A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
To play HOME BASE BY SCHOLASTIC, choose to enter as a guest, or register to access all the features. Registration requires kids to pick a username, provide an email address, and customize an avatar. Once in, all users can travel to different islands, each of which represents a different Scholastic book series. On the islands, kids can interact with main characters, read excerpts from the book, or play mini-games. Travel from island to island to change book theme, or visit the hub to get a sneak peak of them all. Collect points to buy items at the virtual store. Registered users have access to all the community features such as chat and role-play games. They can also create and post polls, comics, or stories. A newsfeed keeps kids up to date on special events and new posts.
Is it any good?
This virtual world is a relatively safe place for kids to connect with each other and geek out around their favorite book series. Home Base by Scholastic is large and there's lots to explore, particularly if kids register and use the full app. For kids who have multiple book interests, or don't nail down a particular series, it can feel a bit overwhelming -- at least at first. But, once kids find their groove, they should move around with ease. The games are quite varied and do a good job of highlighting the spirit of the book series they belong to. Kids can read some, but Home Base by Scholastic is more about playing games and interacting in a virtual world than reading. The short excerpts may pique kids' interest and inspire them to seek out a book series, but it's more likely that kids will choose to interact with the series they already know and love.
Kids who play as guests can still do a fair amount, which is great. But, the main feature of Home Base by Scholastic is really the community, where kids can connect with likeminded kids around the globe. Real-life human moderators in all the community areas provide a good sense of safety, and there are clear guidelines and grounds for removal. But, it's still a community space, and parents will probably want to be at least somewhat aware of what their kids are doing and experiencing there. Home Base by Scholastic can be a great meeting space for fans of a variety of book series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about guidelines and expectations for interacting with others in Home Base by Scholastic. What's acceptable to share and what needs to stay private? How can kids talk to other kids respectfully? What should kids do if they feel uncomfortable with something someone says to them?
Ask kids about the book series that interests them? What are the books about? What draws kids to the characters or the stories?
Encourage kids to create their own content with the comics feature or write their own stories in the writing space. Have kids share what they've made with you.
It can be easy for kids to lose track of time in this virtual world. Make your family's rules and expectations around screen time clear before your kids start playing.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct
Tech Skills: social media
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: February 25, 2020
- Category: Family Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Size: 986.90 MB
- Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
- Version: 2.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later; Android 7.0 and up
- Last updated: April 21, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love reading and social networks
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.