Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch HD

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Vocabulary, Interactive Stories, Reading Fluency, Sight Words, Spelling

What we like best:

This interactive novella uses sound and fast-paced decision making to create an immersive, dynamic reading experience.

What you should know:

A few programming glitches make some of the interactive icons and words frustrating to tap or drag.
Full Review:

Welcome to the mysterious Shadow Ranch, where whispers of a ghost horse scares away business—and Nancy Drew is on the case! This interactive reading app offers young readers the chance to choose their own path, full of interactive surprises at every turn.

In the first chapter, voices, spooky music and sound effects pull them into the wild world of cowboys, ghosts and treasure. Interactive words and icons reveal hidden prizes, mini games and important decisions that affect the future of the story and its characters. Do you stop and help find the clues in a hidden object mini-game? Or do you race to the cave to help save Uncle Ed from danger? Each fork in the road requires the reader to pick up the magnifying glass and sort through clues woven into the text. Little detectives will love taking charge of the story, making this virtual book feel more like a game. Engaging and mysterious, this app truly uses smart device capabilities to show young readers that books can be preferable to video games.

The full version boasts eight chapters, while the lite version allows you to sample one for free. More tap-to-define words would help kids build vocabulary, and knock this teachable tool out of the park. However, the word jumbles and spelling games in this app keep the fun rolling while building out reading comprehension skills.

Teacher Features:
Teachers can use this engaging story app to encourage reading, and hidden collectibles help educators track reading progress.
Reviewed 2012-12-03 on iPhone iOS6 by Meg Butler

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App Icon
Price:Free - $2.99
Grade:Fourth Grade
Publisher:Her Interactive
Standards:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4