Technology is an integral part of all we do. Combine that with a desire to live a “green life,” and you create a market for “paperless books,” Within this list you’ll find online resources that provide book-related content, from reviews and interviews to audio books and downloadable e-Books.
If you aren’t familiar with audio books, we’d recommend you read Listen Up! by Kelly at Stacked. She has put together exactly what you need to know about searching for and selecting books you listen to.
Audible Kids – This website offers an enormous selection of books for kids and young adults. You can browse by Bestsellers, New Releases, Customer Favorites, Animal Stories, Biographies & History, Classics, Fables, Fictions, Mysteries, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, and more.
The Best Children’s Audiobooks – Bianca Schulze offers links and video in this post at The Children’s Book Review, November 2009.
Big Universe – Big Universe is an award winning book site with unique offerings for children. Visitors can read free ebooks online or create and publish their own ebooks for other people to read. Big Universe also provides a place for children to share and recommend books they’ve enjoyed.
Book Bites for Kids – During her weekly Blog Talk Radio program, host Suzanne Lieurance chats with authors about their books, writing for children, and literacy.
BookGlutton – Book Glutton is a great site for older children who want to find, read, and discuss ebooks. The site allows you to read books on the site or import books from the web or your hard drive. Book Glutton books can be read alone or with a group of people.
Children’s Books Online – This Rosetta Project site is an online library of antique illustrated children’s books. Books are indexed by reading level: pre-reader, early reader, intermediate reader, advanced reader, adult reader, and foreign language reader.
Christian Audio – Find all types of audio content, from podcasts to audiobooks. The site offers a free audiobook download, titles change each month. There are two download formats: MP3 and WMA.
Classic Reader – Classic Reader is an excellent place to find free classic ebooks. The site has a special section for young readers with more than 200 of the world’s best loved classics.
Cool Head Stories – This is a collection of online stories for children learning to read (ages 5 to 8). Each story is designed to help a new reader and there are questions for assessing comprehension at the end.
eBooks.com – Find books sorted by genres and for all ages. Read excerpts for new and noteworthy titles for free. Downloads are available in Adobe, Microsoft Reader, and mobipocket reader formats.
Europe of Tales.com –
Fiction.us – Fiction.us is a great place to find classics, short stories, novels and plays for older children. The site also has a small collection of picture books for younger readers who enjoy illustrations with their text.
– This no-frills website has more than 130 free ebooks for children in MP3 format. Books can be downloaded to any computer and burned to a CD.
International Children’s Digital Library – The ICDL is a multicultural digital library for children. The library hosts a large collection of ebooks in English and other languages. Books are sorted by age group, type, genre, and length.
iStorytime – iStoryTime is a library of narrated childrens books for the iPhone™ iStoryTime brings the joy of a kids’s book to the convenience of your iPhone or iPod® touch. Pages can be turned automatically or manually depending on the age and preference of the user. And you can choose the style of narration — an adult voice, child voice or none at all..
Just One More Book – Enjoy audio reviews of children’s books, author interviews, and and book-related themes. “A podcast about the books we love and why we love them.”
LibriVox – All titles on this site are free. These are books in the public domain, recorded and available for listening. You can select from the catalog or download one of their thematic podcasts (e.g., poetry, short stories). There are MP3 and ogg download formats.
Listening to Audio Books with Preschoolers and Early Readers by Dawn Little at Links to Literacy (February 2010)
LookyBook – Look at picture books in their entirety (cover to cover). It’s a great place to start if you aren’t completely sure what you want. Search by author, illustrator, subject, or genre
Magic Keys – This site offers free illustrated ebooks for children of all ages. Storybooks are separated into three categories: young children, older children, and young adult. Other site offerings include online games, jigsaw puzzles, and interactive coloring pages.
Mobi Stories – The site features digital books for kids. These virtual books can be played on computers, xBox, Wii, and PlayStation products (see site for more details). You can try one book for free. Mobi Stories is a service available in some libraries systems.
MrsP.com – On this website, Mrs P “a trusted, skilled storyteller” reads classics of literature to children. Rather than simply presenting an audiobook, Mrs. P recreates the look and feel of “story time,” a magical ritual many kids might not otherwise get to enjoy.
Odyssey Awards – This is the American Library Association’s (ALA) program for honoring “the best” audiobooks for youth available in English, in the US. Each year, a winner and several honor titles are awarded.
Podiobooks – Receive free, serialized books delivered on your schedule. The company asks for donations along with your download. 75% of the donation goes to the author. The books are distributed by RSS, much like a podcast, or by listening to episodes on the site. The audio file can be used on your computer, burned to CD, or loaded onto your MP3 player.
Project Cicero – Get books to school libraries. Project Cicerco describes itself as “an annual non-profit book drive designed to create – or supplement – school and classroom libraries for children in under-resourced New York City public schools.”
Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg was not created exclusively for children but the site does have quite a few ebooks that would be interesting to children. More than 35,000 free ebooks are available through Project Gutenberg in all. Other offerings include free audio books and DVDs.
Read Print – The Read Print library hosts thousands of free ebooks and poems, many of which are suitable for children. Most of the books on Read Print are classics, such as Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Read, Write, Think – You can subscribed (through iTunes) to “Chatting with Books” by Emily Manning on the Read, Write, Think website. Emily chats with kids, parents, and teachers about the best in children’s literature for ages 4-11. In each podcast, she typically interviews a popular author as well. I’ve found many new books for my kids (and myself) through this podcast series.
Resources on the Web – Andromeda Jazmon created an extensive, annotated list of literature-related resources on her blog, A Wrung Sponge.
Story Nory – This is an online resource for audio stories that include new stories, fairy tales, myths, histories, and some poetry. The MP3 downloads are free, and each story has a script that you can print as a read-along/follow-along.
Storyline Online – The Screen Actors Guild Foundation sponsors this collection of actors reading children’s picture books.
Tate Publishing – This is a Christian-based publishing company. You can purchase children’s books as hard-copy editions or eBook downloads. When you purchase a paper edition, you are given a coupon code for the downloadable eBook that can be played on your computer, PDA, or an eBook reader. The eBook is free with the hardcover purchase.