Are you trying to get your kids to read this summer and get away from the video games? Have they thought about using their computer for something other than internet surfing and social updates? Encourage them to use that computer, laptop, or tablet to read a book. There are lots and lots of great reading material on the web. Reading does not have to be boring, and it may be more enticing to kids when they know they can do so with their PC.
Sometimes we adults, parents and grandparents must provide a little nudge and guidance to our young ones in order to re-energize their interest in books. One of the problems for young kids is in knowing what books are out there in the cyber world; what books are available to read or listen for little to no cost. As a grandfather myself, allow me to give you some book suggestions for your pre-teens.
Here are several free eBooks I recommend for kids from ages 9 to 12 (and even some younger and the young at heart). You will find, not just the book title, but links to the eBook and online text, as well as, a link to the audiobook version. Just as an extra thought, audiobooks are a great activity for kids when having their friends to the house for a sleep-over (I’m assuming kids still do that these days).
Mysteries and Adventure:
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: The story of Jim Hawkins search for a hidden treasure believed to have been buried by pirates. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (version 2) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Here are twelve short stories about the adventures of the deductive thinking detective. Sherlock Holmes mysteries are read and enjoyed by readers of all ages. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
Kids and Characters:
- Anne of Green Gables (dramatic reading) Lucy Maud Montgomery: The adventures of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl sent to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on Prince Edward Island. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: The story of four girls – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy – who are growing up in Massachusetts during the Civil War. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook .
- The Winds in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: The story of how Rat, Mole, and the other river-bankers saved Toad from his excesses. This book has it all: excitement, sentiment, destruction of private property (plenty of that), paganism, and a happy ending. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter: a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna, but feels it is her duty to her late sister. Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game”, an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. eBook/online reading and download or Kindle Book or Audiobook
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving: Here is a great classic spooky story. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. It’s hard to imagine that anyone over the age of 20 hasn’t heard of at least one of the great tales from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. There were over 170 tales published after 1812 and they are still being re-published and retold the world over year after year. eBook/Online reading or the Audiobook.
- The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde.Try Mr. Wilde’s humorous ghost story that has been made into a movie at least three times since it was first published. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
Science fiction fantasy stories:
- The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells: Think of it, this story of an alien invasion on earth was published in 1898. Forget the movie versions you may have seen: read the original version of the story by Wells. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- The Time Machine by H. G. Wells: This classic science fiction-fantasy tells the story of a scientist known as “The Time Traveler” and his journey to the far distant future as he witnesses the end of human civilization and the beginning of the end of the world. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook
- Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne: eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- From Earth to the Moon, and Round the Moon by Jules Verne: eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne: eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- In the Year 2889 (short story) by Jules Verne: : eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
- Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne: : eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
Classic Lewis Carroll Fantasy
- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll: This story is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. eBook/Online reading or Audiobook.
Wizard of Oz Fantasy Series by Frank L. Baum: There are more Oz adventures than just the one told and retold at the movies. Read all of Baum’s Oz series stories.
- Volume 1, The Wizard of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 2, The Marvelous Land of Oz: An account of the further adventures of the Scarecrow and Tim Woodman: A Sequel to the Wizard of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 3, Ozma of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 4, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 5, The Road to Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 6, The Emerald City of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 7, The Patchwork Girl of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 8, Tik-Tok of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 9, The Scarecrow of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 10, Rinkitink of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 11, The Lost Princess of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 12, The Tin Woodman of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 13, The Magic of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
- Volume 14, Glinda of Oz: eBook and Online reading or Audiobook
Books by more current and lesser known authors; plus, these are still free to download for Nook and Kindle eReaders. No Audio Book available at this time. eBook formats: Barns & Noble’s Nook Book and Amazon’s Kindle Book require that you have the book reader installed on your PC or Nook/Kindle Reader. If you have a computer running Windows 8/8.1, you have free download applications for both readers through the Windows Store.
- An Extra-Ordinary Beginning by A. D. Winch. This is a fantasy science fiction book about two kids that learn they have special abilities beyond the ordinary kids, and it may just have to do with something unearthly; may be even alien. Read the adventure of these two children, Eric and Ursula, as they search for the truth about their past. Free NOOK Book or Free Kindle Book. No audiobook version.
- Battle Moon 2075, Ramming Speed by Harvey LaCrosse. The best description I’ve read for this book is Ender’s Game meets Lord of the Rings meets Goosebumps, in this science fiction fantasy story with some scary stuff and monsters thrown in to add to the fun. Free Nook Book or Free Kindle Book. No audiobook version.
- The Stolen Kingdom by Ross Rosenfeld: Adventure and fun for all ages. Meet Taylor James and Robert of Roth as they try to defeat evil Dark Duke. Experience the dangers of Cheshire Woods and battle monsters. Free Nook Book or Free Kindle Book. No audiobook version.
Find a quite spot or take your laptop or tablet outside in the yard and enjoy reading a book or listening to the audiobook version. Have a great summer.