For the past few weeks, the need to combat COVID-19 with social-distancing has led to closure of many public institutions, including libraries and public schools.

The NYT reports that “with countries across the globe on lockdown and public life at a standstill, more than 1.5 billion children are out of school.”

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Kids are at home and need books that are easily accessible online. If you are a parent or teacher looking for free ebooks for children and young adult, you should know that there are reading apps, literacy organizations, and nonprofit organizations offering free e-books.

Some, like Epic and Scribed, typically run a subscription system but are opening up their libraries of children’s books without charge for a limited time.

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Check out the list below and bookmark your favorites. They’ll still come in handy when the lockdown is over.

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Project Gutenberg: the free library of 60,000 ebooks includes everything from classics to children’s books.

Open Library: Though their parent company, Internet Archives, has come under some criticism, Open Library has an e-borrowing system that gives users free access to books ranging from toddler story books to YA novels.

Barnes and Noble: Barnes and Noble is offering free e-books through its nook reading app.

First Book: First Book offers downloadable e-books to teachers for distribution to students.

International Children’s Digital Library: ICDL provides free ebooks for children in different languages.

Storyline Online: A children’s literacy website featuring videos of celebrated actors reading children’s books. The likes of Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis have been featured.

Library of Congress: the celebrated US institution offers a vast library of children and YA classics to the reading public.

Epic!: Epic is a subscription service, but they’ve opened up their library of 40,000 children e-books to teachers without charge up until the end of June.

Scribd: Scribd is an ebook and audio subscription platform. But it is opening up its 150,000 children’s and young adult titles to the public without charge for 30 days.

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Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash