Parents' Guide to


By Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Detailed study guides a solid supplement to required books.

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Though teachers and parents generally frown on kids using study aids such as SparkNotes without reading the full text, used well these particular resources can help teens better understand and analyze the literature after reading it. The SparkNotes library is extensive, with hundreds of titles available, and includes most high school and college reading lists. Parents may appreciate using the app as a way to refresh their memories of the works their kids are currently reading (or to get an idea of the work if they've not read it themselves). If you're concerned about kids using the app instead of reading an assigned book, keep in mind that sometimes, when kids have a preliminary understanding of a text's plot and characters, they're more easily able to understand the original text, especially in cases where the language and text complexity prove to be challenging. Students may even find inspiration in some of the ideas they read, bringing their own insights into class discussions and analytical writing.

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