FREE online books for ESL students

As online ESL teachers, we love to encourage our students to read as much as possible outside of class! However, it can be challenging to find books for them – particularly if they are unable to afford expensive subscriptions. Don’t worry though, here are five great websites with free eBooks for kids! Set these as homework or extra credit assignments to inspire your students to love reading English ❤️

Oxford Owl

Parents are always asking for books from well-known publishers, so why not recommend them Oxford Owl by Oxford University Press?

Students can enjoy a wide range of fiction stories, the majority aimed at primary school children. Books come with audio recordings and are read in an easy-to-use online platform.

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z is best known for their paid subscription options, however they provide access to many of their levelled readers for free in their levelled books library.

Their books cover a wide range of levels – from beginner level books focusing on individual new words up to exciting stories and non-fiction books for confident readers.

NOOK Books (Barnes&Noble)

If you teach more fluent readers, NOOK books is an excellent resource for free eBooks your students can enjoy on their NOOK eReader or mobile app!

Their selection of books is aimed primarily at native speakers, including several by well-known authors and kids classics.

Unite for Literacy

Unite for Literacy have a fun and free library of topic books for kids aged 3-8. No login or payment is required, and you can easily send direct links for individual books you’d like to recommend to yor students!

Books also come with audio narration and many have translations (Spanish and Haitian) available too.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free eBooks, and aims to make reading accessible to all. Their children’s eBook library is perfect for more advanced readers, with a large selection of classic books and traditional stories.

The majority of books are in the public domain, which means that you are also allowed to use them in class too!


Storyberries has a wonderful collection of illustrated short story books, particularly suitable for younger learners and including a great selection of decodable readers for kids learning phonics.

Books are available for free on their website, or you can purchase hard copies. Many books come with audio readings and animated videos too.


Wilbooks is an online book subscription service for individuals and schools – but they also have a good selection of free materials too!

This includes an excellent selection of Pre-K and kindergarten level easy readers, poetry and non-fiction stories. They even have free books for kids learning Spanish as a second language too!

What’s your favourite site for free eBooks? Share your recommendations in the comments below…

7 thoughts on “FREE online books for ESL students”

  1. Mirna Van der Westhuizen

    Oh Katie, what would we do without you and Abridge Academy. Thank you very much for these links.

  2. Thank you for all of this great info! I’ve recently ran into I’ve been using it for my American kids that I tutor. I need to really spend some time learning more about it, but I’ve been using it for their Word Family books.

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