Kids these days have either their own smartphone or tablet, or have access to one. Summertime normally involves frolicking in the sun and goofing off with friends, but parents may want to get their child reading instead.
Children are simply reading less these days. The American Time Use Survey recently issued a report that will be quite startling for parents. It proclaims that teenagers 15 to 19 only read for around 4 minutes a day. Most kids say the only books they read are books that are apart of the schools remedial English program.
Obviously this is all very distressing, but parents can play an active role in reading this summer. This first app to check out is from Scholastic, which harkens back to the days of the school book fair, but in a digital version. The Scholastic Storia App for Android offers highly-curated titles, from vibrant picture eBooks for younger readers to the hottest new series for older readers, including fiction and nonfiction titles by both new and established authors. There are thousands of books on the platform and 4 free eBooks that are offered for free.
The public library is often a refuge to satiate children’s literary thirst year round. This summer why not install the Overdrive app on their device. Using your normal library card you can tap into the customized children and teens reading lists. Hundreds of libraries are participating in the program, you can check out an example from the Sarasota County library.
iStorytime is a rising force in the digital realm of eBooks. Their parent company Zukka has been winning lots of awards for enhanced kids books. There are hundreds of titles that are based on officially licensed properties, such as Shrek, Madagascar, Rise of the Guardians, Kung Fu Panda and The Smurfs. There are a bunch of titles available for free.
Reading eBooks is not the only thing that kids can read this summer but what about magazines and newspapers? Often they can carry these right on their smartphone and read it while on the bus or during commutes. Zinio offers thousands of magazines and can be purchased individually or download as many as you want per month on their Z-Pass system. Next Issue is a new service for digital magazines that is getting lots of press. It seems every day they run television commercials promoting it in the US and Canada. They have a 30 day promotion to enjoy their entire catalog, which is basically half the summer.
I think its the parents responsibility to install the love of reading on your child. They often learn by imitation and if the parents are aren’t reading, they often won’t.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.