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Free reading resources for home learning

  1. Best Websites With Free Online Books For Kids
  • Oxford Owl
  • Storyline Online
  • International Children’s Digital Library
  • Open Library
  • Amazon’s Free Kids Ebooks
  • Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books for Kids
  • Mrs. P’s Magic Library


Oxford Owl


This award-winning website from Oxford University Press is your online resource for children’s books and other reading activities. It’s designed to support their learning at school and at home. Once you register for free, you can access more than 250 free Oxford ebooks for kids along with storytelling videos, games and guides that help them develop their reading skills. 


Storyline Online

Storyline Online is another award-winning, interactive children’s literacy site that features famous actors like Kevin Costner, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, and others reading children’s books alongside minor animation elements. 


International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)

ICDL is a non-profit organisation that provides access to the best children’s books of their culture, and cultures around the world regardless of where they live. There are over 4,000 titles in 59 languages to choose from, that you can read to your children. 

If you want a personal bookshelf for your family, create a free account and save your favourite kids’ books, set personal preferences, and bookmark books you’d like to read later. Alternatively, use the simple search interface to find suitable titles by age, length of book, genres, reading level and more. You can also pick a book from some of the featured titles on the home page, and read away for free anonymously.

Open Library


This site is part of the non-profit Internet Archive and houses a collection of more than one million books, with access to over 22,000 free online books for kids – classic and newer titles – for free. 

It continually updates its collection of links to children’s books online, plus other books, so you can rummage through the collection and find a few for your own reading pleasure. 


Amazon’s Free Kids eBooks

Amazon isn’t just an online store to buy stuff from. It’s also a rich resource for kids’ books online. 

You can find free Kindle books for kids categorized under the Children’s eBooks section. There are several subcategories like Action & Adventure, Animals, Early Learning, Sports & Outdoors, each with 100 free eBooks to pick from so you can read a different one each day to your kids.

With more than 3,000 children’s ebooks, you’re sure to find something you and they will like.


Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books For Kids

Barnes & Noble is synonymous with books so you’re guaranteed they’ll have some for the little ones too. 

The site has a special Kids’ section with different categories to choose from such as age or subjects, and you can sort them by title, bestseller, new or old, and user ratings.

If you have the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, you can download free online books for kids from ages 0-12 years. Some children’s favorites like Disney characters Elsa and Anna, or Dr. Seuss, Peppa Pig, Dork Diaries, and many others are all in there.


Mrs. P’s Magic Library


You probably know her from her role as ‘Mimi’ in the Drew Carey Show, but Kathy Kinney wears more hats than just actress and comedienne – she’s a storyteller and children’s advocate too.

Kinney believes that children deserve a good book to read or be read to, which is why she and her partners co-created this site to pep up the magic and joy of hearing timeless stories online.  She’s a wonderful and skilled storyteller, and on the site she stars as Mrs. P, a grandmother who reads classic storybooks aloud from her couch in a voice that children can enjoy.



Love Reading 4 Kids Library

Loads of free books available to read on-line plus activities, a reading blog and much more!



Free to sign up, this includes lots of short reads and comprehensions to follow them up.


Booktrust Story Time Library


Aimed at younger readers, picture books and storytime videos all free to access.




Free stories by age and by style.  Find a book to love.



Monkey Pen's Vision is to provide thousands of free children's books to young readers around the globe.



2. Tap into Storytime Online



Encourage children to sit back and listen to stories being read aloud. With access to libraries, classrooms and bookshops limited for many, BooksForTopics HQ has been busy finding some of the best online storytimes for children to access freely at home and you can find our recommendation sheets for different age groups in our Storytime Online hub. The QR codes and links in the document link to story readings on Youtube and all of the books we've chosen are read aloud by their fabulous authors and illustrators.


If you are looking for more online storytimes, tap into the brilliant resources available from Cbeebies Bedtime Stories, Puffin Storytime, Chicken House CoupedUpKids and Booktrust HomeTime. There's also a growing multitude of authors and illustrators to follow on social media who provide regular, live storytime or illustrating slots, like Julia Donaldson (4pm on Thursdays via Facebook), David Walliams (11am daily, via Instagram) and, Rob Biddulph (10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays via Twitter).


