Acquiring good reading comprehension skills is so important for children. Those skills will not only help them to excel in their English classes, but will improve their understanding of history, science, and any other subject they learn about in school. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you help to foster a love of reading in your children from an early age. This is easier said than done, though. Kids can have very particular tastes, and it can be difficult to find the time and money to buy books your children may not even enjoy. Luckily, there are plenty of free books and stories available for your kids to read online.
Here are 8 children’s and YA books online that your kids can read for free, organized by reading level. That way you are sure to find a book your young one will love, no matter whether they are an early reader, middle grade, or a young adult.
My Dream in the Drawer by Fred Stryden
This vibrantly illustrated picture book is about a young girl whose small, private dream of going to outer space grows as she finds the courage to share it with the world. It will help to show your young reader how to follow their own dreams.
This book is available on Book Dash, where your child can read in the browser or download the ebook. They also have the option to listen to an audio reading of the story.
Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Megan and Jorge Lacera
Here’s another picture book for your younger children to enjoy. It tells the story of Mo Romero, a zombie boy who adores growing, cooking, and eating vegetables. But his parents insist that zombies don’t eat veggies, and it’s up to Mo to convince them to give carrots and celery a chance. This book shows that there’s nothing wrong with being different and that in fact, our quirks are what make us special. It may inspire an interest in vegetables in your children as well.
If your child isn’t quite at the point where they can read a book on their own, you can find a fantastic reading of the story by Jamie Camil on Storyline Online. The reading includes bits of animation that are sure to keep your child engaged. You can also turn on the video’s subtitles to give your kids a chance to practice reading along.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
You are most likely already familiar with this children’s story of the girl who falls down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, a strange world full of whimsy and flights of fancy. This novel is sure to expand your child’s imagination. This is also a story that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, so it will be fun to read along with your kids.
Since this book is in the public domain, there are several places your kids can read it online. On Library of Congress, you can flip through the pages of a virtual version of the book in your browser that looks just like the physical book. This edition also includes several delightful illustrations.
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
This is the first book in a series created by a first-grade teacher in 1924. It’s about four orphaned children who create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. In their quest to stay together and survive as a family, they end up meeting their grandfather. This is a heartwarming tale that has enchanted children for generations and is sure to charm your young ones.
You can read this novel for free on Project Gutenberg in your browser, or download it as a Kindle or epub file.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Another first book in a series, this illustrated novel chronicles Greg Heffley’s first year of middle school where tiny weaklings like him must share the halls with big, hulking bullies. When his best friend, Rowley, starts to gain popularity at school, Greg tries to use it to his own advantage and kicks off a chain of events that will test their friendship. This story really captures the growing pains of school life in a way every kid can relate to and will help your child learn to love reading.
You can read a free sample of this title on Overdrive, and use the site to borrow the ebook from your local library.
Brilliant White Peaks by Teng Rong
This novel is told from the perspective of a young wolf who works with his companions to survive harsh weather, search for food, and battle against fearsome predators in the wild. After his family is attacked by a pack of hostile wolves, he and his sister are separated from their parents and must head for the ocean, where their parents said they would wait for them. This beautiful story includes its fair share of hardship and heartbreak but will teach your teens about the will to survive seemingly insurmountable odds.
Your older kids can read this novel for free with Kindle Unlimited, or purchase the ebook for just $2.99.
Fire: An Emlyn’s Revelations story by Lore Nicole
This fantasy novel tells the story of Emlyn, who after suffering abuse from her mother and her mother’s boyfriends for most of her life, discovers a magical flame within that gives her the courage to escape. She travels to work for the King’s wizard and must struggle to master her new powers and inner demons before she can embrace love and discover her destiny. This is a book that will both stimulate your teen’s imagination and teach them resilience in the face of terrible hardship.
Your YA readers can read the first chapter of this book for free on Fictionate.Me, and purchase access to the entire book for just $0.99.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This is the first book in a series of bestselling dystopian YA novels. It tells the story of Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who lives in a future society that is divided into factions based on the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity. Each year, all 16-year-olds must select their permanent factions, and Tris makes a choice that shocks everyone, including herself. This is another novel that highlights what it feels like to be an outsider and will give your child the courage to brave tremendous challenges.
Teens can borrow this fast-paced, action-packed ebook for free from Open Library. There is also the option to listen to an audio version of the novel.
Author’s Bio:- Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jillian has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jillian has also self-published two novels on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Karger/e/B07B894DNW).
Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.
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