Free Kids Books Online: 5 Places To Find Free Books

For many young families, reading children’s books throughout the day is part of the routine. You may read during breakfast, before naptime or quiet time, and before bed. With so many opportunities to read during the day, your kids may get bored with the same books over and over. Unless you want to have your own home library full of classics, books for young adults, and books suitable for toddlers (which gets expensive quickly!), there are a lot of resources online that can help you keep up with the ever-growing literacy needs of your little reader. 

Below, we discuss why reading books is so important and how often your little ones should be reading during the day. You’ll also learn whether or not free ebooks are as beneficial as reading a physical book. Lastly, we’ve listed five places you can find free books on the internet! 

Why Is Reading So Important For Kids?

Reading is so much more than being able to sound out the words on a page. Reading helps kids learn feelings, imagination, and about the world around them. By third grade, the curriculum in schools changes from learning to read, to reading to learn. If kids aren’t able to read, they’ll begin falling behind in more subjects than just reading. 

The foundations necessary for reading start in infancy. The more words your child hears, even as a baby, the stronger their vocabulary will be, which can help them when they begin to learn how to read. In fact, on average, kids who are read five books a day until they reach kindergarten have heard over one million more words than a child who isn’t read to. 

How Often Should Kids Read?

Reading shouldn’t be a chore that kids have to get through. Starting early and making it enjoyable can help foster a love for reading in your kids. Whether your little ones aren’t quite ready to read, or if they’re mastering the art of reading, they should read for 20 to 30 minutes each day. This can be you reading to them or them reading on their own. Of course, life happens, but trying to make reading a part of your routine is important. 

One way to bring the fun back into reading is by reading with loved ones. Is your little one taking a ballet class? They can call grandma over a Caribu video-call and tell her all about it. Then, they can choose a book about ballet on Caribu to read together. Maybe they’ll choose an Angelina Ballerina book and follow along on her ballet adventures!

Is Reading Online As Beneficial As Reading A Physical Book?

For kids, reading is about getting lost in a story or learning something new, which can be accomplished in both online books and physical books. Free kids ebooks still have all of the colors and whims of physical books, but they’re available right on your tablet, Nook, iPad, Android, Amazon Kindle, or other electronic device. 

A benefit to reading books online is you don’t need to find a place to store all of your books or keep track of library books you check out, and there are several ebook formats to choose from, such as PDFs. Online books are also safe from the little siblings with a rogue crayon, meaning the older children can read in peace on an online platform or ereader.

Another positive to digital books is you can have storytime with family members, even if they’re far away. One study shows that kids are just as engaged with a video-chat story time as they are in person. Schedule a storytime a couple of times a month with grandma and grandpa through Caribu. Your kids will love the extra time they get to spend with them! 

Where Can Kids Find Free Books Online?

With kids reading through books so quickly, it’s hard to keep new and interesting books in the house without breaking the bank! That’s where online books come in. There are many places where kids can go to get free online books for a variety of age groups. However, some of these places may not have child-only filters, so you may want to supervise them when they’re picking books and downloading them online. 

Free online books can be found through different apps, like school and open-library apps. They can also be found on different websites such as university-run reading programs and government resources. Here are five different places you can find free books online! 

1. School Library App

If your little ones are in school, there are apps that allow them to check out free online books from their library. Usually, all you need is a school ID to join these apps and search by category. These apps are super helpful for kids who need to do school assignments or can’t find what they need in the physical library. They also allow kids to start reading a new book before their library time at school in order to practice their reading skills. 

Many of these apps have different features that allow kids to make notes, change the font size, and they may even have a read-along function for beginner readers. If you haven’t gotten any information regarding your school library app, ask your child’s teacher for more information. It may be as simple as downloading an app and filling out the credentials. 

2. Local Library App

Did you know your local library most likely also has an app for your iPhone or mobile device? Here you can do all sorts of things like put books on hold, see what you still have checked out, and maybe use your credit card to pay the fine from that late book last week (we’ve all been there!). But, the best part about the app is that there are free online books available. Before you check out online books, however, you may need to go to your local library for a library card. 

Library apps have thousands of books for kids to check out online. Now, rain or shine, you and your little one can check out a book to read together without even leaving the house. Bonus: the library has books for adults too! Now you too can check out that book you’ve been meaning to start.

3. University-Run Reading Programs

Universities often put a lot of resources back into the community. They know the importance of reading for young children, so some of them have started programs and put together great sites to help bring books and audiobooks to all kids, like english-language learners.

Many of these programs are international, so there’s something for everyone. There may also be award-winning books in many different languages. Who knows? Maybe your little one will end up going to one of these amazing universities one day! 

4. Caribu

If you’re looking for free online books, we have you covered! Our app has thousands of books. Kids can find books with their favorite characters, learn about different cultures, and even travel to outer space! Whatever your little one is interested in, they’ll be sure to find a book that suits their needs. 

While there are subscription plan options that give you unlimited access to our library, we also have a free plan. With this plan, you get five free credits for books, activities, games, and videos. Once you use up those credits, you can still access more of our amazing content by simply watching a short, kid-safe ad from one of our trusted partners!

5. Government Resources

Government resources or a nonprofit organization may be the last thing you think about when looking for free online books for your kids. Don’t count them out just yet. The government has access to many books, including books that are very old. 

You and your little one can take a look at these books and see how different things are now. It may be fun to see if they’re as interested in older illustrated books as they are in the newer books and illustrations. 

To access certain government sites, you don’t need anything other than access to a computer or tablet to click on the book and enjoy it. This is a great resource if your kids don’t go to school or if you don’t have a library close by. Many government resources aren’t only for kids and also include books for adults. Because of this, you may want to sit with them while they explore these resources or find books for themselves.


Finding free online resources to help foster a love of reading in your child is extremely helpful, and some of these resources may even offer a free trial. Your little one can read and find more books about the things they’re interested in, with a variety of options like non-fiction, newer titles, picture books, and classic stories. In addition, school and public libraries, university-run reading programs, Caribu, and government resources are all options for free online books that can help your child work on their comprehension skills. 

Reading books is incredibly important for children at all grade levels, from preschool through high school. Reading to them helps them gain a larger vocabulary in a range of topics in their toddler years and helps them build a strong foundation that will make learning to read easier. Reading can teach children empathy, imagination, and about the world around them. Physical and online books can both have these benefits. 

At Caribu, we want to bring the love of reading to children, so they can unlock the magic of their imagination. Your little one can find a book that interests them and read it with you, or give their loved one a video-call to share storytime with them. 


A “million-word gap” for children who aren’t read to at home | OSU

Reading and Homeschooling: 5 Things Parents Should Know | UVA Today

UD study shows benefits of reading to children over video chat | UDEL