.99 Cent Learning Sale

Until August 29, there is a huge back to school sale going on for learning tools on the Kindle.  Pick from a variety of fun games that help kids with spelling, math, and Shakespeare Trivia.  Some of these games are $3 and up, so grab them while they’re cheap!

One game I was particularly intrigued by is Letter Landers.  It is a matching game.  The player matches pairs until all of the tiles are gone.  Once everything is matched up, letter shaped aliens come in and spell words based on your matches.  What a creative way to get kids interested in learning about their letters.

Do you have young, elementary age children, who would love to try out your Kindle, but they’re just not to the age where reading is natural for them?  DigiRonin games has a growing collection of spelling and math games for the e-reader.  your children can learn their food and animal names while improving on their letters and spelling skills.  This whole collection include quizzes that can tet your child’s mastery of the subjects.  I hope that this company will add science and social studies trivia at some point.

If you want to challenge yourself in foreign languages, try the Spelling Star Spanish Edition.  It has anagrams and other word challenges.  Kind of makes my brain hurt to think about it.  But, this is a great idea and is very interactive.  I hope they’ll add other languages soon.

You can’t go wrong with the Scripps Spelling Bee’s Kindle game.  It includes many of the words that were featured in the National Bee.  You also have a number of challenges to choose from.  For more information about Scripps Spelling Bee, check out the Scripps Spelling Bee post that I wrote a couple months ago.

I am really excited about the fact that the Kindle is being used in elementary schools.  It has been slow to catch on in schools, but Kindles in classrooms are becoming a little more common.  Games like these featured in the sale are good ways to make learning interesting.  Not to mention the excitement that a cool new gadget brings!




Kindle Book Recommendations: Classics

One of the biggest advantages of something like a Kindle is supposed to be the amazing savings that one can expect from owning such a device.  Books should be cheaper, according to the vision that many had of what eReading was going to be.  Obviously we have not quite realized that dream, with publishers keeping eBooks at prices similar to hardcover books, but all is not lost!  There are hundreds of authors releasing free or nearly free books every day through the Kindle Direct Publishing system.  So many, in fact, that it is all but impossible to even keep up with a list, let alone read them all. There are plenty of established successes to draw on even now, though, while I try to come up with a decent list of newer authors to pass along to you.  (I would welcome suggestions at [email protected])

The often overlooked, or at least undervalued, source of cheap literature is older titles that have fallen out of copyright.  Sometimes they’ve fallen very far out of copyright.  For a while, it was pretty obnoxious to even try looking through these books in the Kindle Store since anybody who felt like going through the effort could post their own copy in hopes of making a few dollars.  In the past several months they have made a major effort to clean things up and remove duplicate copies.  It’s a mixed blessing since some of the approved ones remaining seem to be bad OCR copies rather than something a person has actually looked over, but suddenly it is a lot easier to find interesting things to read.

Now, a lot of people definitely seem to think that the so-called ‘classics’ are by definition dry and hard to get through.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend Bleak House to a Harlequin fan, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of perfectly approachable titles out there to take a look at.  Here’s a few that I hope you’ll find enjoyable.  Not all are free, mainly in cases where free copies were poorly formatted to the point of being hard to read, but all are under $3.

She by H. Rider Haggard

You’ve got an ancient family mystery dating back thousands of years, a secret society hidden in the heart of the unknown, supernatural powers, and near immortality.  This would be an amazing movie, if only the reaction to certain scenes involving the treatment of death wouldn’t be so extreme.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Everybody knows the broad outlines of the story, from movies if nothing else, but you miss a lot without reading the book.  Some of the most hilariously flawed ‘heroes’ that you are ever likely to read about.  You may be surprised by how off base your expectations are, if you’ve never read it before

Sherlock Holmes Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle

Another selection that a surprising number of people have never given a chance to.  This particular collection contains all four of the novels and 46 short stories, which I believe make up the whole out-of-copyright collection.  It’s been said that what fascinates people about Holmes is not the process he uses, but how much fun it is to watch him do it.  Give it a try for yourself.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

This book is a great suspense/mystery book with just a little bit of the fantastic thrown in.  It is really a fun time overall and has quite possibly the best villain ever(who was, coincidentally, modeled physically on the author himself according to many accounts!)  This one would be worth it for that character alone.