Where to Find Free Books​

This weekend an email arrived in my inbox that got me so excited: it came from Book Riot, a fabulous website for all things books. The email detailed several ways to get free books for kids this summer that went way beyond visiting your local library.


1. Anyone can read the middle-grade book BOB for free online. Authors Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead are highly regarded and this title has starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publisher's Weekly.


2. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Have you heard of this? The legendary singer started this program that sends free books to children ages one to five. Children enrolled in the program get a free book once a month. More details here. They've sent more than 104 million books since 1995.


3. Search for a Little Free Library. People all over the country have put up Little Free Libraries in front of their houses. It's hit or miss what books you'll get, but it could be a fun adventure to drive/bike/walk around to see what's on offer.


In Vermont I found four in Burlington and the one on Intervale Rd is focused on children's books. There is also one in Shelburne and one in Winooski, five in Essex, and three in Colchester.


In the Bay Area there are more than 40 in Berkeley, three in Orinda, eight in Lafayette, and 12 in Walnut Creek. There are more than 50 in Oakland.


4. Finally, Barnes & Noble is running a program where kids in grades 1–6 can get a free book if they read eight books during the summer. You could also check with your local independent bookstore to see if they have a summer reading program as well.​