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The Best Sites for Free Children’s Books and Stories

Child reading a book with magic sparkles flying out
conrado/Shutterstock

Reading books to your children is not only a great way to spend time bonding with them but an excellent way to teach language skills and get them excited about reading. When physical books don’t get the creative juices flowing, try the following websites for the most amazing children stories.

Storyline Online: For Children’s Stories in Video Form

storyline online home page

Story Online is an award-winning website that features children’s stories in the form of interactive videos. The books are read by famous actors—who are part of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG)—and are entirely free to watch and enjoy. They have an extensive catalog of books, categorized by age groups and the time it takes to read them. It’s an excellent website for your children to have fun and learn at the same time.

Free Kids Books: Peer Reviewed Children Books

free kids books home page

Free Kids Books is a simple website that’s home to a wide range of children’s books. The collection on the website is not the biggest, but there are enough that you won’t be running out of books anytime soon. The books are organized by category and are rated and reviewed by other readers, which helps kids pick out good stories to read.

If you need more information before picking out a book, then you’ll enjoy the summary that accompanies each title. You can read the books online or download a PDF file to your device and read it at your convenience.

Open Library: For Hard To Find Books

open library by internet archive home page

If you’re looking a for a specific book but can’t find it anywhere, you should give Open Library a chance. The project is part of the Internet Archive and is funded with donations. Open Library doesn’t have the best collection of modern books but does have some classics that you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s better if you come to Open Library only when you already know which books you want to read to your children. Most books are available as PDFs, which you can also download, and many are available as a scanned version of the original. It’s the site to visit to find exclusive books not available elsewhere.

Read.gov: For the Enormous Collection

read.gov home page

Read.gov is a project of the Library of Congress, which is one of the biggest libraries in the world. The site hosts classic books, books for teens, and plenty of books for children as well.

While it features an extensive collection of children books, it’s not easy to explore. You’ll have better luck if you use the search option, but that means you should already know what books you want to read. Kids can read most books online, and even choose between a flipping or a scrolling version.

Storynory: For Audio Stories

storynory home page

Storynory has been around since 2005 and is an excellent website if you want to listen to audio versions of children’s books. You have the choice of playing fairy-tales, classic books, educational books, and even poems and music.

The collection is plentiful, and each book has the text version alongside the audio as well. You can even download the mp3 version of the book to play on your favorite device instead of playing it from the website.

Oxford Owl: For Fun Stories and Education

oxford owl home page

Oxford Owl is a website created by the Oxford University Press with the goal of supporting children’s learning and education. The site features over 100 free books for children aged 3 to 11 and also features plenty of additional resources ranging from math games to creative writing and anything in between.

The books are thoughtfully categorized by age and kids can read them online, but you’ll have to create an account to do so. Overall, Oxford Owl is an excellent website to visit not just for children’s stories, but also for the additional resources they offer.

Free Children Stories: For Narrated Books

free children stories home page

Free Children Stories is a simple website that hosts narrated children books. The website is pretty straightforward and stars out by asking you to select an age range for the kids who’ll be reading the books. There are many books for every age group, each of which is accompanied by a small introduction to let you know more about the book.

The books are narrated and are hosted on YouTube. If it’s more convenient for you, you can listen to the book on YouTube and use this website just for finding the books.

International Children’s Digital Library: For Books in Many Languages

International Children's Digital Library home page

The International Children’s Digital Library is a research project funded by many parties, including Microsoft Research, the National Science Foundation, the University of Maryland, and the Internet Archive. They host a fantastic pool of books from all around the world on their website.

We recommend that you create a free account on the website. It’s an optional step, but having an account lets you set a preferred language and bookmark your favorite books. There are many ways to search for books and you can either use keywords, browse books by country, or use the featured section.

Their online reader isn’t the most friendly to use, and it will take some getting used to—just keep that in mind before you pick out a book to read to your children.

Yuvraj Wadhwani Yuvraj Wadhwani
Yuvraj Wadhwani is a freelance tech writer who specializes in researching and writing about the best things on the interne Read Full Bio »

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