Here ye, hear ye: did you know the internet is packed with free books for kids? A lot of us are self-isolating due to COVID-19 right now, hanging out at home with lots of wide-open time that needs filling, and little-to-no accessibility to bookstores or libraries. On top of our own time-passing needs, this can be an especially difficult time for people with children, who are suddenly attempting to homeschool with no prior experience. (Also, see our list of educational comic resources for homeschooling.)
The good news is there is already a decent amount of free books for kids available online, and now there has been an expansion of available resources in light of the virus. Many subscription-based children’s book sites have opened their access to the public at large, and many book publishers have updated on their fair use policies to allow books to be available to kids via social media and school interfaces. If you are interested in accessing free books for kids online, we’ve curated this handy-dandy list.
Also, we’ve chosen these sites because they are fair, legal ways of accessing free books. Support authors! Right now is especially a challenging time for them, as tours have been cancelled or postponed, so if you can find ways to support them, please do. Michelle of Fab Book Reviews has put together a wonderful resource list of links to kid lit author offerings.
Free Books For Kids: Accessible to Anyone
Just the other day, we mentioned it here. Everything is free and it includes titles for all ages and reading levels, as well as kid’s song collections and options of books in different languages. Available books include: The Boy Who Drew Cats by Anushka Ravishankar (preschool level), A Pain in the Pigza by Jack Gantos (elementary level) and Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons by Ashli St. Armant (tween level).
Tumble Book Library
Tumble Book Library has given free access to three additional collections to all of their subscribing libraries until August 31. On top of that, they have removed the authentication requirement, which means that anyone can now access these collections. Hurray! Available ebooks include: Good Night, Good Night Construction Site, I Have to Go! by Robert Munsch, the Geronimo Stilton series, and so much more. This collection of titles is truly amazing.
International Children’s Digital Library
This resource provides ebooks in different languages, including but not limited to Persian/Farsi, Korean, Catalan, French, English and German. Some titles are available in multiple languages, and the images are large, bright and clear. The ebooks include fairy tales of different editions and in different languages.
Another one we wrote about more fully just the other day. Instagram is currently packed with lovely kid lit authors doing book readings for free. Examples of authors and illustrators doing this: Oliver Jeffers, Beatrice Blue, Mac Barnett.
Created by Oxford University Press, this provides tablet-friendly eBooks for kids ages of 3–7. Available ebooks include: Winnie the Witch, Sherlock Holmes and loads of leveled readers of fiction and nonfiction. There are also guides and games for extra learning fun.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation has created this resource with a wonderful selection of books being read by professional actors. Examples of content: Lily Tomlin reading Amanda Noll’s funny Hey, That’s MY Monster! or Robert Guillaume reading Chih-Yuan Chen’s engaging Guji Guji. Suggested grade level and video length is provided, so you know what you are getting into.
Makes available 60,000 free eBooks, split into easy categories for quick browsing. This is an older collection, including mostly books that were published pre-1924.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, like Project Gutenberg, provides access to free classic children’s books like Alice in Wonderland and In The Court of King Arthur.
Available Through Public Library Accounts
Cloud provides access to streaming ebooks and audiobooks. The available selection for this one depends on what your specific library provides.
Hoopla provides access to digital movies and TV, music, ebooks, and audiobooks. Available titles: The Good Egg by Jory John, Pete the Cat series by James Dean and Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.
There it is, our list of free books for kids that are currently accessible online. Regardless of if you are supporting children in reading for fun or education, you have a lot of options and support out there.
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- Why Are Chicago Public Libraries Still Open Amid Soaring COVID Rates?
- How to Make a Children’s Book Museum COVID-Compliant
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- Libraries Reopen in COVID-19 Hot Spots: Are Library Staff Being Protected?
- More Bookish and Literary Masks for Your Pandemic Life
- Quaranzines are Popular and Libraries are Noticing
- A New Role for Little Free Libraries
- As Bookstores Reopen, Stores Seek Safe Practices
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