Free Children's Literature Online
Reading is a fun hobby, but it can get expensive if you buy your books. There are plenty of places on the Internet to find free books for children of all ages. Teachers with computers in the classroom will find these online books to be great resources for readers who enjoy technology.
One of the first places to look for free books online is your local library website. Many libraries subscribe to the OverDrive Digital Media Service. A free download of the OverDrive console allows library patrons to check out digital versions of books, just as they would a regular library book, for a period of time. When the time is up, the book can no longer be accessed. This is a great, easy way to read books for free.
Readers of all ages will find lots of books on Children's Storybooks Online. Some of the stories have audio options that read the text, and some even have animation! The largest selection of stories is for young readers.
The International Children's Digital Library also provides free books to children all over the world. It is a combined project of the National Science Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and Microsoft Research to offer good quality books for children worldwide. Books for children ages 3-13 are featured on the site. Books may be searched or browsed by country, keyword, author, and more.
Children's Classics offers classic stories for both young children and older kids. The only problem with the stories is that some stories require readers to return to a page of links to progress to the next page or chapter of the story. Younger children may require assistance.
Books Should Be Free is a site that offers free audiobooks. These are mostly classics, available in mp3 as well as iPod-compatible formats. There are books for children, teens, young adults, and adults available for download. They may be played on the computer or a portable digital device.
Feedbooks offers a list of public domain books (books that are not copyrighted and can be offered for free) that may be downloaded. This site is primarily for older readers and includes A Christmas Carol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Story of Doctor Dolittle.
Project Gutenberg has several free children's books as well. Anthologies, biographies, series, literature, and more are all available in multiple formats including plain text and in some cases audio.
The Library of Congress has a collection of rare children's books. Each book has been scanned into the site so that each page may be viewed individually or downloaded as a .PDF document.
These are just a few of the websites that offer free children's books online. Be aware that, while these sites do not charge, some sites will only allow readers to view a few pages before asking for a subscription or payment. It is wise to check the FAQ section or membership information before beginning to read or you may find that you can't finish what you have started!