Launched in 2018 by Age of Learning, the company behind ABCMouse and Adventure Academy, ReadingIQ is a curated, digital library designed for kids up to age 12.
Accessible through web browsers, and as apps for Apple and Android devices, ReadingIQ provides kids with unlimited access to thousands of award-winning and classic books with a single subscription.
Price: How Much Does ReadingIQ Cost?
Note: All prices are in USD and are current as of writing
Free 30-Day Trial
ReadingIQ is a subscription service that costs $7.99 per month. You can also subscribe for a yearly plan for about $39.99.
This subscription gives parents unlimited access to the library of content and various features, as well as allows parents to create up to 3 individual kids’ accounts per subscription, which is great for larger families.
Parents should be aware, however, that as a subscription service subscriptions do automatically renew, and users have to manually cancel at the end of their term or be charged again.
One thing to note is that ReadingIQ frequently offers deals and specials that can save parents quite a bit of money, and so it’s worthwhile to check their website for the latest price and any available discounts.
ReadingIQ Supported Devices
ReadingIQ can be accessed through most web browsers, as well as Apple ipads and iPhones (iOS 9.0 or later), as well as Android tablets and devices ( Android 5.0 and up).
It is not currently supported for Amazon Kindle Fire.
Because it can run on a variety of different devices, from PC/Macs to tablets and phones, ReadingIQ offers a modern reading experience that kids can take anywhere.
Since they just need to log in to their individual accounts, their preferences and data are preserved. This, combined with the support for up to 3 kids’ accounts, makes the app a great idea for larger families where kids may periodically get booted off the main family computer.
ReadingIQ Age Range
Officially, ReadingIQ is intended for kids from 2 to 12.
However, we feel that ReadingIQ can be a valuable resource for parents of kids 0 to 12, as well as older reluctant readers.
With its clean and simple look and feel, most young kids will be able to navigate and use ReadingIQ independently with minimal assistance from their parents.
The books themselves include a wide diversity of book types – from picture books and Read to Me books geared towards pre-readers, to beginning reader books for early readers, to chapter books for older and more advanced readers.
Overall, there’s enough to appeal to kids ranging from pre-readers to middle schoolers.
That said because ReadingIQ contains a fair number of picture books, Read to Me’s, and even Rhymes & Songs, we feel that parents of very young children, babies, and toddlers, can really stand to benefit from the app, as well.
With instant access to a large variety of children’s books and picture books, parents can easily make reading to their youngest ones a bonding activity, which has been shown to have a variety of extremely important cognitive benefits for early childhood education.
While these books are digital, and obviously not sensory, the bright pictures and voices will attract their attention and the simple act of reading to a baby can often help them develop better language skills later on.
We also feel that older, reluctant readers can benefit from ReadingIQ.
With skill-based options for finding books, and its partnership with popular franchises such as Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and more, parents of these readers can easily find high-interest/low-difficulty books that their kids will actually want to read and aren’t overly challenging.
This can let them improve their reading skills and comprehension with books based on popular media and potentially their own interests without feeling embarrassed or frustrated by having to read “kids’ books.”
How it works
ReadingIQ makes the process of signing up and using the app quite simple.
Once signed up for an account, the app will ask parents for an optional self-assessment of the child’s reading skill, essentially asking parents how their kids feel about their own reading ability.
Afterward, parents can enter their child’s name, and grade level and even choose a custom cartoon avatar.
The self-assessment and grade level act as a rough guide to help recommend leveled reading material and, based on that, the home screen will display initial book suggestions based on reading level and skill as well as various themed and new entry books it wishes to highlight, such as new seasonal and holiday offerings.
The suggestion form works pretty well in our experience. The books displayed were appropriate to grade level for the most part, and the offerings were interesting for kids of our tester’s age level.
We do think that an interest-based suggestion could be of help here. By providing kids with a list of categories, asking kids for what they’re interested in, and then displaying results based thereon, ReadingIQ could create a little more of a personalized experience.
That said, If they don’t find anything really interesting on the main screen, kids can click on categories and browse the collection as they desire.
As they go through the various books, kids can easily add books to their very own virtual bookshelf. This allows them to come back to these books for later reading, or mark them as favorites so they can read them again and again.
What kind of books are on ReadingIQ?
Accessible on web browsers, tablets, or even phones, ReadingIQ is a digital library with well over 7,000 digitally accessible books for kids ages 0-12.
