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Our Story

Novel Effect transforms stories into immersive experiences that promote literacy, engagement, and fun. We combine story time and powerful speech recognition to play layers of music and effects that honor the spirit of the original story.

Our story began with a simple idea in 2015—Co-founders Matt and Melissa Hammersley listened as a friend read aloud expressively from a children’s book at a baby shower and a lightbulb went off: If every story time were engaging and fun, every kid would fall in love with reading.

Today, Novel Effect is the only reading app that makes screen time optional with soundscapes of music, sounds, characters voices, and more that adjust and respond as you read aloud from a book. We encourage you to bring your own copy of the book or one borrowed from the library. Press play. Then, set your device aside and create a few minutes of magic together. Story time will never be the same.

With Novel Effect, teachers and librarians trust an approach to literacy that encourages reading, language development, and listening skills in new and motivating ways. Parents approve of the mindful use of technology that adds to the power of story time to stimulate the imagination, and expand kids understanding of the world.

Join us: Let your voice bring the story to life!

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