school.

There are students in all grade levels that could use help with reading. You could find out if your local elementary, middle, or high school is in need of reading coaches by making a simple phone call to the main office. As a volunteer, you would most likely need to go through a background check but then once that is complete, they will assign you students to work with on a weekly basis. It is a great opportunity to help turn struggling readers into book lovers!

Read to seniors at a nursing home or assisted living.

As people age, their eyesight often worsens to the point where it may be hard, if not impossible, for them to read. Something as simple as reading the major news stories from the daily newspaper would mean a lot to them and have an impact on their daily life. You could also ask what some of their favorite books or authors were and check out some of those books from your local library to read to them. Seniors love anything that reminds them of years past and books are a great way to do that! Contact your local assisted living or nursing home to see if there are any residents that would love to sit with you or your child once a week and read.

Have older siblings read to the younger ones.

Not only does this give you a little break, but it helps your older children learn how to help younger children sound out words and develop a love for reading. Encourage your older child to be very animated when reading aloud to their younger siblings. This keeps the younger sibling more engaged and helps with reading comprehension. If you have an older child who is struggling with reading, they may feel more confident starting with books aimed at younger children to get their rhythm, learn more about putting emphasis on certain words, and further develop an understanding for how sentences flow. Once their confidence level has built up, they may be more encouraged to read grade-level books with you.

Volunteer to read in local hospitals.

When someone is in the hospital, they’re stuck in bed, staring at the wall for days or weeks at a time. It can get monotonous quick! Hospitals, particularly children’s hospitals, have different people that go around and provide various life enrichment services for those who are hospitalized. They may welcome your services and encourage you to read to various patients. Books take the mind to a million different places and could prove to be good “mental therapy” for someone who is stuck in the hospital

 Be a reader for the blind.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t see. Couldn’t see the beauty around you or even where you were walking. Couldn’t see to read a book. That would be tough, to say the least. While there are books in braille, there are also organizations that pair people up with someone who can read to them. These readings may be a book, magazine, newspaper, or even simply their mail. Having someone read aloud to them helps the blind in their daily living and is very rewarding for both the reader and the person being read to. Contact a local organization that helps the blind to ask if there are reading opportunities in your area.

There are many, many ways that your 5-12th grader can get involved in the community as a reading volunteer! We hope that we gave you some great ideas to get them started with their volunteer work. Reading truly transports people to another place and time and takes the mind on a great adventure, so spread the love of reading around!

How do you encourage your child to have a love for reading? We’d love to hear from you so pop over to our Facebook page and let us know!

The Importance Of Reading Month

The Importance Of Reading Month

Throughout the month of March, kids all across America will be doing a lot more reading because March is National Reading Month! While students and some parents might view the extra emphasis on reading a bit tedious, the boost in reading during this month has huge rewards that continue to pay off in the near and distant future. So, what’s all the hype about and why is Reading Month so important?

Whenever there is something new going on within a school, it allows the Boy reading on curbstaff to run contests to generate excitement, and push for student involvement through fun activities. Reading Month creates the perfect opportunity to touch on all of those areas! Not only do students end up having fun while learning, but their desire to read increases. Just like with any skill you practice, the more you do it, the better you get. The same goes for reading. The boost of reading during the month of March increases how long the students wish to read along with how frequently they pick up a book. Their confidence in the ability to read and retain information goes through the roof. You will notice that reading impacts all areas of their schooling so any boost of confidence in this skill is a plus!

Reading can be a wonderful outlet for students, particularly those that are going through some tough life situations. Literature allows students to take a break from their reality and transport themselves to a fantasy world. This break from reality is just what many of our students at My Virtual Academy need. Teens can find books that discuss similar issues they are facing, and many students find them to be great sources of strength and encouragement. It’s wonderful when students find a character in a book they can identify with or aspire to be. Encourage your child to do a little research to find a book that speaks to them instead of you choosing one for them. When students choose their own reading material, they tend to have a greater love for reading and show a greater interest.