The books themselves are curated by Age of Learning’s team of educational experts and are generally picked to be as high-interesting as possible, sparking a child’s love of reading by providing them with books they actually might want to read.
ReadingIQ’s library is quite extensive, with a variety of subjects and topics that can interest just about any kid- from graphic novels, STEM stories, general fiction, science fiction, fantasy, sports, and how-to books, to biographies and historical fiction, there’s certainly a lot here.
As a newer virtual library app, there aren’t as many titles as some of its more established competitors whose titles can number into the tens of thousands (although they are adding more all the time), but we feel ReadingIQ’s titles can be considered more high-interest to kids than most competitors.
In addition to Caldecott and Newberry medal-winning books and a variety of familiar series such as Curious George and the Boxcar Children series, ReadingIQ provides kids with a variety of visually striking and informational material, such as National Geographic’s Weird but True, National Geographic Kids Magazine and a variety of pretty cool graphic novels (comic books) as well.
Most interesting, perhaps, is that ReadingIQ has partnered with larger media companies to obtain books from an assortment of cool popular franchises that kids love, including offerings from:
- Disney (Frozen, The Lion King, Beauty, and the Beast, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Wreck it Ralph, and more)
- Marvel (titles featuring characters such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Incredible, and more)
- Star Wars
- Pixar titles (cars, toy story, The Incredibles; Coco; Finding Nemo; Monsters Inc, and more)
- And more
Regardless of their interests, with ReadingIQ kids will have absolutely no trouble finding books that interest and delight them, whatever their taste.
And that’s a great thing as high-interest books can have a strong effect on motivating young readers.
Finding books that resonate with kids, such as those inspired by (or based on) films and media they’ve seen, can often be very important and make reading seem less like a burden or a chore, especially with reluctant readers and those who claim not to like to read.
In fact, evidence suggests that getting kids to read for pleasure has a number of important and tangible benefits such as:
- Greater Reading attainment and writing ability;
- Text comprehension and grammar;
- A more positive outlook on reading
- Greater self-confidence as a reader;
Spanish books for kids
Interestingly, ReadingIQ also has a special category of Spanish books available for kids.
It is not as large as the main collection yet, but it is growing and makes ReadingIQ a valuable resource to Spanish-speaking families, as well as those working on their Spanish skills.
It’s also nice to see, as this isn’t a feature that’s always available in other digital library apps
ReadingIQ reading levels
ReadingIQ uses a leveled reading system.
In other words, books are categorized and grouped by age and skill, making it pretty easy to select appropriate books and measure progress over time. In general, there are four levels:
- Pre-readers S (Ages 2–4)
- Emerging Readers (Ages 5–8)
- Growing Readers (Ages 9–12)
- Independent Readers (Ages 2–12)
Parents have a couple of ways they can filter and find books appropriate to their child’s reading level.
They can choose books based on reading grade level, as one might expect, selecting from categories ranging from Pre-reader to grade 6 reading levels.
In addition, parents can also select from books using a skill-based approach. ReadingIQ gives parents the ability to sort books using different difficulty-measuring frameworks, such as Scholastic Guided Reading, Accelerated Reader, and Lexile levels.
This can be a great option for parents of kids with differentiated reading abilities, such as precocious readers or reluctant readers, whose reading ability may not match their grade level.
ReadingIQ also keeps things pretty flexible.
While parents can select books appropriate to their child’s reading level, either by skill or grade, they have the freedom to select multiple levels and change them at any time as their child progresses.
For parents who aren’t sure of their child’s reading skill level, ReadingIQ also offers an in-app reading assessment, which is helpful.
The assessment is fairly straightforward and non-intimidating, using a system of reading passage prompts and related questions to determine a reading level that can then be used to find appropriate books in ReadingIQ.
The passages and questions are adaptive, meaning they become more difficult or easier depending on the child’s responses.
In addition, the app will periodically prompt parents to have their kids retake the assessments, which is helpful in setting benchmarks and getting a better idea of reading progress over time.
This assessment is pretty well developed, having been created with the assistance of the non-profit research institute SRI International, and its inclusion can be a great help to homeschooling families and those who are uncertain of where, to begin with, the app.
