Free bookish resources for students, parents, and teachers amid COVID-19

Free bookish resources for students, parents, and teachers amid COVID-19

This is a tough time for everyone. Even as someone who is very much a homebody, I’m finding it difficult to keep myself and my previously adorable but now solely needy fur-babies entertained. After getting emails about free bookish resources being offered during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic for students to use, I decided to create a compilation of them to keep the students at the school I work at entertained and, let’s be honest, to keep the parents from going insane. Obviously, my CPS school isn’t the only one out of session, so I’m sharing that list here hoping that it will guide you to a place of little chaos should you need it.

If you have any other resources you’d like to bring attention to, please add them in the comments section at the bottom.

Happy remote learning!

Read Alouds and Activities

Here is a fantastic compilation at We Are Teachers of children’s authors who have recorded read alouds, will be hosting live sessions, and more! Dan Gutman’s (My Weird School series, My Weird School Daze series, etc) books seem to always be in high demand at our library, so many will get a kick out of hearing him read.

Free Audible Stories

While school is out, Audible is offering a selection of stories for free for kids of all ages at

Chicago Public Library eCards

For students that do not have a CPL card, they can apply for an ecard and begin checking out ebooks, audiobooks, and even music and movies! If they’re under 14, they’ll need their parents to fill out the short application for them here. Students who have a physical card can, of course, use CPL apps like Hoopla and Libby to checkout resources.

Resources from HarperCollins

HarperCollins has a running list of fun activities and resources for parents and their kids alike that is continuously updated. From book recommendations to paper projects, this list has got it.

Free Access to Booklist

Booklist is a review journal used primarily by librarians to help them develop library collections. However, the site also offers an array of other resources for teachers and the public. Until further notice, Booklist and Book Links (a supplemental resource to the former, which is specially designed for youth librarians, teachers, and media specialists) is offering free access to all. It includes “more than 25 years of recommended print and audiobook reviews, features, interviews, spotlights, and classroom connections.”

“For an enhanced online experience and to read digital editions on mobile devices, sign in to your existing online profile or complete the free profile form. Note that a profile is not necessary for reading online content, but having one will allow you to save, share, and download your work.”

Free Educational Resources

This is primarily for teachers: various educational technology companies like Flipped Learning Global Initiative and ABCmouse are offering up their services for free for the remainder of the school year and/or ramping up what they offer for free with premium features. Lots of good stuff on this updated list to help teachers with offering their knowledge virtually.

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