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Reading? There’s an App for That!

There is nothing quite like a book: the tactile feel in your hands, the smell of the paper and the ink... the tantalizing cover design, and if it has some, illustrations too! Most magical is the experience of snuggling up with your child to share cozy bonding time together with a favorite or new-to-you book.

Today, however, technology plays a significant role in our daily lives, and we all search regularly for information and resources online. It’s only natural we might wonder about digital literacy and apps that might help our children learn to read, provide online reading experiences, or stimulate an interest in books for those who are reluctant readers.

While Calgary Reads will always be a champion of printed books filling every room of a child’s home, here are 10 apps you might like to check out too:

1. Reading Raven (available from iTunes) is customizable for the age and the ability of your child from ages three to seven, with multisensory reading games that unlock at their own pace. For example, in the section for five year olds, your child can record their voice while decoding a simple three-letter word while reading simple sentences.

2. Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic (available from iTunes) is an educational experience that will teach your young children early phonics; suitable for children with dyslexia and learning disabilities. This app teaches the sound that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. Suitable for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 4+.

3. A Story Before Bed ( has more than 300 stories in its library for interactive read-alongs with your child. Record a video of story time so that your little one can watch it again in the mornings while paging through and following along.

4. MeeGenius ( allows you to highlight words for review and use the MeeGenius audio playback to keep your little bookworms engaged. Give the personalization element a try, where a child can substitute their name for that of a favorite character in the book.

5. Question Builder for iPad (available from iTunes) is appropriate for children who are already reading, and helps a child develop critical thinking and comprehension skills. It also encourages abstract thinking and inference, a difficult skill that can be hard to master.

6. Chicktionary for iPad ( is an award-winning app to help children hone their spelling skills. Make as many words as you can from the seven letters on the chickens. Clucking chickens encourage you, and squawk when you make a mistake. Suitable for Grades 2 to 12. The free version has 12 games.

7. The Land of Me - Story Time (available from iTunes) is an app created in the UK and lets a child create their own story by choosing one of three heroes, storylines, and endings (happy, sad, or funny). Boys find particular fun in this app and enjoy making different stories with their very own selections.

Apps for teens

8. QuotEd Reading Comprehension (available from iTunes) gives you one quotation and reading comprehension question each weekday with explanations of each answer choice. It’s simple and perfect for on-the-go reading training.

9. Acceleread Speed Reading Trainer (available from iTunes) isn’t just about speed. It’s about effectiveness. This app is designed to help older students read and comprehend passages faster and more accurately. It also helps users curb mind wandering in the middle of complex passages and focus on the content again.

10. Goodreads ( gives personalized recommendations and helps teens discover new books based on their own tastes in reading.

Calgary Reads innovates and inspires the reading revival, because we all have a role to play in creating a thriving community where children can read with confidence and joy! For videos, resources, and games to help build the joy of reading, visit


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