eReaders & eBooks in the Classroom

What am I going to do with an eReader in my classroom?!

Authoring eBooks

Now that you know what resources are out there, maybe you want to create your own eBooks. It’s cool to be an author, right? Publish your own materials — whether it be offered for free or for a fee. Here are some softwares that can get you started on your way. Also, here’s a thought: Students publishing their own eBooks! We will talk more about that later.

(Stark, Chelsea 28 January 2012

 In addition to these software offerings there are other ways to publish:

Kindle Publishing Programs – Downloads for this program is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux — It’s free to publish. Books need to be in digital format such as PDF.

PubIt! by Barnes and Noble (for Nook) – Easy to follow instructions on creating a book to be downloaded to the Nook.

     There is apparently an app for the Nook Color that allows for quick publication (built with kids in mind) called Draw Write Read. Check it out — it’s $1.99

iBooks Author – This app is to be downloaded to your iMac or MacBook in order to create eBooks for the iBooks store.

Kobo Writing Life – Allows you to write and upload your book to the Kobo store.

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Comparing eReaders

Not sure which ereader you want to purchase?  The following links give you pros and cons of different versions.

PC World

eReader Leader gives a few comparisons between major brands and their different versions as well as a list of things to look at when you are considering what ereader to buy.

Wikipedia also has an article that compares ereaders, including some name brands of ereaders that you may not be quite as familiar.

WikiHow – How to Choose an eBook Reader gives a step-by-step guide for what to look for when choosing an ereader.

TechRepublic – Comparing the Top Four eReader Apps gives a comparison of four free ereading apps for smartphones.

SummitSeries for Families has an article that not only compares apps for use on smartphones, but for tablets and computers, too!

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Online eBooks

Children’s Literature Online

MeeGenius – Colorfully illustrated read aloud eBooks available on your computer or iPad. You can register for a school account to receive a free library of many classic children’s books. Books are available for purchase for fairly cheap. The app and website has the options to read aloud or not, highlight words, and flip pages automatically or manually.

Children’s Storybooks Online – A very simple website that provides teachers and children with illustrated books online. The books have text below the illustration. The user clicks links to progress through the book.

Big Universe $ – A subscription based repository of online books. These books can be read online and are aligned to many reading programs such as Lexile and Accelerated Reader. The other great option it possesses, your students can create books online that can be shared with other classmates, or students in the school, to be read online.

Speakaboos – $ The link is to the old, non-beta, website that provides animated read alouds for children. There are Spanish books available. Take a look at the new in-beta-testing website. It is for subscription, but there are 10 free stories for trial.

Children’s Books Online – Providing classic children’s tales, the books are scanned to provide teachers and students with original illustrations. Pages are advanced through clicking the arrow linked to the next JPEG file. Many of the books are available in multiple languages such as Italian, Dutch, and Spanish depending upon the book. Multimedia and audio books are available by purchasing the file.

Oxford Owl – Free online children’s books. The books provide illustrations with audio read alouds. Some books do not have works to go along with audio, but those are for younger ages. Many of the books have games/activities to go along. These games include sequencing.

Children’s Books Forever – Free PDF versions of children’s books are available for download. Books from other countries are available as well.

International Children’s Digital Library – Great digital library of a diverse set of children’s books. Many of the books are scanned and are easily navigated to and from by younger students. Books can be “found” by color, characters, animals, and other means of searching. Very students friendly. The books available are in a variety of languages and provides literature from a variety of cultures.

TumbleBooks – $ Subscription based online eBooks for younger students. “TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of TumbleBooks – animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you.” (from the TumbleBook website)

Classic Reader – Classic Reader is an excellent place to find free classic ebooks. The site has a special section for young readers with more than 200 of the world’s best loved classics.

Young Adult (YA) and above

Free – An app for Android and iOS operating systems can be downloaded to read the books on devices with those operating systems. Online reading, downloading PDF and .txt files are free, but payment is required for ePub and Mobi files. – is a great place to find classics, short stories, novels and plays for older children. The site also has a small collection of picture books for younger readers who enjoy illustrations with their text. – This no-frills website has more than 130 free ebooks for children in MP3 format. Books can be downloaded to any computer and burned to a CD.

Read Print – The Read Print library hosts thousands of free ebooks and poems, many of which are suitable for children. Most of the books on Read Print are classics, such as Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Here is a link to an article by Children’s Book Review’s on “Where to find Free eBooks for Children.” We found many of these great sites via this article. Thanks Children’s Book Review!

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Free eBooks You Can Download to Your eReader

You can find free books for your e-readers using the following links:

Project Gutenberg is the original website for free ebooks.  They have over 39,000 ebooks available in epub format.  These are mostly older books that were either published before copyright laws or their copyrights have expired. has over 29,000 books available for free in various ereader formats. has over 1,000,000 free ebooks.  This link takes you straight to B&N’s page for ebooks that are currently free. is a free ebook listing that is also created by Barnes & Noble. lists all the free ebooks listed on Amazon.  They also have a reduced-price feature every day.




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