Best Ways for Kids to Read Books Online
When the kids have read every book in the house, and you can’t get to the bookstore or local library, e-books are an affordable option. From picture books to children’s classics and graphic novels, these free online resources will keep kids reading.
Get kids excited about reading: Read the book and…
…watch the movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone, The Lightning Thief, The Secret Garden
…act it out: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, The Three Bears, The Little Red Hen
…cook something: Stone Soup, Thundercake, Green Eggs and Ham
…write your own adventure: Little House on the Prairie, James and the Giant Peach, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Visit the Georgia Public Library website to find your county library system and register for a card. Many libraries are offering temporary digital cards while they are closed to the public. Local libraries have a wealth of online options for e-books, audiobooks and other resources for computer, phone or tablet. Offerings vary by library system but may include:
Download e-books, audiobooks and magazines to your computer, tablet or phone using your library card and the Libby app. OverDrive is user-friendly and allows you to place and cancel holds, start a reading list and return books early. Set parental controls to limit the age range of materials, or use the “kids” or “teen” portals.
Borrow e-books, audiobooks, movies, music and TV shows, which can be streamed or downloaded for later. Parents can activate a “Kids Mode” to show only age-appropriate content.
This kid-specific site has 15,000 fiction and non-fiction e-books and audiobooks. Browse by age, subject and featured book lists.
Ages: PreK-4th grade
Connect: through your local library’s website.
This Scholastic site helps reinforce reading skills by pairing interactive video storybooks with a related non-fiction book. Themed games and activities encourage beginning readers.
Connect: through your local library’s website.
RBdigital offers a wide range of magazines, e-books and audiobooks, entertainment and education – the types of content varies by library system. Create an account using your library card and view content on a computer, tablet or phone.
This virtual library has subscription-only information available for free to library users, including historical documents and photos, articles, e-books, newspapers, and encyclopedias. Content can be filtered by Elementary, Middle and High School.
Look for more educational resources for kids on your local library’s website, including Axis360, Gale e-books, Kids InfoBits, and ClassPass (in cooperation with Atlanta Public Schools), Flipster, tutoring assistance and more.
More E-book Resources
The Junior Library Guild has a limited selection of free e-books and audiobooks for elementary, middle and high school students. The site’s content rotates, so there are always new items available. Choose an age range and read books on your computer, or download the JLG Digital app for other devices.
This collection of over 60,000 free e-books can be read online or downloaded to other devices. Most are older works whose U.S. copyright has expired; you’ll find some great classic kids’ books here, like “The Swiss Family Robinson” and “The Secret Garden.” Searching is limited to author or title.
Gateway to the Classics
Browse this collection of free classic books by author or title for ages K-12. The selection is small but you’ll find classic fairy tales, poetry and historical books. Each title has a specified age rating.
Amazon offers free e-books to read on the Kindle app or device; go to the website and search “free e-books for kids.” You’ll need to create an account to download books. Amazon Prime members can read a selection of books, audiobooks and magazines at no charge. Look for discounted pricing on select titles, too.
This UK-based site has collection of e-books for ages 3-11. Create a free account and browse by age range, reading level or subject. Don’t miss the classic British “Biff, Kip and Chipper” learn-to-read series!
Children’s Books Online
This collection of illustrated antique books is fun to browse; try the McGuffey’s Reader series, Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Mother Goose.
Ages: Pre-reading to advanced
Barnes & Noble
Use Barnes and Noble’s Nook app to read a wide selection of free e-books for kids and teens (adult titles are available as well. Search “free e-books” on the website. Find more e-book deals for as low as 99 cents.
Sesame Street is temporarily offering a large selection of e-books free via reading platforms like Apple, Google Play and Nook. Visit their website for titles, along with other educational resources and videos.
Ages: preK-early elementary
International Children’s Digital Library
The ICDL celebrates diversity by providing free e-books for children in a variety of languages and cultures. Search the website by country, topic, or age range.
Library of Congress
The world’s largest library has millions of books, recordings, newspapers, manuscripts, photos and maps in its collection. Find family-friendly activity kits and collections on the website, or visit read.gov/kids to find classic books, book lists, author webcasts and events.
The digital distribution service offers a selection of free e-books (and books for purchase for as low as 99 cents), including some for young readers. Use the Google Play Books app to download and read.
This website offers books for kids 12 and under, and although it’s a subscription service ($7.99 per month), parents can sign up for a free 30-day trial. With 40,000 books, videos and games, it offers fiction, non-fiction, STEM, graphic novels, biographies and more and may be a good investment during the summer months.
Ages: 12 and younger