When families think of Reading for Pleasure, it’s easy to jump straight to fiction recommendations and in particular story books, but it’s important not to overlook the other reading formats that are often favourites with young readers. Research into children's reading preferences undertaken by the National Literacy Trust has shown that a great deal of what children choose to read in their leisure time outside of school is not 'book based', with comics, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers and on-screen texts all rating highly.


For young readers who love comics or graphic novels, Marvel Comics have made 12 of their greatest graphic novels completely free to read, including Avengers, Captain America and Fantastic Four. To access these, parents need to download the Marvel Comics app and set up a free account. Another brilliant choice for comic book fans is The Pheonix Comic, which offers a few free digital sample issues online.


Non-fiction fans might enjoy Cicada Publishing's Earth Shattering Events - an appealing non-fiction book about natural disasters, which has been recently made available as a free PDF book for children to read during lockdown. Publisher DK has also created an excellent home learning hub, which includes free access to full colour spreads from a number of their popular non-fiction titles. Another good source for non-fiction is BookLife's selection of free non-fiction titles made available as PDF books (a popular starting point is this fact book about space), which parents can access by creating a free account. For poetry fans, we recommend Children’s Poetry Archive as the best place to listen to or read along with an incredible bank of children’s poetry, searchable by theme or poet.

There are also some brilliant children’s magazines available, and most offer sample issues to read online. Why not try the free digital issues of Scoop Magazine, Aquilla, Whizz Pop Bang, The Week Junior or National Geographic Kids?


4. Learn to love audiobooks!


If you’ve never learned to appreciate the brilliance of audiobooks, there’s no time like the present! Audible Stories has made a bank of children’s stories in a number of languages available to listen to for free, including Harry Potter, Kid Normal, Winnie the Pooh and The Tales of Beatrix Potter. And for more choice, signing up to the Audible free trial gives you access to another free e-book of your choice from their extensive catalogue. With so much choice of what to listen to, children may plunge straight away for their favourite stories or you may wish to use our free Year Group reading lists to guide listeners towards a range of age-appropriate reading for pleasure choices.


Another favourite resource for free audio stories is World Book Day’s World of Stories, with full length audio books freely available to stream online. Highlights include The Nothing to See Here Hotel, Rumblestar and A Pinch of Magic.

If you work in a school setting, why not consider uploading recordings of staff story readings on your school website too? Many of the usual copyright rules have been amended during school closures, but most publishers still have various rules to follow if you are reading their books online, and you can find all the information and requirements you need here.


5. Make the most of books especially written for this time


There's no doubt that we find ourselves in the most unusual of times and in response, a small number of specially produced books have been created during this time for free reading online.



  • 'Coronavirus: A Book for Children' - To help children to understand more about the coronavirus, the publishers at Nosy Crow have made a new picture book available to download for free, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Click here to download the book.
  • 'Everybody Worries' by Jon Burgerman - The publishers at Oxford Owl have made this picture book available to read online for FREE to help children understand feelings of anxiety about Coronavirus. Click here to read the book online.
  • 'Staying Home' by Sally Nicholls & Viviane Schwarz - Free from Andersen Press, this is a picture book featuring a family of energetic raccoons going through a day in lockdown with no school, nursery or work – and explaining to the youngest members of the family how they’re doing their part to save lives just by staying at home. Download it here.
  • 'Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home' by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul - Popular duo Winnie and Wilbur are back in a new, free ebook about staying at home. At first they find it difficult. Wilbur likes to lick his paws to wash his face and Winnie’s attempts to join in with an online exercise class end in a tangle. But in the end, they discover staying at home can be just as magical as long as you have each other. Read the ebook for free here.
  • The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown - Completely free for all children and families and best suited for KS2 readers, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson. The collection, published by Bloomsbury, is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals. Read it for free here.