By Jill Castek and Jessica Mangelson
Book Links – September 2008

Sitting in the library’s alcove, 35 third- and fourth-grade students are captivated by the story the school librarian is reading aloud. Their engagement is evident in their bursts of laughter, spontaneous comments, and enthusiastic responses. As educators, we cherish the joy that sharing a book brings to all our students, especially our most reluctant readers.

Sharing stories paves a pathway toward a lifelong love of reading. With the power of today’s new technologies, multimedia texts can be used to extend reading experiences, and the free resources available online have made it easier than ever to do just that. Exposing students to the wide array of interactive books available online expands their vision of what literacy is and goes a long way toward creating a literacy-rich environment that benefits all students. The Web sites shared in this column are easy for kids to access in the library and in the classroom. They provide quality experiences with literature that are educational, engaging, and fun.

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