Free children's ebooks

The public domain contains a wealth of classic children’s books, now available for free in ebook form. Many of these have endured the test of time, and remain favorites of both adults and children alike. Whether you want to re-read best-loved books from childhood, or wish to share them with children in your life, these are available as free downloads from Here are five of our picks of free children’s ebooks you need to read:

1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

Why you need to read it:

Published in 1865 by a British mathematician named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Caroll, this nonsensical tale was initially met with a lukewarm critical response. It wasn’t until the publication of the follow-up in 1871, Through the Looking Glass, that it gained a larger popularity. Now regarded as one of the greatest classic children’s books of all time, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been immensely influential in popular culture, with countless adaptations for stage, television, and film. Over 150 years later this charming story is still well-loved and relevant as ever.

2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Why you need to read it:

First released in 1911, The Secret Garden became one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s best-known works. Centering around the character of spoiled and obstinate young girl Mary Lennox, who is raised by servants, it’s a tale of redemption and rejuvenation. After Mary’s parents and servants die due to cholera, she is sent to live with her uncle. However, Mary begins to change after discovering the secret garden and a sickly cousin hidden away within the house. She starts tending to the garden and brings her cousin on regular trips to the garden, where his health begins to improve and both children thrive. Cherished by both adults and children, The Secret Garden has been credited among the best children’s books of the 20th century.

3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Why you need to read it:

L. Frank Baum’s iconic children’s classic was originally published in 1900, and has captured the public’s imagination since. Often credited as being the first American fairy tale, the novel has been reprinted countless times and made into a popular movie musical in 1939 with the shortened name, The Wizard of Oz. Chronicling young Dorothy’s adventures in the land of Oz after landing there via tornado with her dog Toto, this tale of fantasy demonstrates lessons in morality and “things not being what they seem.” By the time it entered the public domain in 1956, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had sold three million copies, and remains a perennial favorite.

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Why you need to read it:

First published as two volumes in 1868 and 1869, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was released as the single volume we know today in 1880. This coming-of-age story was unusual at the time it was written due to it being meant for girls and featured strong female heroines. Taking place during the Civil War, the March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — along with their mother, must earn a living for themselves while their father is away at war. While the four sisters have distinct personalities and are often at odds with each other, they come from a loving family and this love allows them to endure many of the hardships they face. With broad appeal among girls and women, this heart-warming work of children’s literature still continues to captivate.

5. Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

Why you need to read it:

Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was first written as a play in 1904 by J.M. Barrie, which he later turned into the novel Peter and Wendy (also known colloquially as Peter Pan) in 1911. The story follows the adventures of the Darling children — Wendy, John, and Michael — as they accompany the perpetual child Peter Pan through Neverland. Both the play and the novel have enjoyed many adaptations; with Broadway productions, animated films, and television productions throughout the years. The characters of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and Captain Hook are ingrained within popular culture, and this whimsical tale of fantasy manages to enchant audiences to this day. The novel version of Peter and Wendy has entered the public domain, ensuring its continued free availability to all.

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