reading unicorn [ˈrē-diŋ  \ ˈyü-nə-ˌkȯrn]

noun – A mythical perfect book at the perfect reading level with the perfect content; often mistaken for flashy covers masquerading as quality; recognizable by producing instantaneous joy on the faces of children.

1. What Is This Reading Unicorn?

In the end, it all comes down to the Reading Unicorn. And chances are your kids haven’t found it at school.  Or your public library.  She’s an elusive beast, extremely rare and incredibly unique…in fact, she appears differently to every child.  

The search can be difficult, but the key is to not lose hope!  Everyone’s Reading Unicorn will appear if you know where and how to look!

The Challenge of the Hunt

Whether you have voracious readers, I’ll-read-if-I-have-tos, or anti-library picketers, every parent knows the challenge of finding good books for their kids to read.  The dilemma lies in several avenues:

Reading Level – content that is leveled appropriately to both meet the reader on their level and challenge them to improve reading fluency

Content prose, poetry, dialogue, or non-fiction – the content has to be appropriate for the reader’s age and maturity level

Interest – cover art and content intriguing enough to keep the reader hooked

Accessibility – both locating the book, and the ability to read it well

Hunts used to take place often in libraries across the nation, in both schools and public avenues, but then COVID.  In the age of the pandemic, not many of us are willing to spend extra time in public libraries leisurely browsing the shelves for the Unicorn.

Books are assigned in the classroom as well, but often what is assigned in school just isn’t your kiddo’s cup of tea, or they choose the easiest thing they can find during library time. 

2. Reading Unicorns on LightSail for Reading at Home

Enter the very real-life land of thousands of Reading Unicorns, just basking in their glory on this online platform waiting to be spotted by the just-right kid they’ve been hoping will read their words – LightSail for Reading at Home.  Here, there are thousands of free books to read for kids, and many LightSailers have told us they have met multiple Reading Unicorns within the site.

A First Look at Unicorns

How do they do it?  Let’s go back to the requirements:

Reading Level 

LightSail is powered by Lexile, a proven scientific tool used to measure and forecast reading ability, enabling kids to be matched with books and other content on their just-right reading level.  When you start your 7-Day FREE TRIAL with LightSail for Reading at Home, kids will be able to take a Power Challenge that will accurately determine their Lexile level.  Knowing their number empowers them with a search tool to look for that Reading Unicorn one step closer.  It’s like a magic wand, except it’s a number based in science and research.


LightSail offers ChildSafe Controls for parents to select down the bones which content they will allow their child to read…or even see…on the digital shelves.  You can align your child’s age and maturity level with the content found on LightSail, and match it with their Lexile to get one step closer to that Unicorn sighting.


Packed with high-definition graphics and enticing titles, LightSail literally houses shelves of Unicorns just waiting for their perfect match.  Tens of thousands of free books to read online for kids can be discovered here, but that Unicorn may still be elusive.  


And herein lies the magic that brings your child and their Unicorn together…

3. They “LightSail” their books.  

Once you crack that digital cover and open up a book, your child has the ability to personalize EVERYTHING.  From text size, to background color, to page orientation, to audio speed…you can even see the words highlighted one by one or sentence by sentence, a goldmine for early readers and struggling readers alike!

You don’t get that with the public domain or from an ebook download.

4. How Do I Get This Magic for My Kids?

LightSail for Reading at Home offers a 7-Day FREE TRIAL right now to begin your search and let your kids read books online free!  No strings attached, and no credit card needed!

I'm a Fire Breather!: Meet a Dragon

It’s an amazing solution for finding high-quality content at that just-right reading level to satisfy both your and your kids’ reading demands.  

Don’t even worry if you’ve tagged your kid as “picky”…LightSail has loads of Reading Unicorns just waiting to meet their kid.  And if the “Unicorn” of it all has you ruffled, there are equally as many “Reading Dragons” out there lying on our digital shelves just waiting to light a fire underneath your readers!

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Posted on 9.Sep.21 in Reading at Home Tips

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How do I know what books are right for my child?

LightSail takes the guesswork out of choosing books for your child by tailoring each child’s library to their precise reading level.

By honing in on a child’s precise Lexile reading score, LightSail can match them with books that are at that “just-right” level to promote optimal reading progress.

And because LightSail contains such a wide-ranging array of content, there is always a vast selection of books for any topic or interest.

What ages/grades is LightSail for?

LightSail’s Premium and Standard subscriptions are designed for children in grades 3 through 12 (ages 8-18).

We also have a World Book Kids subscription for grades 1 through 2 (ages 5-7) and a World Book Early Learners subscription for PreK through K (ages 2-5).

Is LightSail different from an Amazon Kindle or other e-readers?

Unlike static e-readers, LightSail doesn’t just offer children books.

Every book and article in LightSail contains 6 layers of added features that let your child experience books.

By adapting to a child’s precise reading ability, offering them content that is at that “just-right” reading level to promote literacy growth, and providing a fully customizable, rewarding reading experience, LightSail unlocks the magic of reading in ways no physical book or static e-reader can.

What types of parental control do I have over my child’s activity and content?

In short, complete control.

LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features that govern every aspect of the platform from video viewing, to chats, to what content can be seen and accessed.

Additionally, LightSail’s revolutionary ChildSafe Content Controls lets parents screen and block content according to dozens of nuanced subcategories based on maturity factors, family values, and religious topics.

How can I make reading fun for my child?

LightSail incorporates gamification features into every aspect of the platform, especially reading!

By integrating badges, goals and milestones, social sharing options, motivational messages, and the ability for parents to add customizable gift rewards, LightSail incentivizes reading, writing, and learning just like kids’ favorite games.

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