Audiobooks can be a welcome addition to every classroom. Many students are avid readers while others are struggling to become readers and still others have given up hope. Audiobooks have something to offer all of them.
If money is available for purchasing audiobooks, it is important for librarians and teachers to do their homework before buying. Single-author unabridged audiobooks tend to be the best, though some dramatizations (such as Philip Pullman's trilogy, read by the author with a cast of more than 40 British actors) can be excellent. There are many sources of audiobook reviews readily available online, such as . Also available online are free audiobooks of older children's titles such as the Beatrix Potter books at and the stories at .
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These are great for those who struggle with sitting down and actually reading a book. My son loves audiobooks and I am so grateful because I would not get him to read otherwise!
One reason more audiobooks are not finding their way into classrooms is availability. Public libraries usually have a good quantity of audiobooks, but most school libraries have a limited number – audiobooks are expensive. The cost of cassette or CD players, headphones, and batteries must also be taken into consideration, and though these costs have come down considerably in the last few years, schools typically do not budget funds for such purchases.