Girl readingAs we briefly mentioned, literacy skills effect all areas of your child’s schooling. This is why National Reading Month is so important. When a student has poor literacy skills, learning across all subjects is much harder. Typically, when you are trying to learn, you start off by reading about what you’re learning in a book. Sure, there are pictures that relate to the text, but for the most part, you have to read to understand what is being taught. Imagine not being able to read very well. How on earth would you learn what the main idea is and understand the concepts being taught? You wouldn’t! You even have to be able to read math problems. Reading is such a vital part in school that educators use the month of March to promote and develop those literacy skills. Students have found their test-taking skills increase as their literacy skills increase. Proficiency in reading impacts their ability to excel in test taking, class work, and class preparation.

When you have a confident reader, you have a confident student. National Reading Month is in place to boost the love of reading while improving literacy skills. Our staff comes up with fun ways to get students reading because it pays off exponentially when it comes to their academics. If you have a son or daughter that would excel as a virtual student, please visit our website to learn more. My Virtual Academy is a tuition-free program that allows students in grades 5-12 the chance to do their schooling in the comfort of their own home, at their own pace, at times of the day that are convenient for them. Click here for more information

Top 10 Books For Teens

Top 10 Books For Teens

March is National Reading Month and there’s no better way to celebrate that than picking up a best-selling book and snuggling under a blanket for a good read! We’ve scoured around and found the top 10 best-sellers in the Teen and Young Adult category and compiled them for you below, along with a brief description of each book. Did your favorite make the list? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet XXiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

What If It’s Us

by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

What If It's UsArthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date… or a second first date… or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work… and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

The Cruel Prince

by Holly Black

The Cruel PrinceJude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

The Hazel Wood

by Melissa Albert

The Hazel WoodSeventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

by Mackenzi Lee

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and PiracyA year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

Emergency Contact

by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency ContactFor Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths, it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Dread Nation

by Justina Ireland

Dread NationJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Save the Date

by Morgan Matson

Save The DateCharlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Furyborn

by Claire Legrand

FurybornWhen assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

War Storm

by Victoria Aveyard

War StormMare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

Have you heard of or read any of these books? If not, we recommend giving them a read, and what better time to crack open a book than March is Reading Month.

If you know anyone who struggles with reading or is having trouble with school in general, tell them to check out My Virtual Academy. We help students that struggle in a traditional school setting get back on track to earning their high school diploma. You can check us out on Facebook, our website, or by calling 800-297-2119.

Literacy Is More Than Just Being Able To Read

Literacy Is More Than Just Being Able To Read

It should come as no surprise to most parents that reading is fundamental. It’s something children start learning as early as preschool, even beforehand actually. Teaching your tiny tot their ABC’s is the beginning stages of getting them prepared to read. Literacy is a skill that most of us, including all of us able to read this blog post right now, take for granted. Imagine a world where everywhere you looked, words were foreign to you. You couldn’t read a street sign or the menu at a restaurant or even the report your teen wrote on World War II. It would be a daily frustration and you would lead a life full of setbacks.

Just as it is important to be able to read for daily living, it is even more important to be a fluent reader and the effects of fluency can be seen from grade school on up. Being able to read fluently allows your child to be successful in their academic life, not just in their personal. We’re going to break down some of the benefits of being a strong reader and show you how reading ties into their development and education. Literacy is knowledge and Knowledge is power. We’re sure once you’ve seen that correlation, you’ll be motivated to encourage your child to read and if they struggle, to sit down with them and help guide them through.

Strengthen Verbal Communication

When you read to your child or they read to you, they are building and strengthening their verbal communication skills. Having strong language skills not only helps your child in school, but as an adult, it will help them once they begin working. When you browse job listings, one of the skill-sets mentioned in almost every single ad is strong communication skills. It’s also important that one can stand up for themselves and express their ideas. The stronger their verbal communication skills are, the better they will be able to do that. If they are struggling with a concept being taught in science, or think they received an unjust grade on an essay, they need to be able to articulate that thought to their teacher. Verbal communication skills come into play on a daily basis.

So, how do you begin helping them sharpen this skill? Read, read, read! Read to them, read with them, and listen to them read. Take turns reading chapters of a book before bed each night. If they struggle with certain words or sounds, help them stretch the word and sound it out. Mastering this skill is critical for mentally sounding out difficult words they may encounter in their life. If you have younger children at home, start this at a young age. Young children can even learn several languages with ease so take advantage of that and expand their vocabulary (and horizons)!

