Free E-Books for Kids & Grown-Ups

May 30th, 2007 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:


I spotted today’s website, WOWIO, on a homeschool discussion list where a mom raved about the online book service that allows you to download 5 e-books a day for free. (An e-book is an electronic book that you read on a computer or electronic mobile device.) The books available at WOWIO include classics and contemporary titles in all genres, including classic literature, college textbooks, comic books, popular fiction and non-fiction titles, and children’s books. In fact, the featured book for the month of May is “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Some of the titles I found in the children’s section include:

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

And there were many books by Beatrix Potter, along with a series of Build-It-Yourself books with titles such as:

  • Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson
  • Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself by Carmella Van Vleet
  • Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself by Kris Bordessa

How can WOWIO legally offer copyrighted e-books for free? By compensating the publishers and authors through commercial sponsorships of the e-books. So, you’ll get targeted advertising messages along with your e-book. Beyond that, WOWIO has a privacy policy that says it does not sell or distribute user data.

When you register, WOWIO requires a non-anonymous email address to authenticate your identity (e.g., email accounts from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc., are not allowed). If your only email account is anonymous, you can choose another authentication method such as submitting any government-issued or college-issued ID card, or providing a credit card for user authentication (an explanation of how this works is available at the site). Then, when you confirm registration, you must fill out a questionnaire that includes info about your level of education, work, income, and personal preferences in leisure activities, travel, food,
hobbies, etc. Remember, this info will be used to include advertisements targeted to your preferences when you open your e-books.

Once you sign up, use the search button to find books by category, author, title, ISBN, or keyword. You must have Acrobat Reader to open the e-books. You can download the latest version from Adobe for free here.

A broadband connection is not technically necessary, but it will make downloading the books a whole lot easier. For now, WOWIO is only available to people living in the United States. If you want to learn more, then click on “Help” on the menu at the website — that’s where you’ll find FAQs.

Note: This falls into the category of shameless self-interest, but as an incentive to promote their service, WOWIO offers an iPod Shuffle to anyone who refers 10 friends or more that sign up. So, if you decide to sign up and you’d like to help me get an iPod shuffle, then please reference this email adddress “” when you create your account. Please do not feel any obligation to do this. The truth is, I’m not sure what I’d do with an iPod Shuffle — but it sounds cool. :


Leave a Reply