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Free Online Books for Children

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Online Children's Books

Whether you homeschool, live far from a library, or just have a voracious reader on your hands the Internet can be a life-saver with a multitude of websites where you can find books to read for free.

Some of the sites have registration requirements, and some don't. Some allow you to download and print, and some don't. Be sure, though, that almost whatever you may be looking for in the way of children's books can be found online.

Many of the books that my children have read online are out of print. Some of these are the classic stories that our grandparents read and enjoyed, like Raggedy Ann and Andy stories, Gulliver's Travels, and Kidnapped. Others are written just for the online sites but are no less enjoyable.

The following is a list of some of the sites that I enjoy most.

Reading is fun for all ages! Increase your library with free electronic books.
Reading is fun for all ages! Increase your library with free electronic books.

Goodnight Moon

Free Books Online Websites

Children's books Online by the Rosetta Project has children's books in numerous categories from pre-readers through advanced. They also have audio "read to me"books to give your non-reading child a chance to enjoy the site as well. The stories in this collection ore the classics of long ago, some familiar and some that only our grandparents would recognize. Some of the stories I found here are:

  • Snip and Snap and the Billy Goat with audio file
  • The Bee Who Would Not Work
  • The Little Engine that Could
  • Kate Greenaway's Book of Games
  • Rinkitink In Oz
  • The Story of Sir Launcelot and his Companions
  • Blue Beard

The books come with the original illustrations, and type. The are fun to read and interesting to look at. The classic stories are just as exciting as they were all those years ago.

The International Digital Children's Library is a collection of books for children from around the world. The mission of this organization is one of peace, inspiring children to become members of the global community. Books are separated by age range, beginning at age three and ending at age thirteen. You can also search books by color of the cover, type of story, or short, medium and long books. This site is for children and is very user friendly. Some of the books I found here were:

  • Aesop A Child's Garden of Verses
  • ABC's in German

The site allows children to leave reviews of the books they have read, and gives background information the book, the author, and the publishing date.

Bibliomania has the text from hundreds of books. These books are for older children and include authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, Louisa May Alcott, and Charles Dickens. The books are without illustration for the most part, as they are in the original. This collection is a fantastic way to get that high school reading list knocked out.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is an excellent resource for a study of Shakespeare. This site has a very easy to use format.

Classic Authors Online is an extensive resource of books. Stephen Crane, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Cervantes are some of the authors on this list. These books are for high school level readers, older students, and adults.

By Gosh is a website with a few selected stories for children. They have an online copy of St Nicholas Magazine for Children from 1878, as well as The Illustrated Alphabet of Birds, published in 1851. The latter would be excellent addition to a unit study on birds. It has fascinating facts and wonderful illustrations.

Best Online Classics for Children states that they have 492 classic books for children. I found some of my old favorites here, like several nature stories by Thornton Burgess. George MacDonald's AT the Back of the North Wind is here, as well as many other books for intermediate readers. There are a number of "living books" here, that would certainly be enthusiastically received by Charlotte Mason, herself, for nature and history studies.

Always Available!

When your child is bored, has no more books to read, or even if you are looking for free homeschooling materials, check these sites out. There are enough books here to keep even the strongest reader busy for a long time.

Many of these sites also have nonfiction, and adult classics. Knowing that these books are available for free, at anytime of the day or night, leaves no excuse to not fill your mind with good literature.


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    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Great hub! The links still seem to work, so I've linked this hub to my children's poetry site!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I just ran across your great Hub. Thanks so much for this information. Up and Useful!

    • profile image

      Daniel 8 years ago

      Really nice information!

    • Angela_1973 profile image

      Angela_1973 8 years ago

      I love this hub, and I am bookmarking it immediately.

    • profile image

      msldkelly 8 years ago

      Very informative hub. I like it.

    • profile image

      highwaystar 10 years ago

      Thanks Marye, excellent tips with resource, you're much appreciated. It's a well know fact, research into reading and listening, many children learn and get the most effective results by listening, if you'd like to check out this resource you'd be greatly adding to your kids and grand childrens education, go to:

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Marye! thanks for the great links...I'll pass them on to my daughter for my granddaughters.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • JerseyGirl profile image

      JerseyGirl 10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I liked this Hub a lot. Lots of info, and great links. Thanks for publishing.