A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can practice their reading. Voice-recognition software and a computerized response system give kids feedback and support when they run into difficult words. The race aspect may encourage kids to pick up their pace and strive for accuracy, which could help them achieve smooth, fluent reading skills.
Ease of Play
Using the app is pretty straightforward, but technical problems can easily frustrate.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
Creative use of technology attempts to replicate the experience of a new reader making their way through a story with the help of an experienced reader -- but only gets partway there. Reading Racer is a nice concept and gives kids ample opportunity to practice reading on their own. Struggling with a word? Pronounce something wrong? The voice-recognition software and built-in reading support allow kids to get feedback right where they need it. And the stories get progressively more challenging to read as kids earn more points, so the experience grows as they do. Unfortunately, there can be enough technical issues to interfere with kids' experience. For example, though the voice recognition generally works pretty well, there are times when it incorrectly detects things or the reading cursor jumps ahead even though kids' reading hasn't caught up. These kinds of things can really confuse early readers. The computerized voice, low-tech graphics, and less-than-thrilling stories could also use some work. Of course, the experience of practicing reading with a loving caregiver is irreplaceable. But, particularly given that it's free, Reading Racer could provide some additional practice -- when everything is working correctly, that is.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.