Novel Effect is a free, award-winning app that brings your books to life with music, sound effects, and character voices — custom-made to celebrate the tone of each story.

As you read aloud, Novel Effect follows the sound of your voice and responds at just the right moment. Skip pages, pause to talk about the illustrations, or re-read your favorite parts and the app will keep up with you wherever you are in the book. Add an interactive, screen-free dimension to hundreds of kids books you know and love. Perfect for bedtime, in the classroom and library, or wherever story time takes you!

Check out the videos tab to try all new voice-driven interactive videos! Take your time and have fun - when you see speech bubbles on-screen read them out loud. Play along with the characters, choose-your-own-adventure, and let your voice bring the video to life.

Our growing in-app library is curated for teachers, librarians, kids and families. New titles are added regularly - including classics, bestsellers, new releases, hidden gems, and more. With over 300 titles in English and 30 in Spanish to choose from, discover your next great story time read aloud here!

You'll need your own copy of the book you want to read out loud. Some free in-app ebooks are available in the ebook collections.

FIND - Use the search bar or browse the home screen to find your books.
PLAY - Tap the cover and then tap play to start the soundscape.
READ - Set your device aside. When you hear the chime, start reading aloud!

Each soundscape captures the spirit and themes of each story. Foster a love of books, promote language development, and increase engagement just by reading aloud as you normally would with Novel Effect in the background. Add a little magic to story time and bring the focus back to books and moments you spend together.

Carefully crafted collections are updated regularly to help you find books for all ages, grade levels, topics and occasions - such as seasonal favorites, multiculturalism, life events, hobbies, and more.

Novel Effect was featured on Shark Tank, The TODAY Show, and in Forbes, Variety, Lifehacker, and more.

"I think this is cool as cool can be… I love it, I love it!" - Lori Greiner, entrepreneur and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank

"Wait until you see Novel Effect work with our book! This is an app you are going to have to download" - John Colaneri, HGTV's The Cousins, co-author of What Can You Do with a Toolbox?

“I felt like a real audiobook narrator. My five-year-old tried reading a book on her own… and amazingly, the system picked up her little voice and played the effects at all the right moments.” - Michelle Woo, Lifehacker

"Not only did this tool help make poetry come alive for [my student], he asked me if he could try reading... I about fell out of my chair because he never wants to read aloud... and he has asked to go to the library to check out books that he can read along with the app." - Julie Smith, The Techie Teacher®

A Parents’ Choice and Mom’s Choice app, and a Webby and Cynopsis Award winner for best interactive experience.

Download for free and become an epic storyteller!

What’s New

Version 2.3.3

Performance enhancements and bug fixes

We're always looking to improve. If you have feedback or suggestions send an email to

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

melfurs ,

So much fun!

Updated review (March 2019) ... still loving everything about this app and the new updates make it even easier to use. So glad to see you’ve added favorites, we’ve been waiting for that. My daughter loves to use it and it even follows along with her voice as she’s starting to learn to read on her own. Thanks Novel Effect for helping turn her into a book lover just like her parents!

Updated review... this latest version is way better than the old one, and I loved it before. My two year old can even get the music to play when she says the titles of her favorite books. I can’t wait for her to start reading on her own, Using this app keeps her interested in the stories, even the ones that are well above her reading level. Keep up the good work!

This is such a phenomenal idea! My kid loves it, we're having a blast reading together, and are excited to do it more. The music is all really well done too, that dragon in Harold and the purple crayon really does feel terribly frightening. I'm so glad to see my daughter excited for bedtime stories each night. Thanks for this great app!

Developer Response ,

Thanks so much!! Responses like yours are the reason we exist. Happy Reading!!

Sheilabeen ,

Whole family loves this app

My kids are grown and I read books to my granddaughter with this app. They over heard me reading and sat around to hear the sound effects with their niece. Novel Effect brings a whole new joy to reading and draws new readers into the stories. The ability to pause and discuss the page just read is great for allowing the child to put their input into the story and to participate. We’ve even stopped to talk about the sounds and how they go with what was just read. My granddaughter likes to imitate the sounds heard when read a story again and again. I’ve even been to my local library with the app to get books that can be read with the app. Giving a child the physical book that I can add sounds to makes me the best magical Meemaw around! Thank you!
I found out about this app one Sunday morning on a news show. So glad I didn’t sleep in! Please keep the amount of books coming and I can’t wait to try the new update.

Merry Shannon ,


I really don’t have the words for how phenomenal this app is. I am a huge fan of the read along vinyl/storybook sets of the seventies and eighties—I had a massive collection and spent hours listening to them as a kid. This is the only modern experience I’ve found that lets me replicate the feeling for my child. They’ve included so many truly GOOD kids’ books, and clearly have put a lot of passion and talent into creating these background effects. I already own a dozen of the books featured and now I will be collecting most of the rest. I will support this app with all my heart, I hope it continues to grow and becomes HUGELY successful. Thank you thank you to the brilliant minds making this possible!!!


Novel Effect Inc
128.1 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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