Strengthen Written Communication

The ability to be a strong writer is a valuable skill to have, regardless of someone’s age. Being able to put pen-to-paper and articulately express an idea or thought is something every person should be able to do. Your student is continuously asked to write papers or answers to detailed questions during their school career. A student with low written communication skills will not be able to make the grade like their fellow classmate who can construct a well-written answer. Reading is one of the top ways that your child can improve their writing skills. When someone reads well-constructed sentences in literary pieces, they are learning what excellent written communication looks like via each sentence in the book.

Advance Critical Thinking

Students are always being asked to think critically. They need to be able to read a problem, break down the information, and then craft a well thought out answer. This is asked of every student, across all subjects. Teachers like to get their wheels turning and make them digest the information they read, think about the possible answers, then determine what the best answer is. Exercises like these are all part of developing a student’s logic and critical thinking. Reading helps students learn how to make connections between abstract ideas. Reading also helps them learn how to think through problems and/or situations in a logical manner. These decision making skills will help them at all stages of their lives.

Strengthen Comprehension Skills

It’s one thing for someone to be able to read at a decent rate of speed, but it’s an entirely different thing when someone can read fluently and comprehend what is being read. The more time someone spends reading, the more their comprehension skills develop. Being able to retain and learn what was read is a super important skill that needs to be mastered. When this skill is learned, students’ academic performance is bound to improve. Since they now comprehend what was being taught, their time spent studying and reviewing the coursework will be much more efficient. They will be able to digest new information at a more rapid pace and will learn more the first time they read something when compared to in the past. Having the ability to take in new information, learn it, and retain it at a rapid speed is a very valuable skill not just in the academic arena, but in the work force as well.

Dad helping daughter with homework

Reading Is So Important

We’re sure it’s easy to see now more than ever, why reading is so vital to your child’s success both in school and after. Being able to fluently read sets them up for a successful future where the sky is the limit. It’s never too late to begin reading with your child, too. Be a good role model for them and let them see you enjoying the latest best-selling book. Kids of all ages tend to mimic their parents behavior so let them see that it’s fun to read. If your tween or teen is resisting reading or struggles to read for whatever reason, we may be able to help get them going and jumping their reading hurdles. Please reach out to any of our staff at My Virtual Academy by calling 800-297-2119.

Fostering A Love For Reading

Fostering A Love For Reading

Think back to your younger days…were you an avid reader or were you the type of child who would rather do anything besides poke their nose in a book? Not everyone starts off with a natural love for reading, but reading is very important across all aspects of life. As kids get older and enter their tween and teen years, their desire to read (especially on their own) can dwindle. It’s up to us as parents, guardians, and instructors to encourage a relationship with reading, knowing that a strong reader has greater chances for success in all areas of their life.

We compiled some tricks of the trade that will help your child learn how nice it can be to curl up with a good book and be transported to whatever place the author has in mind. There’s nothing like it!

Suggest books that have been turned into a movie.

If your teen loves movies, there is a good chance that one of the movies they have seen recently is based on a book. Encourage them to check out the book from your local library and see how the movie and book compare and contrast. This is a great way to get them interested in reading. Movies typically veer somewhat from the book and people love to break them down and see which one they liked better. It also might help your child to get through the entire book because they have an expectation of what is going to come next.

Delve into graphic novels.

Your teen is certainly at an age where they don’t need picture books but sometimes books that are solid text can be overwhelming, especially if someone doesn’t like to read or struggles with reading. Graphic novels can merge the two worlds and be a step into deeper literature. With a little research (or a helpful librarian!), you can help your tween discover graphic novels in genres ranging from fantasy to biography.

Introduce them to audiobooks.

Whether you check these out from your local library or download them onto a device, audiobooks can spark a love for reading in a whole new way. You can listen to the book together in the car or even around the house. Thanks to smart phones and tablets, audiobooks are more accessible than ever.

Find out what their interests are.

Student Enjoying Reading Is your teen dealing with something at home, with their friends, or in school? Chances are the young adult section in your library has a book on it. If your teen can relate to a book and see themselves in it through characters, they will have a greater chance of not only finishing the book but looking for another one once they are done.

Lead by example.

