Lit2Go’s 200 Free (and Teacher-Friendly) Audio Books: Ready for Downloads

A num­ber of sites offer free Mp3s of pub­lic domain books—Lib­rivox and Podi­o­books, for instance. What sets apart Lit2Go, the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Florida’s exten­sive col­lec­tion of free audio books (Web — iTunes), are the mate­ri­als to help K‑12 teach­ers present lit­er­a­ture in the class­room.

From fairy tales to The Ili­ad (Web — iTunes), Lit2Go orga­nizes more than 200 titles by author and genre (adven­ture, goth­ic, his­to­ry, sci­ence fic­tion) with clear genre descrip­tions and plot sum­maries for young read­ers. The look and feel of the site’s beta ver­sion is user-friend­ly and library-like, with type­writer fonts and illus­tra­tions mak­ing it a plea­sure to browse. There are a few small kinks to be worked out how­ev­er, so teach­ers inter­est­ed in down­load­ing sup­ple­men­tal mate­ri­als should opt for the orig­i­nal site.

Lit2Go mar­ries the old school library form (each novel’s year of pub­li­ca­tion and orig­i­nal pub­lish­er is includ­ed) with the capac­i­ty of the web (a link takes read­ers direct­ly to the iTunes store, where Lit2Go has its own sec­tion of free down­loads).

Many titles include sup­port mate­r­i­al to kick off class­room dis­cus­sion or to coach stu­dents through devel­op­ing their own char­ac­ter dia­grams. One of the site’s real assets is the way it curates titles into col­lec­tions, includ­ing African-Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture, Amer­i­can Founders and the intrigu­ing Hap­pi­ness Col­lec­tion where read­ers find Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “The Swing” and Shakespeare’s heart-stop­ping scene in which Fri­ar Lau­rence mar­ries Romeo to Juli­et (Web — iTunes).

Anoth­er cura­to­r­i­al bonus: Mate­ri­als are also orga­nized by grade lev­el, using the Flesch-Kin­caid Grade Lev­el index. Teach­ers and stu­dents can also down­load each title’s full text as a PDF, to read along to the audio.

Mean­while, your can find hun­dreds of down­load­able works of lit­er­a­ture in our own meta col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

Kate Rix writes about k‑12 instruc­tion and high­er ed. 

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