We live in an electronic world. Everybody has iPads, e-readers, tablets, and smart phones. At the same time, we don’t always want to spend money or make our way to the library just to get a new book that our kid may or may not enjoy.
Luckily, the public domain exists, and thanks to Project Gutenberg, there are plenty of free downloadable options for your kids’ reading pleasure. Below, you can take a gander at some of these options, but I would also encourage you to do some additional browsing on your own and try out some books you’ve never heard of. Some of them even have audio books! Here’s a link to the children’s book category to save you some time.
Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris – The classic book of Southern stories. Please don’t throw me in that briar patch.
Peter Rabbit series by Beatrix Potter – Project Gutenberg has over 25 of Potter’s books, complete with illustrations, if your kids like Peter Rabbit.
The Enchanted Castle and other books by Edith Nesbitt – Classic novels, some with magic, some without.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Who doesn’t love this one? I don’t remember much about it, but I loved the movie that came out way back in the ‘90s!
The Oz books by L. Frank Baum – Baum wrote a ton of Oz books after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and a lot of them are on Project Gutenberg. Great for bedtime stories! Read a chapter every night!
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco – Remember the book about the toy rabbit who gets thrown out (maybe because of small pox or some other disease…scarlet fever?) and then becomes a real rabbit?
A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I’ll be honest, I haven’t read either of these, but they’re supposed to be great classics.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll – Yup, both of these are free to download. Another one that is perfect for bedtime stories read over the course of a couple of weeks.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – for your kids who might be a little bit older, pull this one out for a Halloween scary story!
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – If your kids like horses, this is the book for you!
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – The classic adventure novel about pirates!