Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement

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Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.


Great Start Audiobooks Grades 9-12
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August 23, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Our volunteers, who are subject matter experts and voice-over artist, spend hours recording our audiobooks to secure the right for all students to learn and out of their love for reading and education. It's the human-narration of our audiobooks that provides an added advantage to our members. Here at Learning Ally we use terms like prosody and fluency to discuss a struggling reader's need to hear tone, pitch, stress, and timing to support content absorption and ensure that your child is not just reading but also learning. 

Here's a list of audiobooks that we recommend for 9-12 grade level readers to help you get started with your Learning Ally membership have been newly recorded and added to our library.  Enjoy!

 

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Lexile Level: 750L

Synopsis
No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.


 


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lexile:870L

Synopsis
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.


 

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Lexile: 1170L
Synopsis
George Orwell's timeless and timely allegorical novel--a scathing satire on a downtrodden society's blind march towards totalitarianism. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned--a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.


 

Divergent Trilogy ; Book 1 by Veronica Roth

Lexile: HL700L
Synopsis
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue-Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are - and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves... or it might destroy her. Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series - dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


 

1984 : A Novel by George Orwell

Lexile Level: 950L
Synopsis
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever... “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching... A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.


 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Lexile: 830L
Synopsis
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.


 

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Lexile: 870L

Synopsis
An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.


 

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Lexile: 1010L
Synopsis
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Great Start Audiobooks Grades 9-12

Great Start Audiobooks Grades 6-8
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August 23, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Our volunteers, who are subject matter experts and voice-over artist, spend hours recording our audiobooks to secure the right for all students to learn and out of their love for reading and education. It's the human-narration of our audiobooks that provides an added advantage to our members. Here at Learning Ally we use terms like prosody and fluency to discuss a struggling reader's need to hear tone, pitch, stress, and timing to support content absorption and ensure that your child is not just reading but also learning. 

Here's a list of audiobooks that we recommend for 6-8 grade level readers to help you get started with your Learning Ally membership have been newly recorded and added to our library.  Enjoy!

 

Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D'Aulaire ; Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

Lexile Level: 1070L

Synopsis
No education is complete without a large slice of Greek mythology. And there's no better way of meeting that literary quota than with the D'Aulaires' book. All the great gods and goddesses of ancient Greece are depicted in this big, beautiful classic, lovingly illustrated and skillfully told. Young readers will be dazzled by mighty Zeus, lord of the universe; stirred by elegant Athena, goddess of wisdom; intimidated by powerful Hera, queen of Olympus; and chilled by moody Poseidon, ruler of the sea.


 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Lexile:1020L

Synopsis
This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared--and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor. LOST Brian Robertson, sole passenger on a Cessna 406, is on his way to visit his father when the tiny bush plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. With nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present, Brian finds himself completely alone.


 

Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin

Lexile: 630L
Synopsis
A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia. Twelve-year-old John Fischer Jr., or "Little John" as he’s always been known, is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business, clearing brush for Mr. King, the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores, when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him. He follows the melody and finds, not a bird, but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall sycamore tree.


 

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Lexile: 850L
Synopsis
The #1 New York Times bestseller, which is also a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie, has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos, as well as exclusive content, "In Conversation," with Laura Hillenbrand and Louie Zamperini.


 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate; Patricia Castelao (Illustrator)

Lexile Level: 610L
Synopsis
Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller! This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. This paperback edition includes an author's note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and true events, a version of the author's Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Ivan's "signature," discussion questions, and more. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle.


 

The Hunger Games ; 1 by Suzanne Collins

Lexile: 810L
Synopsis
A chilling tale of survival from the New York Times bestselling author. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV.


 

Anne Frank by Anne Frank; B. M. Mooyaart-Doubleday (Translator); Eleanor Roosevelt (Introduction by)

Lexile: 1080L

Synopsis
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic---;a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. 


 

Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Lexile: 610L
Synopsis
The internationally bestselling book that inspired the Pay It Forward movement is now available in a middle grade edition. Pay It Forward is a moving, uplifting novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts his teacher's challenge to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world. Trevor's idea is simple: do a good deed for three people, and instead of asking them to return the favor, ask them to "pay it forward" to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading across the world, and in this "quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending" (Kirkus Reviews), Trevor's actions change his community forever.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Great Start Audiobooks Grades 6-8

Great Start Audiobooks Grades K-5
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August 23, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Our volunteers, who are subject matter experts and voice-over artist, spend hours recording our audiobooks to secure the right for all students to learn and out of their love for reading and education. It's the human-narration of our audiobooks that provides an added advantage to our members. Here at Learning Ally we use terms like prosody and fluency to discuss a struggling reader's need to hear tone, pitch, stress, and timing to support content absorption and ensure that your child is not just reading but also learning. 

Here's a list of audiobooks that we recommend for K-5 grade level readers to help you get started with your Learning Ally membership have been newly recorded and added to our library.  Enjoy!

