Q-files

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Q-files Website Poster Image
Encyclopedia entries give brief but useful info on topics.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about social studies and science from short entries on space, technology, geography, and other topics. Sections feature information on prehistoric life, historical happenings, and astronomy or related space subjects. Kids can also read about the human body, animals, and plants. A culture portion covers art, film, literature, and religion. Q-files is an encyclopedia, so they'll need to use other resources if they want a lot of detail. Adding interactive elements might help hold their interest, but visual items are included to help explain concepts. In general, the site provides a solid introduction to a number of topics.

Violence & Scariness

Kids will see some references to war and violence, but nothing especially detailed or gory.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Kids won't see plugs for the publisher's books, but they'll need to subscribe to view more than sample items on a page. An individual/family subscription is $54 a year; the site also offers a free 14-day trial.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Q-files is a U.K.-based site that offers kid-friendly introductions to history, culture, geography, space, and other topics. The tone is appropriate for independent reading or classroom reference, and kids can click on the U.S. flag at the top of the screen to see a version without British spelling, which could throw some readers off. They may see information about battles or war but won't find anything too violent or otherwise inappropriate, and users can't post anything, so the site provides a safe experience. Kids can partake in a 14-day free trial that doesn't require parents to enter any payment information; for ongoing use, they'll need a paid yearly subscription.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

Q-FILES is an online encyclopedia created by U.K.-based publisher Orpheus Books Limited. The content, which Orpheus says is updated weekly, focuses on social studies and science. It's also geared toward Key Stage 2 and 3 (or grades 3 to 8 in the U.S.). Entries feature images, links to other entries, and a short description. Some also include brief fun fact items, and kids can view answers to related questions in Q-&-A items. A paid yearly subscription is required to see more than one item per page, but kids can test the site out with a 14-day free trial.

Is it any good?

This reference website provides an easy-to-understand, informative look at numerous topics, even if the listings on this site don't dive especially deep. Q-Files includes an impressively diverse range of entries includes items on famous leaders, such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of the republic of Turkey, and Charlemagne. It also covers world population growth, the solar system, and more. Whimsical fare, such as what elements were often included in castles built in the Middle Ages, are featured along with more serious subjects, such as World War II and ecosystems. Kids will also see extensive listings on dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, and other items. The technology and science sections provide great diagrams and illustrations to show kids how electricity, plate tectonics, and other concepts work. The Q-news, Q-facts, and Q-&-A items also offer additional information on some subjects.

That being said, this is an encyclopedia, so the entries aren't suitable as citation-worthy resources for a research paper, and kids won't get a comprehensive look at each topic. Overall, though, the site is a great reference tool -- it can help kids quickly find out about unfamiliar concepts, inspire them to learn more about them, and introduce them to new subjects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about news and media literacy. How do you know which websites to trust? What do those websites look like? 

  • This "encyclopedia" looks different from the older multi-volume, hardcover ones, but why are encyclopedias useful, and what are their limitations?

Website details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love learning

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate