Ask any parent if their child loves hearing stories, especially at bedtime, and the answer will likely be a resounding yes. The good thing for parents is that there are plenty of resources for you to find free books for your kids to read. To get started, try these sites for finding free online books for kids, which is a mix of sites where you can download free ebooks for kids, PDFs, and places where you can filter books by the ages they’re targeted for, then read them directly from the site!
Here are the best of the bunch.
1. Library of Congress
We’ve clicked our way through the Library of Congress to find its impressive childrens’ books collection so that you don’t have to. You’ll find high-quality scans of books new and old, many of them with original old-timey illustrations that can be enjoyed by adults as well as kids.
You’ll find classics like Humpty-Dumpty, old nursery rhymes, Rip Van Winkle and other classic tales that will whisk you and your kids off to a bygone era. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the brightly-colored children’s literature of today.
2. Magic Keys
Magic Keys looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while, but it has dozens of nicely illustrated stories that you can quickly browse through and read to your kids.
There are a few different categories here, generally distinguishing between different age groups of children, and some of the stories even have narration. As you might expect, the stuff here is best read on a tablet so that your child can enjoy the pretty pictures as you turn through the pages.
The site has quite a few activities for children, including riddles and quizzes.
3. Open Library
Part of the popular Internet Archive organization, Open Library houses a large collection of more than 22,000 books for kids that can be read online for free. All it takes to grab these free books is to have a parent sign up at the Internet Archive (free) to receive instant access to all books.
Many of the books are historical favorites like Alice in Wonderland, Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This isn’t the site for new books or bestsellers, but it’s definitely the place for some of the most popular children’s books of all time. It will take a little searching and poking around to find exactly what you want, but the few minutes it takes to locate a classic is well worth it.
4. Amazon Free Children’s Ebooks
Amazon, well-known for selling an untold number of books, also has a really great collection of more than 3,000 ebooks for kids available for free. If your children have a Kindle or access to the Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet, they can quickly grab any of the free books. There are classic favorites in Amazon’s library as well as newer titles that rotate in and out of their free collections.
A quick glance at the Top 100 free books shows a good breakout of stories for a variety of ages and interests. Does your child like knock-knock jokes? Amazon has you covered. There are stories of adventure, dragons, mermaids and holiday-themed books around Halloween and Christmas. There is truly something for everyone.
5. International Children’s Digital Library
A nonprofit organization, International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) is home to more than 4,500 free kids’ books in 59 languages. The simplified search interface allows you to search for books by age, genre, reading level, length of book and more. Once you grab a few titles, you can read them online or through the downloadable app for iPhone and iPad.
One of the best parts of ICDL is the opportunity to create a personalized bookshelf for the whole family. All you need to do is create a free account, set a few personal preferences and start bookmarking books you want to read later. If you don’t want to sign up, there are always a few featured titles available without any login requirements.
6. Oxford Owl
Developed for children ages 3 through 11, Oxford Owl is another great destination for free children’s books. Are you unsure at what level your child should be reading? Oxford Owl provides a test for all children ages 3 through 7 to properly determine the appropriate stage or reading level. The free book library is broken up by reading level, book type, and series as well as age group. The books can then be separated again by genres, which include fiction, legends, poetry, myths and more.
With more than 150 free ebooks available, registration is free for parents and teachers. Teachers can even take advantage of storytelling videos and worksheets that relate to some of the free ebooks.
With a great selection of classics all the way to original stories, Storynory is yet another great option for free kids ebooks. Offering more than 600 free books for kids, Storynory offers some of the most classic fairy tales that are instantly familiar to parents. Is it time to introduce your children to Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Little Red Riding Hood? Then Storynory is the right place. What’s more is that classic stories like these are included in their original formatting.
The website also offers a podcast to help read your child a story through popular podcast apps. It’s yet another reason to give this site a visit.
FreeBooksy is a great site for free ebooks, as its list of titles changes almost daily. Most are available on Amazon, but many of their free book options are also available on Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo or iBooks. Dates on each book let you know how long you have to grab the story before it’s no longer free, which means you need to visit the site frequently. That’s a small price to pay for a strong selection of books that add a range of genres and topics. You can be sure that your kids will always find something new and enjoyable to read.
There are plenty of resources when it comes to finding free online books for kids. One of the best ways to manage your ebook library is using a tool called Calibre, which you can learn about in our guide. If you’re as much of a movie buff as a book buff, then see the best sites to download subtitles for movies and TV shows.