Bring Read Alouds to Life with the Novel Effect App

Bring Read Alouds to Life with the Novel Effect Fluency App

Recently I stumbled across a post on TCEA's blog entitled Take Reading to the Next Level with Novel Effect. Apparently lots of educators are already using the Novel Effect app in the classroom! In case you are like me and haven't heard of this, I wanted to write a quick blog post about my experience and recommend that you try it out. It's FUN!

About the App

Novel Effect is available in the iOS store as well as Google Play. It is free. The app contains music and sounds for over 200+ children's books and poems and they add to it weekly. This invisible technology follows along as the user reads a story aloud. It plays music and sounds throughout the story turning the reader into a master storyteller. Smart voice recognition stays in sync with your reading style even if you skip ahead or reread a certain part. 

How It Works

It is really easy!

Using a hard copy of a book or poem:

  1. Choose a book inside of the app. You will also need a copy of the same book to read from for this experience.
  2. Open a book or poem on the app and press Play. Have your device close and open your print book. When you hear the story time start chime, begin reading the story starting with the cover page.
  3. Read & Enjoy! As you begin reading, the app will do all of the audio work for you. The app responds no matter how you read so feel free to pause, skip a part or reread.

Downloading an ebook or poem

You also have the option of using Novel Effect with one of their free ebook or poem downloads as well as texts you have purchased in Apple Books that are listed in the app's text selection. As you read off your screen, Novel Effect will provide the songs and extra sounds.
Bring Read Alouds to Life with the Novel Effect Fluency App


When I first launched the app I immediately wanted to check out the titles that were available. I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the books from my tech themed children's book list, Fascinating World of Technology, that is located under the STEAM list. Click my affiliate link below to check it out on Amazon!


Books are arranged by Age Range, Popular, Free Ebooks, Recently Added, Bedtime Stories, STEAM, Teacher Favorites, Classics, Cars & Things That Go, Farm Animals, Nature, Religion & Spirituality, Colors, Dealing with Change.


Click below to hear an excerpt I read from Fascinating World of Technology.

You can also head to THIS Facebook post of mine to see me read a story using Novel Effect. *We received permission from the publisher to record this.*

My Experience

I tried this app out with a 3rd grader I have been tutoring. We have been working on comprehension of poetry and let me tell ya, the struggle is REAL. His fluency is very poor and getting the child to even read aloud for me is a huge challenge. I ended up giving Novel Effect a try THIS week and launched the One Inch Tall poem by Shel Silverstein to read for practice. I don't know who was more impressed-the 3rd grader or ME! He couldn't get over how "cool" the app was as it followed my voice and I couldn't believe that he hit every question on my visualization assessment checklist pictured below! Click HERE to download the checklist PDF.

Visualization Checklist for Reading Comprehension
But wait. Not only did this tool help make poetry come alive for this little fella, he asked me if he could try reading with the app. I about fell out of my chair because he never wants to read aloud. To make a long story short, his mom downloaded Novel Effect on both her phone and iPad and he has asked to go to the library to checkout books that he can read along with the app.

Next week I am going to show him how he can record his "performances" and I'm hoping he will share them with me so I can start tracking his fluency progress. The battle is OVER until further notice. Hopefully the novelty won't wear off. Sometimes all it takes is a little engagement tool like Novel Effect to spark the flame 🔥.

Whether you are a teacher, parent or both, I highly recommend downloading Novel Effect to spice up your read alouds. Check out TCEA's post about suggested classroom uses.

Bring Read Alouds to Life with the Novel Effect Fluency App

This post is part of The Reading Crew's end of the year link-up. Each blogger is sharing an informative blog post and freebie. Be sure to visit the other posts that are linked below!

The Reading Crew's Spring Link Up: Bring Read Alouds to Life with the Novel Effect Fluency App

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