Compared to other digital library apps this feature is a significant advantage for ReadingIQ as, while other apps may have leveled reading, most don’t include a way to help assess reading levels, and those that do usually do so in a limited or basic way.
ReadingIQ gives both parents and kids the ability to track and monitor reading progress.
Parents can receive reports and monitor how their kids are using the app (including being able to preview the titles their kids are exploring) and how their reading levels are progressing.
It can provide them with useful information such as:
- What their kids are reading
- How many minutes they’ve spent reading per day and in total
- And the level at which they’re reading
Using this feature, parents can see the rate at which their kids are progressing in terms of reading skills and make adjustments or offer encouragement accordingly.
Interestingly, ReadingIQ also lets kids monitor their own progress.
Located in their personal bookshelf, a small trophy keeps track of how many minutes they’ve read per day and how much they’ve read in total.
This is a great feature as it gives kids an easy-to-understand the way of measuring their own achievements and, with a little help from their parents, can be used as part of meaningful personal goal setting
Badges, Points, and Gamifying Reading
In addition to personal progress tracking, ReadingIQ has included some video game-style features that can help encourage kids to keep reading and working on improving their skills.
As they progress through the app, kids can earn badges and stars for hitting certain pre-set goals in reading, such as reading for 10 minutes or 24 hours, as well as for completing daily and weekly reading challenges.
They can even compete with other ReadingIQ subscribers based on who has read more per week, giving the app an element of friendly competition.
The app is not fully gamified, however, and is lacking some of the more entertaining and perhaps useful game elements, such as quizzes, puzzles, in-game shopping, and mini-games, that other competing reading apps include to great effect.
That said, even if it only includes a limited number of game elements, not only does ReadingIQ provide an incentive for kids to keep up with their reading, but it can make/ the process more enjoyable and far less intimidating and potentially frustrating for kids.
Show What You Know & Reading Comprehension
In addition to trying to get kids into reading, ReadingIQ has also included a feature called Show What You Know.
This is a selection of books that also involve a small quiz at the end that can earn kids stars for answering correctly.
Although not too strenuous, this allows kids to work on their reading comprehension skills, which is something that’s often lacking in similar programs that focus more on offering material to improve reading skills.
The addition of this feature, in our opinion, takes ReadingIQ to the next level and makes it more of a comprehensive and useful literacy app than many other competing digital libraries out there.
Look, Feel and Experience
ReadingIQ is an easy-to-use and straightforward app for kids and parents alike to use.
The app itself is very simple to navigate.
Users have large, colorful buttons that let them filter and explore books by grade level and category, as well as give them access to their bookshelf where they can store books for later reading with the click of a button.
The library itself is arrayed much like a library or bookstore bookshelf. Kids scroll up or down with a flick (or a mouse scroll), and books are neatly grouped together with genres and categories spelled out clearly above each group.
If kids have a particular author or book they would like to find, the app also has a built-in internal search bar function that works quite accurately. In our experience, the search bar made finding books a snap, taking only a few seconds to find even the most unusual books we could think of.
Is ReadingIQ worth the money?
Overall, we think ReadingIQ provides excellent value for money as a digital library app.
Pricewise, ReadingIQ is quite affordable, at less than $10 per month, putting it roughly within the same price range as similar apps such as Epic and others.
For the money, you do get a lot of content.
While perhaps ReadingIQ doesn’t offer as many books in terms of pure numbers as some other apps out there, it does have a curated selection of thousands of books available, across a wide variety of genres and subjects and designed for readers at different stages of their reading journey, from pre-reading to full chapter books.
In addition, ReadingIQ’s books are of extremely high quality and are highly engaging and interesting to kids. They include ReadingIQ exclusives, award-winning books, popular series, various classics, and even a collection of Spanish-language books.
Adding to the app’s high-interest reading content, ReadingIQ also has forged partnerships with major publishers, providing kids with books from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and more, providing kids with the material they’re familiar with and will be excited and delighted to read.
Beyond books, ReadingIQ also offers a number of features that parents will find extremely useful, such as the ability to filter books by grade and skill level, progress tracking of reading skill development, a reading skill assessment tool, and reading comprehension exercises.
Finally, the app has gamified its learning environment to some extent, encouraging kids to keep reading by providing them with badges, points, and periodic challenges.
Although ReadingIQ may not have as many of these gamified features as some other educational apps out there, it does do an excellent job overall at making reading more fun and less intimidating.