Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) Library

I just came back from my monthly trip to peruse used bookstores in Southern California (which neatly coincides with when I receive my paycheck). I am really excited about several purchases I made for my classroom FVR library, but a little disheartened with one gaping hole in my library that I cannot seem to plug: I need more texts for first year students. Short readers with miniscule word counts that second semester students can handle on their own. I suspect that anybody who has built a FVR library knows what I am talking about; children´s books are great for kindergarten day but not so much for silent sustained reading. I know that there are a handful of great TPRS authors who have released books appropriate for this level… I have already bought them. I want dozens more.

Anybody want to turn your class stories into class novellas? Backstory… just ask for the back story!

I am imagining a database of tiny little class novels, complete with student illustrations and (if your district allows this) a picture of the authors. Write a novel with your class and get free access to download any other novel submitted to the database. Help develop a database that would make FVR much more feasible and economical for teachers everywhere. That would be cool.

It wouldn´t replace the high-quality novels published with the aid of professional editors. I just want to make that point before someone else does.

This was something I planned on working on over the summer, but have come to realize that right now is the time to mention it if anyone (and their class) wants to collaborate with me this Spring. My Spanish 3 class is already cracking on this, so we´ll have at least one student created novel.

Several details: (1) small, small, small pamphlet novels, (2) my wife´s plane lands in about two hours, so I probably will not be checking the internet at all for the next two days until she flies back to the East Coast on Monday morning, and (3) Spanish… sorry French teachers! Sorry Italian teachers! sigh

Mike Peto


  1. My students are dying to put on a play (level 1) and my 2nd and 3rd year students are itching to write a story about Los Ratchets. Hmmm maybe we could do it!

      1. I am currently working on a post that will help clarify by showing a really basic story that I put together with my level one class by asking more details about a story that we already created some months ago. On Tuesday, when we get back from our long weekend, we are going to illustrate it and then I´ll post the finished product for you to download as an example.

  2. Mike, I can’t tell you how much I love this idea. It is wonderful. It would be a blast to collaborate on this with you and others — I can already imagine having my 5th hour kids write out the backstory to the many adventures of Bo’ Garrett Roughchaps, our running class character/space cowboy. Haha!

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