 

Jack and the Beanstalk

Lexile Level: AD660L

Synopsis
Join young Jack as he climbs a giant beanstalk to a magic castle in the clouds. Meet a hen that lays golden eggs and a harp that sings by itself. And don't forget the ogre. A classic fairy tale with a vigorous look that will leave you chanting "Fee-fi-fo-fum!"


 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Manthchev

Lexile:AD490L

Synopsis
When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.


 

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories
by Dr. Seuss

Lexile: AD650L
Synopsis
A new Dr. Seuss book! This follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories features familiar Seussian faces and places--including Horton the Elephant, Marco, Mulberry Street, and a Grinch--as well as an introduction by renowned Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen. Seuss fans will learn more about Horton's integrity, Marco's amazing imagination, a narrowly avoided disaster on Mullbery Street, and a devious Grinch. With a color palette enhanced beyond that of the magazines in which the stories originally appeared, this new volume of "lost" tales is a perfect gift for young readers and a must-have for Seuss collectors of all ages!


 

Voices from the Oregon Trail by Kay Winters

Lexile: 520L
Synopsis
It’s 1848, and brave families band together in covered wagons to head west. Each spread introduces a different speaker to tell his or her part of the story: there’s Carl Hawks, son of the wagon train leader; Louisa Bailey, the newlywed; Chankoowashtay, a Sioux brave; and more. Like its acclaimed predecessor Colonial Voices, this book showcases a thrilling—and often dangerous—time in our history. Richly detailed illustrations bring the story of the great Westward Expansion to vivid life.


 

Mr. Granite Is From Another Planet! by Dan Gutman; Jim Paillot (Illustrator)l

Lexile Level: 580L
Synopsis
It's the start of a new school year, and A.J.'s third-grade teacher, Mr. Granite, is out of this world! He's a supergenius who talks weird, acts weird, and looks weird. He knows everything. Is he a computer posing as a person, or does he come from another planet?


 

I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster 1937 by Lauren Tarshis

Lexile: 700L
Synopsis
In May of 1937, the Hindenburg, a massive German airship, caught fire while attempting to land in New Jersey, killing 35 people. Lauren Tarshis's latest thrilling addition to the New York Times bestselling I Survived series, will feature an 11-year-old boy in the middle of this historic disaster..


 

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Lexile: GN420L

Synopsis
A 2015 Newbery Honor Book Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become "El Deafo, Listener for All." And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.


 

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty

Lexile: 870L
Synopsis
Serafina's defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the cat amount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Great Start Audiobooks Grades K-5

Audiobooks to Movies: Christopher Robin
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August 6, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. – Christopher Robin

 

Christopher RobinsDon’t you love when Hollywood turns our most favorite childhood stories into big blockbusters? Maybe not. Lucky for us, Disney’s new film Christopher Robin answers the question, “Whatever happened to Christopher Robin?”.

 

The new movie follows Christopher Robin to adulthood, having him not only miss his beloved childhood friends, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tiger, & Eyore, but also remind him of the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Rotten Tomato Audience Score 92% liked it!

Before you go see the movie, our volunteers have recorded a few audiobooks that you all can read-a-loud and enjoy and you too will wonder, "What happend to Christopher Robin and the child within us?"

 

Winnie

Synopsis
The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Who could care for a bear?When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it.

 

Winnie-the-Pooh

Synopsis
Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 370,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Audiobooks to Movies: Christopher Robin

#Stopcyberbullyingday - Audiobook Recommendations
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June 13, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Cyberbullying Day is an international awareness day encouraging people from around the world to show their commitment toward a truly inclusive and diverse online environment for all, without fear of personal threats, harassment or abuse. Our students are plagued with this new type of cyber threat and we are committed in spreading the word and educating adults and students about how to avoid being bullied and to take a more positive and supportive tone when chatting with peers online.

To help you create an informed conversation about bullying we've selected a few good reads for you and your students to enjoy.

 

CyberBullying

Synopsis
Before the advent of the widespread use of the internet, bullying was confined to school grounds, classrooms, and backyards. Now, the virulence of bullying has taken on new meaning, as bullies take to the web to intimidate, harrass, embarrass, and offend others. Through email, cell phones, text messaging, and social networking sites, bullies can carry out their bullying in many cases without ever having to confront their victims, and often without consequence.


 

Cyberbullying in a digital age

Synopsis
Cyberbullying has become more prevalent through the use of e-mail, instant messages, chat rooms, and other digital messaging systems. It brings with it unique challenges. Cyber Bullying provides the most current and essential information on the nature and prevalence of this epidemic, providing educators, parents, psychologists and policy-makers with critical prevention techniques and strategies for effectively addressing electronic bullying.


 

A Smart Kid's Guide to Online Bullying

Synopsis
Online bullying has become a serious problem for America's children and teens. Readers will learn how to identify bullies online, how to deal with them, and how to avoid becoming bullies themselves.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 300,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about #Stopcyberbullyingday - Audiobook Recommendations