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epic!

What is it:
Epic is a digital library for kids. It has books for all ages, audiobooks, and read-along picture books.

Who is it for:

Epic is for all kids, those who are learning to read, those who may not like reading, and kids who do like reading and want access to a library of books.

What Kids Like:

There is content for all ages, from simple picture books to chapter books. The audiobooks are great as background, before bedtime, in the car. And when we argue about the kids having too much screentime, we often compromise by letting them use Epic.

The app is fairly easy to browse and kids are able to find things that they might not have known about, without having to go to an actual library.

What Parents Like:

Anything that encourages reading is good. The content selection is good, and with ~40,000 titles, at least as full as a small regional library might have, although not as much selection as you’d find in a large city library. The interface is friendly, and I’m comfortable letting even our youngest browse around on the app looking for stuff to look at.

Our local school uses epic! to track our kids’ reading, so the kids can enjoy reading while fulfilling some of their school requirements. Apparently over 90% of American schools use epic!

The system also has tracking features so you can see what the kids are reading. We don’t use that feature, but some parents might appreciate it.

What the Critics Think:

According to the epic! site, epic! has earned a Teachers’ Choice Award, Common Sense Education Top Pick, Mom’s Choice Award, Dr Toy’s 100 Best Award, and Parents’ Choice Gold Award Spring 2019

Concerns/Flaws:

epic! is not free. There is a 1-month free trial of full access, with $10/month afterward. An annual plan costs $72, which works out to $6/month. So it won’t break the bank for most families, but you want to make sure you’ll get regular use out of it.

The selections are sometimes incomplete. Foe example, my kids are into Minecraft books, but the series they found didn’t have every book in the series available, and while there was an audiobook version of one, there weren’t for the others.

Who Made it / History:

epic! has offices in Victoria, British Columbia and Redwood City, California. They launched in 2013. More on their about page.

Where Can I Get it:

The website is getepic.com

Apps available at the Apple iOS App Store and the Google Android Play Store