Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

7 Fun (And Effective!) Reading Websites That Engage Students

7 Fun (And Effective!) Reading Websites That Engage Students

By Elizabeth Kahn

reading too much? Whooos ReadingAs a school librarian, part of my job is to try and instill a love of reading in all my students. Of course this is easier said than done when time for recreational reading has to compete with school assignments, extracurricular activities, and interaction with cell phones, tablets and video game.

In fact, only 26 percent of kids ages 12 and 14, and only 14 percent between ages 15 and 17, said they read for fun at least five days a week, as reported by the Washington Post.

I have been on the hunt and collected a number of websites that I believe teachers, parents and students can use to help guide student reading selections. If students have books to that they really like, then they’ll be more inclined to make time in their busy schedules for reading.

Find Book Recommendations

1. Story Snoops

This website was started by a group of four moms from California. They took their love of reading to a new level and created this website to house their book reviews; one of the Snoops has read each and every book recommended on the site.

The best part of this website is the user’s ability to search by age level of the reader, genre, and gender of protagonist. Story Snoops is geared for tweens, teens and young adults, and you can find books categorized at these levels for ages 9 through 18.

2. A Book and a Hug

This site, created by a librarian, has lists of books for a wide range of ages from babies through teenagers. You can search by reading level and category to pull up recommended titles or look at their many lists that have been pre-designed for you.

A new feature allows readers to add their own recommendation and reviews for any book on the site.

3. Book Seer

This site is fun and simple to use. It trolls for its information using data from Amazon. All you need to do is type in the title and author of a book that you liked, and the all-knowing Book Seer will give you a list of books to read next. This site works for all ages, allowing you to enter picture book titles as well as novels and books for adults.

4. What Should I Read Next

This site can be used for all ages and is extremely simple to use. All you need to do is type in the title of a book that you liked, and the site will generate a list of titles for you. You can join this site for free to keep lists of your favorite books. Members’ lists are used to create the lists of suggested titles.

Get Students’ Excited About Reading

5. FictFact

This is a tool that I use almost daily in my library. The site lists books by series. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with what book comes next in a series, and now you don’t have to because FictFact does it for you.

Early chapter books can be found on the site as well as books for adults. If you choose to become a member for free, you can keep a list of your favorite series, and FictFact will notify you when the next book in your series is going to be published.

6. How Long to Read

This site is very engaging for students, and with its database of more than 12 million books, you’re bound to find how long it will take you to read whatever book you have lined up next. Simply type in a title, start the reading timer, and read the paragraph selection on the screen.

When you stop the reading timer, the website will tell you how many hours that it will take you to complete that book. For avid readers who want to spend their weekend engrossed in a good book, this site lets them know if they will have time finish it before school on Monday morning.

7. KidLitTV

This site was created to get students interested in authors by offering a variety of information about the author that appeals to kids, from the youngest ages up through teens. With KidLitTV, students can also watch author interviews and book trailers on video. The mission of this site is to develop life-long readers. That is exactly what I try to do in my library.

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