The Sammy Brown Library recently ordered 10 more Vox books to add to their collection, payed for through a donation from Chevron.

“Vox books are an all-in-one read-along book where readers can listen to the book while they read through it,” Library Director Kim Turner said. “They don’t require CDs or tapes or batteries or an internet connection or anything like that. The digital audio reader is connected to the book itself, and you just have to push the button to start reading along with it. Like your older versions of read-along books where it makes sounds to signal that you’re turning the page, the audio reader has that in it as well.”

The newly purchased books are not only known for their storyline, but they are also beautifully illustrated so that the kids get very interested in the overall story, Turner said.

The Vox books are easy to use. The Vox reader device is permanently attached to the front cover of each of the books. Kids just need to press the button to read while they listen. There are volume buttons as well as an audio jack so kids can plug it into headphones when they want to.

“We’ve slowly been adding Vox books to our collection for the past two years, and they circulate well,” she said. “The parents appreciate the value of having read-aloud books in order to increase children’s comprehension, and they also model reading fluency. They have very expressive narrators that are reading the books, and so children understand the fluency of reading that goes along with that.”

Turner said that these Vox books have won awards from parent groups in ‘best books for kids and families’ categories and are Mom’s Choice award winners. This makes them a valuable tool not just for libraries, but for parents to use in their home as well.

“For struggling readers, it models good reading with the fluency and the expression, and then also having both the written word in front of them and hearing it at the same time increases their comprehension, their literacy skills,” Turner said.

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Stella Wieser was a reporter at the Panola Watchman from June 2018 to April 2022. During her time at the Watchman, she enjoyed writing features about businesses and local events. As of May 2022, she resides in Austin and does media relations for TCEQ.