Use a hashtag to win a tablet, or read a book, listen to a book, review a book, write a poem with friends or family, or join an online book discussion. We’ve got all the ways for children, teens and adults to enjoy books without leaving the couch.
Ages 4 through 7
If you’re weary of reading to your school-age child, why not let Kevin Costner or Lily Tomlin take over via Storyline Online, the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website? Content is available 24/7 and includes materials designed to help your child understand what they’ve heard as well as improve their speaking and writing skills. Just added: Mark Duplass reading When a Dragon Moves In and Michelle Yeoh reading Lotus and Feather. You can also watch Storyline Online’s videos on YouTube.
Children up to age 12 can pick from among 35,000 books and other materials via digital library Epic! You can get it free for a month; it costs $7.99 per month after the trial ends.
Non English-Speakers Up to Age 13
There’s no need to register for the literary treasure trove that is the International Children’s Digital Library, which offers 4,619 digital books for children in 59 languages. The foundation hopes to eventually represent every culture and language. Click the globe icon to search for a region’s books. When I clicked “Europe” I found a Senegalese book in French, Aliou et Jean. You can also search by the age of the reader; for “Make Believe” and “True” books; and by “Imaginary Creature Characters.” This free tool is a helpful way to reinforce your child’s foreign language learning.
The literary magazine and website written and illustrated by children, Stone Soup, has been around since 1973 and seeks submissions from children up to age 13. Children can read Stone Soup Blog posts and submit their blog ideas on the magazine’s submissions portal free of charge. In addition, the magazine posts a new creative prompt every weekday to inspire children to write, make art or music, or even record spoken-word work.
Nurture a Budding Book Reviewer
Fresh Ink, a program of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, empowers youth ages seven to 17 to both read and review books online. The indie bookstore supplies books before they’re published (called Advanced Reader Copies or ARCs), then prompts budding critics with questions to help them craft their reviews, such as: What’s the most important thing someone needs to know about the book?
Join the Big Library Read to Win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet
Thanks to the Boston Public Library’s Big Library Read, in which readers around the world read the same book at the same time and discuss it online, you can enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Participants who use #BigLibraryRead on social media up to April 13 are eligible. A recent selection was Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum, by Michael McCreary. You can also listen to an author interview. Use your library card to borrow the book digitally. If you don’t have one, sign up for an eCard, available to anyone who lives, resides part-time to attend school, owns property, or works in Massachusetts.
If book clubs aren’t your thing, the BPL offers a list of suggested eBooks that includes everything from Grisham thrillers to novels and nonfiction best sellers, all free with your library card or eCard.
All-Ages Poetry Game
Check out Poets.org for how to play a game of Exquisite Corpse with a group, a collaborative poetry game that traces its roots to the Parisian Surrealist Movement, according to the website. Each person must be unaware of what others have written. For a surprise, read the creative result out loud to one another.