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Parent Resources #3: Reading in Quarantine

Tic Tac Toe - 3 weeks in a row!

Keeping it focused this week - how do you find something good for your kids to read while quarantined? If you have a public library with a solid collection of ebooks, then that’s a great place to start (BTW, a little birdie told me that the Denver Public Library allows you to apply for a card digitally and gives you a several months long period before you have to come in to confirm that you are, in fact, a Denver resident).

If that’s not an option, here are 3 services that we’ve used in my family (alas, none of them are free, but we felt like they were all worth it):

•  Epic Library - ($7.99/month) The most expensive on this list, but also probably the closest thing to having an actual library. Their selection is the largest I’ve seen, over 40,000 titles across pretty much all ages from nearly all the major publishers.

•  Amazon Free Time Unlimited - ($5/month - less if you’re a prime member, Android, iOS, Kindle...obviously) Currently on sale for $20 for the year...This one is ideal for early readers up to teens. Technically, there’s a lot of media associated with this subscription including apps and audiobooks. We use it exclusively with an e-ink kindle for our oldest. There are thousands of books, and they’re well curated based on interest. It allows both kids & parents to track reading time and has some brain building activities as well. One thing I don’t like: for a lot of series, it has only the first book, so basically your kid gets into it and then you have to pay for all of the additional bookies in the series. Lame. Upside: this is the only one of these services that works with an e-ink device. Note: essentially the same service through Amazon UK is called Fire for Kids Unlimited.

•  Skybrary - ($5/month, Android & iOS) better suited to the younger crowd, 3-8. A very kid friendly interface, kids can put up to 5 books in their backpacks and can explore different themed islands to find books that interest them. The read aloud & interactive elements of the book are fun for the littles.