Last Updated on June 29, 2021 by Sarah
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Did you know there are a number of ways you can get free books for kids?
Reading to (or with) your child is one of the best things you can do help foster a child’s love of books and stories. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with your chid.
One solution is to look for bargains in second hand or charity stores and I personally find this a great way to pick up some great children’s books for a fraction of their original price – often in almost perfect condition.
But if you want to go a step further and source kids books for free (including eBooks and audio books), here are 12 ideas to get you started:
12 Ways To Get Free Books For Kids
1 – Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg offers over 56,000 eBooks on its site – all for free. It’s an amazing resource and you’ll find some of the world’s greatest literature here, particularly older works, where copyright has expired.
Check out the Children’s Bookshelf section for classics such as The Railway Children, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz. You can read the books online or download them.
2 – Free Kindle Books
Amazon started out as an online bookstore and it’s now grown into one of the biggest retailers in the world. But did you know you can get a variety of free books for your Kindle on Amazon? This includes kids’ books for a variety of ages. You can search for free kids’ eBooks here.
3 – Craigslist and Gumtree
Ad sites such as Craigslist or Gumtree often have free kids’ books available. Sometimes, people are looking to free up space or at home, or often they just want to pass books on to a good home. Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye open for free books available in your area. I recently spotted a whole series of Diary of A Wimpy Kid books going for free on Gumtree in the UK.
4 – Your Local Library
It might sound obvious, but many people forget about the wonders of their local library. My daughter loved spending an hour or two in the kids’ section when she was a toddler. Whilst libraries, of course, lend books, you may find your local library sometimes has a clear out and gives older books away for free. If you live in the UK, you can find your nearest local library here.
5 – Free Kids Books
Free Kids Books is a library of children’s books and literary resources available online for, well, free! Books are separated into categories for toddlers, children, and young adults and they’re all available for download in PDF format. There are loads of sub categories, ranging from adventure and fairytales to dinasours, dragons and emotions. Reader reviews also help you sift out which books are the popular ones.
6 – Imagination Library
I didnt have a clue about this until recently, but Dolly Parton’s amazing Imagination Library (yes, the Dolly Parton!) is a book gifting program that mails free books to children up to the age of 5. You do have to live in a participating area within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, but it’s easy to find out if your child is eligible here.
7 – Loyal Books
Loyal Books is another public domain free book resource, where you can get free audiobook and eBook downloads for older chidren. There are some great classics available, such as Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, Heidi, Qesop’s Fables and Swiss Family Robinson. Here’s a link to the full children’s section.
8 – Free Children’s Stories
The aim of Free Children’s Stories is to offer ‘traditional, meaningful storytelling to every child, parent, or teacher around the globe.’ The books are written by best selling author, Daniel Errico and divided into age categories for easy browsing. A lovely idea and a completely free resource.
9 – Audible Free Trial
If you think your child might like audio books, Audible’s Free Trial is a good way to try one out. Your first book is completely free, then you pay a subscription fee after 30 days. You can cancel anytime you like, but if you don’t want to continue after the Free Trial, remember to cancel or you’ll get charged.
10 – Storynory
Storynory is a UK based site which offers free audio book downloads for kids. Choose from a range of children’s categories including fairytales, myths & world and poems & music. Many of the kids’ stories are exclusive to Storynory, others are by classic authors, where copyright has expired
11 – Magic Blox
Magic Blox provide a growing collection of eBooks for children aged from 1 to 13 years. Stories are from award winning authors and publishers from around the world and if you register for a LadyBug Access Pass, you can get 1 book per month for free. Magic Blox can be a good way to discover new stories from authors you may not have heard of.
12 – Story Jumper
Story Jumper is a litle different in that it allows kids to actually create and publish their own illustrated stories. Aimed at both schools and families, Story Jumper is a great way for budding little writers to use their imagination and express themselves through the written word. There’s no cost to use Story Jumper – you can create, share and read books online, all for free.
Free Books For Kids: A Final Word
Most kids love to read. It helps them make sense of the world, plus it ignites their imagination and helps inspire creativity.
The 12 resources above all provide a range of free traditional paper books, eBooks and audio books for you and your child to try.
From classic authors for the older child and illustrated books for toddlers to authors you may never of heard of, you should find something new (and free!) to try in the list.
I hope you find the resources useful.
If you liked this post, you might also like these 21 chapter books to foster independent reading, these 15 amazing short stories for kids or these 9 solar system and space books to help inspire planetary passion!