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Mar 20 2019 - 08:00 PM
An Online Library for Non-Fiction Fanatics
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ReadingIQ is a digital library providing students from preschool to sixth grade with unlimited access to thousands of children's books. Newly released titles are regularly added to the library along with classic picture books, chapter books, and magazines. Users can create custom bookshelves, receive recommendations, and utilize the read-aloud feature. The first month of access is free, and afterwards the price is $4.99 a month for up to three children.

Pros:

What impressed me most about ReadingIQ was the wide variety of resources for young readers. There are picture books and basic chapter books on many fictional and non-fictional topics, and users can search for books by topic or reading level. The read-aloud function that many of the books have is also very well-designed.

The price of this service is very reasonable for anyone whose kids go through books quickly, providing easy access to opportunities for entertainment and learning without the cost of buying new copies or the tedium of library waitlists.

Cons:

While there seems to be an even split of fiction and non-fiction options for younger readers, I was disappointed by the lack of quality chapter books and young adult fiction for older readers. There were a lot of National Geographic texts and half a dozen categories based on school subjects like math, science, and history, but fiction was divided into only two categories: adventure and mystery, and fairy tales.

Similarly, while some notable and award-winning picture books and chapter books for young readers were available, most classics were missing, and there were very few works of fiction for middle-grade readers that I recognized. Most of what was offered in the way of chapter books for more advanced readers was obscure and not of high quality, which was a huge let-down. A particularly frustrating example is that while biographies of J. K. Rowling and Shel Silverstein are in the library, Harry Potter books or compilations of Silverstein’s poetry are not available.

While the platform is generally easy to navigate, I have two technical complaints. First, there are no book summaries. Second, while you can magnify book pages with small text, you have to reset the book back to its original size every time you want to turn the page. This is incredibly annoying.

Our Takeaway:

ReadingIQ has an impressive educational book database; for any kids interested in non-fiction, this is a great resource for the price. However, if your children or students are more intrigued by fictional stories, or are interested in the work of specific authors, I wouldn’t recommend this library.

Image: by Anita Jankovic Unsplash
Posted in: New Learning TimesEdLab Review|By: Melanie Hering|197 Reads