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Welcome to the Free World U Library

by Miriam Downey 20. October 2011 12:56

Welcome to Free World U's new library. I am Miriam, the Cyberlibrarian. Every week I will post an article on this blog related either to books or to research and reference materials. Books will be added to the library in either the category of Online Books or Other Great Books. The category Research Resources will contain websites that will help our children find the information they need to develop reports or essays.

I am hopeful that this blog can become a dialog between the librarian (me), students, and parents. I can help with research projects, book selection, and teaching materials related to a book study. You can help by sharing websites that you have found to be useful, book studies that worked particularly well, and by asking questions that the group can help answer. Of course, all the sites, studies, and questions need to be literacy related; this is the goal of Free World U's library and this blog.

Now let me share just a few words about the classic books that are on our list of books available free online. First, you need to know that as long as the copyright holds for a book, it most likely will not be available on the Internet. Copyrights last for seventy-five years, so most of the books that you will find on our classic book list are more than than seventy-five years old. I guess that's what makes them "classics." There are several projects that seek to digitalize these classic books; Project Gutenberg is one such project.

The exceptions to the copyright rule include several websites that contain a lot of picture books. These are usually sites that promote reading, and authors have given permission for one or more of their books to be utilized on these sites. We Give Books is one such site. It has a marvelous array of free online books. Additionally, you might occasionally find a book that is available through a commercial site, or a book that is on a foreign site where the copyright is no longer in effect. You will find a few books on our lists from those sites.

As we developed our list of classic books, we used this criteria for each grade level (beyond picture books):

  • Books of interest to both boys and girls.
  • Both fiction and non-fiction.
  • A book of poetry.
  • A book of short stories.
  • A biography.
  • A play.

Some of these books can be downloaded; some can only be read online. All of these classic books would be available at your local public library if reading them online is too difficult. Most, if not all of them, are available for Kindle or Nook for a small fee.

I might add that most of the classic books (above the picture book level) will have had a movie made of them. Some of these books are really challenging to read. Sometimes it helps to watch a movie, either at the end of the project, or during the project, as a reward.

One more thing...this is a very fluid list. I would suggest that your reader check out the books several grade levels below and several grade levels above his or her age. Reading interest has no boundaries. For young students, parents might consider finding a book at a higher grade level and use it as a read-aloud for your children.

My questions for you are these: What classic books have you enjoyed that appeared or did not appear on this list? Any suggestions for additions to this list? What are you or your children reading now? Be sure to add websites if you found the book online.

So dear friends, welcome and happy reading.


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