No money for tablets. Read ebooks on home computers with Google Play Books or Calibre.

Obviously, the quickest way to provide reading experiences for students is to suggest titles on this web site, or Project Gutenberg, or Standard Ebooks or another free ebook site. You may want to provide a suggestion of what program to use to read the ebooks such as Calibre or Moon Plus Reader or Google Play Books which is mentioned below. And there is a great deal of information on the web about how to move downloaded ebooks onto tablets. It can be automatic if a student already has an ebook app installed on the tablet. (We do find that for some reason, ebooks won’t upload to Google Play Books right after a download from Project Gutenberg. We see an UPLOAD FAILED message after trying to upload to Google Play Books. We have to find the ebook in a folder on a tablet and upload it to Google Play Books from there. If you experience this problem, suggest that your students skip Google Play Books and install and use Moon Plus Reader, a free app which has never failed to upload and open an ebook.)


But some students don’t have tablets or the Internet at home


These students don’t need tablets or the Internet to enjoy ebooks.

How can students read without tablets or the internet?

Schools that have not closed could give each student a $3 thumb drive. With this drive students could go to terminals in the school library, and transfer copies of ebooks and  a copy of Calibre to install at home on Windows or Macintosh. Using the Add books icon in Calibre is as friendly as computing gets.

For years I resisted reading ebooks on a computer screen because of the glare on the screen, but the ebook experience with Calibre is decent.  I have edited a number of books using Readium, an app similar to Calibre without much eye strain. But Google is ending its support for Readium. I love the large fonts and large pages in Calibre. Calibre provides the reader with a much larger page than any ereader or tablet.

For students using Chromebooks at home, Calibre will not work, but Google Play Books is excellent. It works on Chromebooks, Android tablets, Windows computers and all Apple devices.

With ebooks your students can adjust the screens to use larger fonts, and  there is research which shows that  struggling readers prefer larger fonts.

Here is what a page in Calibre looks like. With the F11 key in Calibre, the menu on the side will disappear, and a screen exactly like the one below will appear.

With the roll out of Chromebooks in many school districts, and much more home ownership of laptops and desktop computers, it could be time for new reading experiences with Calibre or Readium. Unfortunately, Calibre does not have a version for Chromebooks, but Readium will work on Chromebooks.

In the future, It  might be interesting to see if students preferred convertible or flip screen Chromebooks running Google apps to standard laptop Chromebooks.  The flip screen will provide a tablet experience.

The Long Black Schooner: The Voyage of the Amistad

To download an epub file for your Android tablet or Chromebook or computer or Apple device, use this button


To download a mobi file for your Amazon device, click here

Directions on how to email this file to your Kindle device are here.
To add this mobi file to your Kindle for PC software to read the chapters on your computer, see these instructions .

The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

With the Calibre app, you and your students can read this ebook in epub format on computer screens. By changing the background color, and enlarging the font, the Calibre experience is reasonable. On Chromebooks you will need to use an ereading app which the Chromebook will provide when it sees the epub file.

Men, women, boys, girls—all are chained together on the slave ship Amistad. Only yesterday they were free in their beloved African villages. Then slave catchers kidnapped them, and are taking them in chains across the sea to be sold.

But Cinque, their leader, has an iron file….

On the night of June 30, 1839, the slaves cut their chains and take over the ship. Here is the true story of a breathtaking and little-known event in American history.

Here is what one reader had to say in a review on Amazon:

The book tells the story surrounding the Amistad. However, it is told in a way that is appealing to both youth and adults. The language is simple and the story is straightforward. There is no historical gobbly-gook here.

I found the book to be rather interesting, quite informative, and fairly easy to read (I read it in less than two days). It makes a great gift for any young history buff or anyone who is interesting in learning more about the Amistad but who hasn’t studied much history.

Free: Revolts, Resistance and Emancipation by Dorothy Sterling. Grade Level is 9.1

Here is the story of the slavery issue from the first slave traders through the African-American part in early American history and the Civil War, and the events and people who played a part in the history-making document, the Emancipation Proclamation. Read about Gabriel Prosser and Nat Turner who led revolts, and the settlements of runaways in Florida, and other forms of resistance. Written for a young adult audience, the Flesh-Kincaid reading level is 9.1 which makes it accessible to many high school students.

To download an epub file, use this button


To download a mobi file for your Amazon device, click here

The fastest way to read the mobi file on your Fire tablet is to open the Silk browser and download it to your tablet. When you click on the file, it will open on your Fire device as a normal Kindle book. You will find it in the Downloads folder on your tablet. Some of the Kindle features such as annotating will not be available. After all you found it for free.

If you are using an earlier Kindle e-reader when the browser is less robust and you don’t use it very often, you may need to email the file to your device. Directions on how to email this file to your device are here.
To add this mobi file to your Kindle for PC software to read the chapters on your computer, see these instructions, or use Readium which is mentioned below. And of course, you will find directions on the web about how to sideload mobi files to your devices.

The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

With the Readium app, you and your students can read this ebook in epub format on computer screens. By changing the background color, and enlarging the font, the Readium experience is reasonable.