You’ve realized since your child was a baby that they follow your lead. If you have less than stellar reading habits, they’ll follow suit. If you act like reading is a chore, how do you think they’ll view it? You set the tone. Remember that. Show them good academic habits, including frequent reading, and you just may be surprised at how quickly they come around.

At My Virtual Academy, we know your teen has what it takes to succeed and accomplish their dreams. Sometimes all it takes is someone like you to set their soul on fire and get them moving in the right direction. If your teen’s educational needs haven’t been met in a traditional school, why not give virtual learning a try? Click here or give us a call at 800-297-2119 to see why so many students are turning to virtual learning as a way of earning their high school diploma.

Introducing Your Student To Audiobooks

Introducing Your Student To Audiobooks

March is reading month and there’s no better time than now to explore the amazing world of audiobooks with your family! Audiobooks are a fantastic way to take in great literary pieces and the wonderful thing about audiobooks is that you can take them with you throughout your day. A lot of people enjoy Girl Listening to Audiobooks listening to audiobooks in the car or as they are doing chores around the house. They can also take them anywhere else their phone/tablet/laptop can go because thanks to the plethora of audiobook apps, you can listen right from your handheld device!

Audiobooks can be a fun option to keep your kids engaged in reading when reading doesn’t quite seem to be something they are into. We’ve compiled some great audiobook options for your tweens and teens that are sure to pique their interest. Don’t forget to check out our top apps for downloading audiobooks! There are some great options that range from free to subscription-based companies out there. Without further ado, here are some stellar options for your student to further explore:

Audiobook Recommendations for Middle School Students

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

by Lemony Snicket, narrated by a full cast, featuring Tim Curry

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”

Boy: Tales of Childhood

by Roald Dahl, narrated by Dan Stevens

Find out where the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG got all his wonderful story ideas in this autobiographical account of his childhood!

From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadburys? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead, narrated by Cynthia Holloway

Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter—a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone.

It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

The Mighty Miss Malone*

by Christopher Paul Curtis, narrated by Bahni Turpin

“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful” is the motto of Deza Malone’s family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But it’s 1936 and the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother, Jimmie, go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.

*Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley – a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry – and anyone who reads about him – will find unforgettable. For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.Girl Listening to Audiobooks

Audiobook Recommendations for High School Students

Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein, narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Dracula

by Bram Stoker, narrated by Alan Cumming and a full cast

When Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet with the mysterious Count Dracula, he ends up enslaved by the vampire who wants to learn about England. Leaving Harker for dead, Dracula travels to London where he begins to menace Harker’s fiancée, Mina, and her beautiful friend, Lucy. After escaping from Dracula’s castle, Harker returns to London where he meets Abraham Van Helsing who may have a way to destroy the blood-sucking monster! Originally published in 1897, Dracula is one of the best-selling and most influential novels of all time.

Eleanor and Park

by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhtra

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

Winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book.

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2013

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013

A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Personal Effects

by E.M. Kokie, narrated by Nick Podehl

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life. With compassion, humor, and a compelling narrative voice, E. M. Kokie explores grief, social mores, and self-discovery in a provocative first novel.

The Diviners

by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.

Downloading Audiobooks

There are a ton of apps and websites that allow you to download audiobooks. Some charge a fee for each download or charge monthly subscription fees, and others are free to members. Here are a few apps to check out when you are ready to start downloading:

  • Audible (Android, iOS: $14.95 per month subscription)
  • Audio Books by Audiobooks.com (Android, iOS: $14.95 per month subscription)
  • Bookmobile (iOS: $3.99 after free trial)
  • Nook Audiobooks (Android)
  • OverDrive (Android, iOS: Free through your local library)
  • Hoopla Digital (Android, iOS: Free through your local library)

Get Listening!

We are so excited that you are giving audiobooks a try. The whole family is sure to love the experience! If your tween or teen tries one out and it doesn’t strike their fancy, give another one of our recommendations a shot. Books are definitely a personal preference, but the good news is there are thousands of books out there just waiting to be read (or listened to!). If you or your student has a favorite audiobook that you think others in the My Virtual Academy community might love, pop on over to our Facebook page and share the title(s) with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

All book descriptions were pulled from www.barnesandnoble.com