Fifty Shades of Grey Audio Downloads Now Available

If you’ve been following the Fifty Shades of Grey series at all, you know that it’s become an incredible international hit, hitting the bestseller lists in dozens of countries across the globe, and is the subject of the sexiest blockbuster trilogy to hit Hollywood in a long time!

That said, it’s taken a while for there to be great deals available for books and recordings of EL James’ work. But they’ve finally arrive. Thanks to our friends at at, you can now get a free download of the Fifty Shades Darker audio book  along with the rest of the series.

That comes with plenty of time to listen to the entire series before the release of the Fifty Shades Darker movie this coming February! The current release date is set for February, 2017, and it looks like everything is on schedule to hit that date.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the official trailer for Fifty Shades Darker, the second book in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

While the movies certainly bring an intense level of vividness to the novels, they still can’t quite compare to the engrossing, edge of your seat can’t wait to turn the next page feel of each of the three books.

For me, I actually liked Darker the best of the bunch, so I’m really looking forward to this next movie’s release!

For now though, we’ll just have to settle with these great new deals.

For more information on the Fifty Shades of Grey series and where to get the books, audiobooks, swag, and more, be sure to check out the official author page at That’s the #1 source for reliable information, since it’s run by EL James and her staff personally, rather than getting everything secondhand from elsewhere across the web!

Hope you enjoy, and I’ll see you on the other side!


The Best Audio Clips of The Hobbit

hobbit imageThe Hobbit is one of my personal favorite works of fantasy literature, and one of the best read fantasy books of all time, winner of numerous awards and reknowned worldwide. Part of what makes it great is the fact that this is a book that a 4th grader can read, and yet there is enough complexity for adults to indulge in serious literary study of Tolkien’s masterpiece.

That is an uncommon gift, rivaled only by a few other authors, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to Roald Dahl’s children’s collections.

In this post, I thought I’d take a minute to point out a few of the favorite parts of the book, but first I want to encourage you to…

Get The Audiobook

I’m a big believer in reading works while also listening to audio recordings of them. Listening along helps you to enjoy the book on a deeper level, as many of the characters spring to life right off of the page. It also allows you to concentrate on some of the subtler elements of the plot, and ask yourself questions about the novel you otherwise wouldn’t have!

You can get access to an audiobook download of The Hobbit below.

Watch the clip below to learn more, or listen to The Hobbit audio mp3 free from!

Favorite Clips

Here are a few of my favorite clips from this book.
The first is the opening scene, in which an aged Bilbo looks back on his life, and begins to tell his story to Frodo. This is hugely important, since it places the context of The Hobbit within the broader Lord of the Rings arc, and also shows Bilbo reminiscent about his journey.

The world is not in your books and maps. it’s out there!This scene is often overlooked from the movies’ perspective, since it doesn’t have any exciting action, but when Gandalf goes into his speech on why Bilbo should come along, it sets the stage for the entire book.You’ll have a tale of your own when you come back.Are you sure I will come back?No, but if you do, you will not be the same.


The Best Children’s Audiobooks from Classic Literature

In the last post we talked a little bit about why Harry Potter should be read by all students, even though it isn’t normally a part of a traditional educational curriculum.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at a few of the best books and audiobooks that are part of the generally accepted “classic literature” canon for children.

Here’s a few books that have always stood out and stand the test of time.

A Wrinkle in Time

Speaking of standing the test of time, we might as well start by putting a wrinkle in it!

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, was published in the early 1960s and instantly became a modern classic. The book deals with the story of a girl whose father is a scientist working on a mysterious project known as the tesseract, and one day disappears.

The story tells her adventure to find her father and along the way she unveils deep secrets about the true workings of the universe and realizes just how important the project her father worked on actually is!

You can download A Wrinkle in Time audiobook from Audiobooks for Kids.

This Newbury Award-winning work was also turned into a Disney movie back in 2003.

Alice in Wonderland

Another classic novel that is widely appreciate by adults and children alike is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass.

These two novels tell the fantastical tale of Alice, who is a “normal” girl who always wonders about what else might be beyond the confines of her everyday British home.

One day she sees a rabbit with a timepiece, and follows him down a rabbit hole into a whole new world.

A great children’s book for the colorful stories, and a wonderful read for adults due to its satirical wit and critique of turn of the century British society, Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland is destined to live on for decades.

Read more about Alice in Wonderland here.

These are just two of the many popular works of children’s literature that are both fun and zany! We think any child and parent will enjoy reading these together!

Does Reading Harry Potter Help Our Kids?

harry potter booksOur primary mission here at is to improve the quality of reading education available to all students in the US.

With that broad mission comes a lot of responsibility, and, unfortunately, a lot of critical scrutiny of how we do our work. One of the biggest questions we get from potential supports or would-be critics surrounds what books we try to promote to children and teens, and why.

We generally take the philosophy that just about any reading is better than no reading at all, and rather than focus on an academic curriculum for our students, we try to inspire and motivate them to learn that reading is something that should be a part of your daily life, not because you have to do it, but because it is fun and interesting.

In order to achieve that objective, we often promote books that schools ignore, and encourage kids to read books that are popular and, for many, coming out as a movie (or have already come out).

Probably the biggest example of this over the course of the last decade was the Harry Potter franchise, which grossed more than $20 billion across the 8 films.

With a record like that, we feel you simply can’t ignore the importance of these works, and we also feel they have strong educational value as well.

The novels of Harry Potter take the reader into a magical world where nothing is as it seems. This incredible storytelling encourages students to follow the whims of their imagination to its farthest point, which is a huge inspiration for them to dive into the novel completely, and fully enjoy the work.

Not only that, but Rowling has an interesting style of writing that seems to progress as the students age. That makes the early books in the series appropriate for younger readers, perhaps late elementary or middle school reading level, while the later books are at a high school level, and deal with more mature content.

This range of styles and complexity allows a learning reader to grow with the book series, and the common trends across the series keep the student engaged whether they’ve just started with book 1, or are finishing book 7!

It’s also a great way for readers to expand their current lexicon and useful vocabulary by stretching themselves into the later works. For example, a younger reader might easily tackle the first book of the series, but then struggle in the latter half. In that case, he might check out the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook or the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince audiobook which would help him to make it through those longer, more difficult works.

You can download Harry Potter audiobooks for free here if interested.

Finally, if the books still prove difficult for young readers, they can always read it in a program that also includes other fun elements, such as watching the films. While no film can truly capture the depth and complexity of the books, they can definitely help readers expand their appreciation and enjoyment of the series!

This is particularly helpful for a reader who is just starting the series. For example, the first look at Hogwart’s shows how the magical world can really come to life!

In short, there’s certainly no harm in having our students read these works, and they can certainly help to expand their creativity and academic knowledge!

Why Reading Matters

why reading mattersWelcome to! We’re pleased to be relaunching the site this fall, so stay tuned for more updates to come.

In case you don’t already know, our mission is to improve the average reading level across the US, and we’re committed to supporting English education, reading, and writing programs nationwide.

To kick off our new website, and in stead of putting up one of those cheesy ‘we’re working on it’ images, I thought I’d share a quick video about the important of reading, and why it matters in a digitally-focused, 21st century world.

As the documentary points out, even though we now live most of our lives in a hyper-connected world, and much of that time is spent consuming media of all forms, reading is just as important as ever, and it’s up to us to keep a strong tradition of reading and literature appreciation alive for future generations!

Check out this great exploration from the BBC, in the video below!