If you teach reading in Washington D.C. (or pretty much anywhere), you probably already know all about the Bluford High Series. This series of 21 books on Level S/T are insanely popular. The protagonists in these stories are all African-American or Latino teenagers, who struggle with different problems such as bullying, poverty, teenage pregnancy and relationships. The books are also phenomenally cheap. On the Townsend Press website, you can buy these books for $2 apiece. The full series (and multiple copies of them) are a staple of any classroom library.
However, fewer teachers know that Townsend Press has recorded the first 20 books in the series as audiobooks and they are all available on their website for free. Furthermore, you don’t need to sign up, create an account or do anything special to gain access. Since the vast majority of my students own a cell phone or tablet, they can easily access the audiobooks in class during independent reading.
While this product is great for kids who you have already determined need text-to-speech support, it is also great for students who have struggled to read consistently at home. The chapters are pretty short and the audio makes reading even more manageable.