Reading Apps and Websites for Pre-teens & Teens
Updated: May 14
Getting teens to read can be pretty difficult if they protest to reading. As a middle school teacher I hear many of the excuses: it's boring, I don't like to read, I don't have time to go to the library, and even I always lose my book. I like to try to help kids find books they may be more interested in reading or get creative with when and how they read. It doesn't always turn kids into life-long readers, but I have found that using apps and websites can make some students less reluctant to read. For example, I once had a student claim that he couldn't read a book from the library because he always lost his book (which was true). So I suggest some apps for his phone to get eBooks so he could read during my class. This helped greatly because no matter how many times he lost his book, he NEVER lost his phone! Another example was a girl who said she hated reading because it was too hard. A lot of struggling readers feel this way. So I helped her get online and find a book that she was interested in that was in her reading level. Now she reads all the time!
This list is by no means exhaustive, it's simply a start for using websites and apps to get your pre-teens and teens reading.
Hoopla is a great app for pre-teens and teens. It can be downloaded on almost any device and can be used online. Although it offers most forms of digital media, it has a large collection of online books, audiobooks, and comics that can easily be streamed or borrowed for reading. Hoopla has many of the popular titles your student is interested in and is a great place to find new books for students. The best part is, with a public library card, it is free to use!
Like Hoopla, Libby and Overdrive require a public library card for free use. (If you do not have a public library card or do not know how to get one, please check back soon for more information on that!) Libby is the app for Overdrive. Overdrive can be accessed on a computer and Libby is accessible on Apple and Android devices. I personally use Libby when I want to borrow eBooks and magazines, but do not want to go to the library. Most of the popular tween and young adult titles your child are interested in can be found on this website. Most of the time, you can begin reading a book automatically. Sometimes there is a slight hold, but you receive notifications when the book is ready!
This option works with the Nook and Nook Reading App (free in your app store, available for Apple and Android). Although the free titles are not the most popular books, there are many great books to choose from. It is definitely a great way to discover new titles and new authors. Books can be searched by age and genre.
Rivited is basically an online teen book club. This site is geared more toward teenagers than tweens, but it has some great resources, including free books and excerpts every month. If you student can't find a full book that he/she likes, they can read an excerpt of a book to see if it is something they may be interested in. Or, they can check back again next month to see what is new!
Epic is a great resource, but I saved it for last for 2 reasons: 1. It isn't free. 2. It is for a younger audience. Epic is great in the classroom. Between the hours of 8am and 4pm, students can access Epic for free using a class code giving to them by their teacher (if their teacher participates in Epic). After 4pm, they must have a parent account attached (you can do this if their teacher does not have Epic) which costs $9.99 a month. Epic offers free eBooks, audiobooks, and educational videos. It is for kids ages 3-12. The books for older kids are mostly graphic novels and informational texts, but they are there. This resource is best for struggling readers who need those graphic novels to help them build their confidence with a text.
What online reading websites, apps, or reading resources do you or your teen use?
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