‘Groundbreaking’ student reading app honored for promoting literacy and books



CLEVELAND – December 3, 2019 OverDrive Education’s student reading app Sora completed a record-breaking year as one of TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019. This achievement illustrates the app’s exceptional originality and influence proven to inspire students to read more books.

The Sora app, which achieved record highs in 2019 in student usage, provides students anytime-anywhere access to ebooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital collection as well as their local public library. According to TIME, Sora “lets kids check out e-books and audiobooks in multiple languages as they would at a library, make notes as they read, and share those notes with their teacher or classmates.” In addition, “teachers can also track the time students spend reading,” which increases accountability and helps students overcome reading challenges and increase comprehension.

“Sora is fantastic for its ease of use, 24/7 accessibility, and option to seamlessly connect with public library collections,” said Jenny Takeda, District Librarian at Beaverton School District (Oregon). “With our district’s instructional mobile device program and the offline reading option, Sora enhances the choice reading component of our Language Arts curriculum and breaks down the walls of the physical library so all our students have access to current, engaging, and high-quality ebooks and audiobooks.”

To be considered for a Best Inventions honor, TIME solicited nominations across a variety of categories from editors and correspondents around the world, as well as through an online application process. Each contender, including Sora, was then evaluated on key factors, including originality, effectiveness, ambition and influence. The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible. The full list of TIME winners can be found here.

In addition, Sora was also a recipient of the 2019 Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award. The independent Academics’ Choice Awards program and its seal of excellence are recognized worldwide by consumers and educational institutions as a mark of genuinely effective learning tools that stimulate the mind and provide potential for the student to fully develop higher order thinking skills. The Academics’ Choice Advisory Board consists of leading thinkers and graduates from Princeton, Harvard, George Washington University, and other reputable educational institutions. The full list of winners is posted here.

The Sora app is available for participating schools’ students, faculty and staff to download through the Apple® App Store and Google Play™ Store, and on Chromebooks™ that support the Google Play Store. It is also available for use in web browsers at https://soraapp.com. For more information about Sora, visit http://meet.soraapp.com.

OverDrive Education is a division of Rakuten OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. Rakuten OverDrive’s Libby app for public libraries was selected as one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018. To learn more about OverDrive Education, visit https://company.overdrive.com/education/.



About OverDrive Education – a division of Rakuten OverDrive

OverDrive Education is the leading global digital reading platform for K-12, offering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks and streaming video. As a 100% digital company serving 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide, OverDrive combines technology with content to support learning and reading in the classroom, library and home on all major devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™, and Kindle® (US only). OverDrive Education released Sora, the student reading app, in September 2018. Founded in 1986, OverDrive and OverDrive Education are based in Cleveland, Ohio USA, and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. company.overdrive.com/education/


David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications