Let’s get right to it! Let’s take a look at some free options currently available and which books you might find within.
OverDrive is a free app available to be used on your phone, tablet, laptop, or home computer. It’s available through the App Store, Google Play, Chrome Web Store, and Amazon, and is compatible for Windows and Mac users.
As a user myself, I use the OverDrive app on a Fire 7 Tablet. Once a parent has downloaded this app to whichever device they want, all you need is your library card and the number on that card. Once you’re logged in, you can choose your library, and voila, you have access to their e-library.
I recently read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and I’ve downloaded others to share with the kids. Here are some options from my local library that you might be able to find at your own, once you get the app:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – This also has the audio book which, as a Harry Potter fan, I might take advantage of this option!
- Star Wars Options: Lando’s Luck, Finn and Poe Team Up!, and more!
These are two major franchises, with reading options available. With your local library, there are thousands of books available, so consider this a viable option to reconnect with your library.
“Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and his memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.”
Parents can search their online book catalog or explore their Top 100 list, which currently include:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
This list is updated regularly, including what made the list over the past 7 or 30 days. Parents can also search Project Gutenberg by title, author, or subject matter. This service also provides audio books, as well as “languages with more than” or “up to 50 books,” including, but not limited to, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and many more.
This service is simple, and parents or their kids can read directly from their computer or download Kindle eBooks to read from a tablet.
I have used ComiXology somewhat regularly, and I’ve read comics on my laptop and tablet. Parents have the ability to access free titles, as well as purchase digital comics, by signing into their ComiXology or Amazon account. If you’re using your computer, you can read comics on your laptop or you can use the ComiXology app to use from your phone or tablet.
To give you an idea of what’s available, check out a list of all ages and younger age titles that are currently available:
- Tiny Titans #1, All Ages
- Batman: Gotham Adventures #1, All Ages
- DC Super Hero Girls Halloween Comic Fest 2019 #1, All Ages
- Minecraft: Free Comic Book Day 2019, All Ages
- Sonic: Tangle & Whisper #0, Ages: 9+
- Eartha Kitt: Femme Fatale #0, Ages: 9+
- Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1, Ages: 9+
- Faith #1, Ages: 12+
- Ms. Marvel Infinite #1, Ages: 12+
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, Ages: 12+
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ages: 12+
The best recommendation I can make is to look through each digital comic before your younger ones go through. You will be the best determinate on whether you feel like the content is appropriate for your child. The age ranges provided by ComiXology are a great resource, but “flipping” through the pages is the best way to understand what’s inside.
The sampling above is only a handful of available free titles, and some titles will go on sale and become free. They also provide sales or bundles that reduce the cost, if you decide to make that a viable option for any parent or kid who might not have access to their regular comic book shop.
Amazon Prime Reading
Amazon Prime is a monthly or yearly subscription service. Well known for online ordering, such as electronics, clothing, pantry items, toys, and games, Prime also provides an entertainment option that might be perfect for you or your kids. Prime Reading offers a large assortment of books, magazines, graphic novels, and non-fiction options. So, we’ve put together a list your kids will thoroughly enjoy, and some I’m hoping to get my own kids (ages 5 and 7)!
- Vegetables in Underwear – This title makes the list simply for the times my son has had this for “books in bed” and we hear him chuckling all the way downstairs.
- 5-Minutes Fairy Tales featuring Mickey and Minnie
- Frozen: Phantoms of Arendelle
- Doc McStuffins: Pet Vet
- The Best Seat in Second Grade
- I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmation for Kids – This story includes positive statements, such as “I can ask for help” or “I can try again, rather than give up.”
- Laugh Out Loud Jokes
- Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home
- 50 Things to See with a Telescope – Kids: A Constellation Focused Approach
- Amazing World Atlas: Bringing the World to Life
- Hidden Figures – “The incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.”
Amazon Prime is currently $12.99 a month, or $119 for a yearly membership, so this would be a financial consideration to take advantage of this reading resource. Prime Reading also includes a collection of graphic novels, such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Star Wars: Darth Vader, and many more options for older kids and parents to enjoy.
Skybrary by Reading Is Fundamental
“Skybrary - a reading app for kids, has child-friendly navigation giving children ages 2-9 access to over 900 engaging eBooks and 190 video adventures hosted by everyone’s favorite storyteller LeVar Burton.” Skybrary offers access to books, with or without audio narration, video field trips, and a dashboard for parents to check your child’s progress.
Synonymous with children’s learning, LeVar Burton’s association with this program makes me as a parent consider this as an option for my own kids. Skybrary offers an “ad-free environment,” unlimited access, and space for up to three kids to have their own profiles with each subscription. This service is also available to be used on your computer, phone, or tablet.
Skybrary is $4.99 a month, or $39.99 annually, but parents are offered a one-month free trial, allowing you to determine if this service is something you wish to keep long-term.
What resources do you enjoy using for your kids, especially now as we all do our best to offer home schooling? Share what apps you enjoy most or what stories your kids are in love with most right now. Please let us know in the comments below.
If you like this content, don’t forget to like this page and share with your friends over on Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to providing resources for you and your geeky family moving forward.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.