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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Free online books for kids

Yesterday we took a look at how to access the huge number of literary classics and other free books that are available online. Today we turn our attention to books for younger readers.

Studies have shown that during a summer break that can stretch to 10 weeks or more, kids can regress in their reading skills by as much as a full month. However, with the increasing popularity of e-books, there is no excuse for not picking up a good book for at least a few minutes every day.

And you don’t need to buy an expensive iPad, Kindle or other e-reader. Numerous sites provide access to e-books right on your computer, with no need for software plug-ins or other downloads.

Here are some sites that provide fun and interesting titles for students at a variety of different reading levels. And best of all – they are 100% free!

Leading to Reading

A fun site for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Young children are introduced to reading through a collection of narrated picture books. The site also has Sing-along, Doodle and Explore sections. The site was developed by Reading Is Fundamental, a non-profit organization that provides books and other literacy resources to underserved children from birth through age 8.

Storyline Online

This non-profit web site is maintained by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. It was created to bring books alive for children in a way that few other web sites can – by having them read aloud by actors that many children will recognize from television shows and movies. The story book videos switch between the actor and the images and illustrations from the books. For younger viewers, the words can be displayed along the bottom of the screen, so they can follow along with the narrator.

International Children’s Digital Library

An amazing resource for anyone interested in finding great e-books for kids. The books here are not your typical bookstore fare but many are award-winning stories that children will love. From the main page you can choose books by country, browse featured books, look at the most recently added books, and more. The ICDL provides a high-quality reading format through an embedded and easy-to-use online reader app.


DailyLit delivers electronic books to you anytime, anywhere via e-mail. The books come in installments, so your child can manage how much he or she is going to read at any given time. It’s a great way to get kids into a routine where they read a little every day. The hundreds of free titles include numerous kids’ classics, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  

Read Print

Read Print is a completely free online library of thousands of classic novels, poems, stories, essays and plays. Everything is here, from Animal Farm to the complete works of Shakespeare. Read Print contains a wealth of reference information on well-known and lesser-known authors and each book is available by chapter for easy viewing and scheduling.

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