e-bookIn my “Back to School Week, Part 1” post, I talked about some books for parents. Today, I’m talking about books for kids.

Where can you get them? The library is one obvious answer. So is the store which came with your device—Kindle, Kobo, Sony, etc..

But what if you are, like me, only purchasing DRM-free books these days? Where can you get quality stuff which is appropriate for your kids? Here are some off-the-beaten-path recommendations:

1. Public Domain Repositories

Most of us already know about Project Gutenberg. But for children’s books, where graphics and layout matters, The Internet Archive Children’s Library is a wonderful option. Yes, PDF is a clunky format, but it works for this type of book since the text of a picture book is generally big enough as a rule to be readable even when shrunken down to a tablet-sized screen, and since you probably don’t want to “reflow” a book so heavily reliant on illustrations. You can read online, or download more than 2,000 free books!

2. Smashwords

This indie powerhouse has over 800 screens worth of kid’s books, some free, some not. You’ll have to do a fair bit of filtering as length, quality and price varies. But there are more than a hew highly rated titles, and you can download books in a variety of formats.

3. Educational E-Book Publishers

Two I have checked out are the Yesterday’s Classics Collection, which I previously reviewed, and a similar site called Heritage History, which I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks. Yesterday’s Classics is more of a generalist republisher and includes poetry, fiction and readers among their offerings, while Heritage History focuses exclusively on titles with a history theme. The latter also sells books à la carte—you can buy titles independent of the series compilations, whereas Yesterday’s Classics sells mostly via bundle and subscription (with a limited selection at the Kindle store).

Soon, I’ll be back with some e-book-based curriculum programs that offer complete packages of books by grade. See you then!


  1. Then, too, children can create their own eBooks. There are lots of free and inexpensive ways to create ePub 2 eBooks that are within the capabilities of many school aged children (Sigil, eCub and Pages). More elaborate fixed-layout eBooks are now also quite easy for kids to create. The $4.99 iPad app, Book Creator (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070?mt=8), makes this very easy to do. I bought it and found that it works as advertised.

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