A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Booktrack is a creative site for stories. Many of the soundtracks to the books on the site have been created to help portray the mood and tone of the story. Users can read stories with music, sound effects, and ambient sounds played in the background. Booktrack offers a multimedia experience for writers and readers, allowing readers to interact with their stories in a way they haven’t before. Booktrack offers thousands of stories to listen to, with some for free and others paid, and the stories are from classic and contemporary genres. Most importantly, kids who enjoy writing their own stories can use this site to upload a story and mix music and sound effects.
What's it about?
BOOKTRACK is a site where writers can upload their stories, create soundtracks, and add sound effects. Readers can also read books with soundtracks premixed. Listening skills may develop while kids read stories with an embedded soundtrack, but the sounds may prove to be a distraction for other readers. On the other hand, the writing process may be enhanced through Booktrack, as kids have the choice to upload their story, then choose sound effects and music based on the mood of the piece. The editing component of Booktrack is simple and straightforward for kids to use, and music can be searched by genre, style, or emotion. Kids can also choose a story already in the Booktrack library and add music to it, as though they were creating their own soundtrack or playlist for a book.
Is it any good?
The site may definitely grab kids' attention and will engage them in ways they haven't engaged with reading before. With an immersive reading experience that includes layers of sound, readers will enjoy honing their listening skills as they read new or old literature. Whether they choose to create their own soundtrack for a book or listen to another's soundtrack, kids will learn about an author's purpose and how mood and tone can be set not only by the written word but enhanced through music and sound effects. One thing to note is that if you're not using the most up-to-date version of your browser, the playback option won't work. The site works best with Google Chrome, which is an important thing to know before you dive into the site with your kids. You also won't be finding a lot of best sellers on this site, so if you're looking for an ambient soundtrack for the most popular stories, you'll have to look for your own solution while reading elsewhere. Finally, some of the music and the sound effects that are inserted into some stories can be distracting to some readers, especially because the volume levels can be very loud at times. But if you're interested in exposing your own stories to a new audience and giving a bit of extra punch to dramatic moments, Booktrack could be the site for you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how music and the written word go together so seamlessly. How do music and sound effects add to the reader's experience?
Talk about reading books in a digital format versus reading a printed book. What are the differences? Are there benefits or drawbacks to digital books?
Encourage kids to add books to their "read later" lists on Booktrack. Adding more books to this list may bring excitement to reading.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, text analysis
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically
Creativity: making new creations, producing new content
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Genre: Creating
- Price: Free to try and many free books on site
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Many books are free to read and listen to, but others need to be paid for. Book prices range from $2.99 to $6.99.)